8th DISTRICT COURT
When disputes regarding money or property cannot be settled between parties, a party may invoke the jurisdiction of the court by filing a civil action. The District Court has jurisdiction over the following types of civil actions, which are handled by the Civil Division:
Filing A Claim
To begin a civil action the plaintiff (person filing the claim) or their attorney must:
- Determine the course of action, i.e. Small Claims, Civil, Landlord-Tenant, Land Contract
- Complete appropriate forms and pay filing fees. This includes providing names and current addresses of parties being sued; stating reasons for the action; providing copies of documents supporting the claim.
Note: Parties may not be represented by attorneys in Small Claims actions; however, that does not preclude parties from seeking legal advice, only from formal representation.
A judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff is no guarantee of payment. If the defendant (person sued) doesn't voluntarily pay the amount of the judgment, the plaintiff can pursue collection of the judgment through a
Court Staff will assist all parties to the best of their ability; however, our clerks are not
attorneys and cannot give legal advice. Their responsibility is to accept new pleadings,
collect appropriate fees, and process cases properly as they progress through the court system,
in accordance with applicable statutes, court rules, and procedures. Staff will provide basic
information regarding court processes and fees. Legal questions such as "Should I file a small
claims action or a civil action?" "Is there a legal basis for my civil action?" and "Do you think a judge will find in my favor?" cannot be answered by Staff. Legal advice is provided by an attorney.*
Additionally, Judges may not, and will not, give advice on matters they may have
to rule on.
* For a list of local attorneys visit the Kalamazoo County Bar website.
Finally, the District Court can render money judgments only. In a civil lawsuit, the District Court has no power to
force anyone to do something or to stop doing something.
The data contained herein is for informational purposes only; it is not legal advice.