Gladwin County Small Claims Court, Michigan


Removal of a Small Claims Court Case to 80th District Court

Removal is the legal name for transferring the case from small claims court to regular district court (which allows either side to be represented by an attorney and removes the $6,000 limit of small claims court). Removal to district court means the normal rules and procedures apply including specifically procedures related to the presentation of evidence and discovery process. A request for removal may be made by either the plaintiff or the defendant. In order to do this, a party needs to complete and file a Demand and Order for Removal, Small Claims with the court clerk. This document needs to be filed prior to the small claims court trial or hearing and can actually be filed the same day (so long as it is before the hearing starts). The document can be found online.

What kind of cases can be filed in small claims court?

Small claims court only handles civil cases where the amount in dispute is $6,000 or less. Money is the only remedy a party can ask for in small claims court. If a plaintiff wants specific property or the court to make an order regarding specific performance, small claims court is not the property place to file the case. Usually, these are the most common types of cases filed and heard in small claims court:

  • Contract disputes including payment or performance
  • Car accidents where insurance is not covering the damages
  • Tenant and landlord disputes over the return of security deposit

Small claims court does not handle the following types of cases:

  • Any intentional harm
  • Assault and Battery
  • Libel
  • Slander

Filing a Small Claims Court Case in Gladwin County

The plaintiff needs to fill out a form to file a case in small claims court which can be found online. Once filled out, the plaintiff needs to file the form with the 80th District Court clerk. The plaintiff will also have to pay a filing fee when filing a case. Filings fees for small claims court cases are:

  • $30 – for claims up to $600
  • $50 – for claims between $600 and $1,750
  • $70 – for claims between $1,750 and up to $6,000

If the plaintiff prevails in the case, the court may allow the plaintiff to request the cost of the filing fee be added to the damages in the case (and ultimately paid by the defendant). Once the case is filed, the court clerk should provide you with a court case number. It is important to keep this case number with you to use each time you contact the court clerk or any court staff as it will help them identify your case. Along with the court case number, the clerk should provide you with the location, date, and time of the hearing for your case.

Gladwin County Small Claims Court Location

Small Claims Court cases in Gladwin County are handled in the 80th District Court. 80th District Court is located at:

Gladwin County Building
401 W. Cedar
Gladwin, MI 48624

The phone number for Gladwin County District Court is: (989) 426-9207. The 80th District Court can be foundonline.

How is a Defendant served in a Small Claims Court Case?

After the case is filed, the court will make attempts to provide the defendant with a copy of the Affidavit and Claim (that the plaintiff filled out). In addition to the filing fee, the plaintiff is also responsible for paying the cost of service of the defendant. Service is how the court ensures the defendant has notice of the nature of the lawsuit and the hearing date. Service can be made by either certified mail or in person.

Settling a Small Claims Court

Often, a court may try to settle or resolve a case short of an actual trial. Mediation is the tool that a court may try to use to settle a case. A mediator will meet with both parties and attempt to find some common ground for resolving the claim without a trial.

Gladwin County Small Claims Court Hearing Preparations

You should gather all evidence well before the date of the hearing. Evidence could include a contract, a purchase order, a receipt, pictures, or videos related to the case. Both the plaintiff and defendant will have the chance to present evidence to the court. You should write out or prepare what you plan on saying ahead of time. You should also try and arrange for any witnesses which support your position to be present in court at the hearing to present testimony.

Is there a Monetary Limit for Small Claims Court Cases in Gladwin County?

A small claims court in Gladwin County cannot award a party more than $6,000 (not including court costs and other fees). If a party chooses to file their case in small claims court which is worth more than six thousand dollars, the party can still choose to file the case in small claims court. But, if the plaintiff does so, he or she gives up the right to recover anything more than that amount. Additionally, the plaintiff is precluded from filing another case to ask for the amount above the threshold.

Small Claims Court in Gladwin County

Gladwin County Small Claims Court

Gladwin County Small Claims Court

80th District Court handles Small Claims court cases in Gladwin County. A special branch of 80th District Court handles small claims court cases whose purpose is to settle and decide disputes concerning money without the use of attorneys or lawyers. A party does not need to know anything about the law to file a small claims court case. Attorneys cannot represent parties in small claims court. Because of this, a party does not need an attorney. At the hearing, a party is only expected to present their case in their own words. Small claims court is a division of 80th District Court. The district court also hears some criminal, civil, and other legal actions.

Can an attorney represent me in my Gladwin County Small Claims Court Case?

Attorneys or lawyers are not allowed in small claims court. Neither the plaintiff or defendant is allowed to have an attorney represent them in the case. Both parties are required to represent themselves at the hearing. Either side can request that the case be removed to regular district court where both sides can have an attorney. The downside to this is that regular district court utilizes the normal rules of evidence and discovery which means your case will take longer to resolve.

Gladwin County Small Claims Court Jurisdiction

A case should be filed in the district court where the defendant resides, where the defendant’s business is located, or where the transaction involved in the case occurred. The location of the filing is often called venue. If a case is filed in the wrong location, it will delay your case being actually decided and may result in having to pay a second filing fee or having the case dismiss your first case. The court staff of the 80th District Court cannot provide advice, but it can tell you the geographic location the court serves. It is recommended you contact the court clerk of the District Court to confirm you have the proper venue.

Court’s Ruling in a Small Claims Court Case

The court can make a decision at the time of the hearing (after both sides have presented their case). The court can also take the matter under submission. If this occurs, then the court will notify both parties of the outcome (usually through mail).

Who Listens to a Small Claims Court Case in Gladwin County?

Juries are not allowed in small claims court cases. Small Claims Court cases are only heard in front of an attorney magistrate or a judge. An attorney magistrate is an attorney who has been appointed by the court to assist with certain types of cases and legal actions. In most instances, an attorney magistrate will hear your case.

Option for a Defendant After Being Sued in Small Claims Court

After being served with an Affidavit and Claim of a small claims court case, the defendant has the following options:

  • Ignoring the Case (which could end up with the court issuing a default judgment against you)
  • Settling the Case Outside of Court
  • Transferring the Case out of Small Claims Court
  • Appearing at the Court Hearing

Hearings in Gladwin County Small Claims Court

The plaintiff presents his or her evidence first. The defendant will then have the chance to present their side. If the plaintiff does not show up for the hearing, the court will likely dismiss the case. If the defendant fails to appear at the hearing, the court can issue what is called a default judgment based on the case the plaintiff present.