The Small Claims Division processes cases in which an individual, partnership, corporation or sole proprietor brings an action against another individual, partnership, corporation or sole proprietor for money damages. Reasons may include but are not limited to delinquent rent, overdue accounts, physical damage to property or breach of contract.
The party starting the case is the plaintiff and the party being sued is the defendant. The defendant must reside or conduct business in one of the following communities: Brownstown, Flat Rock, Gibraltar, Grosse Ile, Rockwood, Trenton, or Woodhaven. A Small Claims suit may be started by:
1.Purchasing a Small Claims Affidavit form or downloading the form in its entirety (link to SCAO forms)
2.Completing the Affidavit (every line and box must be completed)
3.Filing the Affidavit along with the appropriate filing and service fees at the Civil Counter in the courthouse (19000 Van Horn Road, Woodhaven, Michigan).
Click to view the 33rd District Court Fee Schedule.
NOTE: Personal service fees must be arranged with the Court Officer.
A plaintiff choosing to file a Small Claims case waives their rights to:
1. Recover more than $5,500.00 in damages
2. An attorney,
3. A jury trial
4. Appeal of the district court judge’s decision (either party can remove the case to the General Civil Division after filing but before trial).
If you do not wish to waive any of these rights you may wish to consult with an attorney to determine if you should proceed to filing a General Civil case. The District Court jurisdictional limit for General Civil cases is $25,000.00.
All Small Claims cases are scheduled for mediation with a mediator from the Wayne Mediation Center. The Court will generally schedule a mediation date within 45 days after the claim has been filed. However, please note seven days before the mediation date, the Court must be provided with a Proof of Service showing the defendant was properly served in accordance with Michigan Court Rule, typically by way of certified mail or personal service. Failure to timely submit the Proof of Service will result in the mediation being rescheduled or dismissed.