What follows is a brief but informative summary of rules, procedures, and filings requirements for small claims court in Michigan. Keep in mind that rules and laws change. It’s always a good idea to confirm the rules with the court or with further research.

Maximum Jurisdictional Dollar Amount: The maximum dollar amount is $3,000.

Where Suit May Be Brought: Cases should be brought where the defendant resides or where breach or injury occurred. If suing local government entity, suit must be brought in location of that entity.

Proper Manner of Service of Process upon Defendant: Service may be made by Personal Service, or court clerk’s certified mail with return receipt.

How the Hearing Date Is Selected: 15-45 days from service.

Attorney Representation Rule: Attorneys are not allowed.

Special Provisions Regarding Transfer or Jurisdiction of Cases: If either side requests or defendant counterclaims for more than $3,000, the case shall be tried under regular civil procedure of Court. Either party may transfer to regular District Court procedure.

Availability of Appeals: If trial was before district court magistrate, Either litigant may appeal for a new trial to Small Claims District Court judge within 7 days. Otherwise, appeals are not available.

Special Rules and Notes: No injunctive relief is available in small claims court. Right to sue may not be transferred. No libel or slander, intentional torts or fraud cases. Jury trials are not available. Limit of five claims per plaintiff. A plaintiff may not file more than five claims in one week. Court may refer cases to mediation or arbitration.

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