8th District Court - Civil Division
Landlord -Tenant Claims

The District Court processes landlord-tenant claims (summary proceedings) to recover the possession of premises located within the County of Kalamazoo. The venue of the 8th District Court encompasses all of Kalamazoo County.

8th District Court Eviction Diversion Program
This is a program that provides low and moderate income families and individuals with eviction prevention assistance. Click Getting Help in Hard Times for more information.

Guidelines for Landlord-Tenant Claims
The following procedures will serve as a general guideline to recover possession. This information is not legal advice.

For legal advice, you may contact the following:

A complaint for money damages may be included along with your complaint for possession. However, please note the complaint for money damages is governed by the rules of general civil, not small claims.


    1. Choice of Notice
      1. Demand for Possession/Non-payment of rent. This notice gives the tenant 7 days to comply.
      2. Notice to Quit to Recover Possession of Property. This notice provides the length of time equivalent to the rental period for the tenant to move (i.e., 7 days (weekly); 14 days (bi-weekly); 15 days (semi-monthly); or 30 days (monthly). If the tenant has a lease, you should consult with an attorney.
      3. Demand for Possession Damage/Health Hazard to Property. This notice gives the tenant 7 days to comply.
    2. Service of the above notices may be made on the following ways:
      1. Personally delivering notice to the tenant
      2. First class mail
      3. Leaving notice with a responsible person at the premises.


    If the tenant does not pay, move, or make repairs after proper service of one of the preceding notices, then the landlord must file the necessary forms with the Court and pay the filing fee.

    1. The following forms are required to file a landlord tenant case. Please be sure to complete all portions of the forms:
      1. SUMMONS: One carbon set for each tenant must by filled out as much as possible. (OR, one carbon set and two copies of page 2 for each additional tenant) Hearing date and time is set by the Court Clerk.
      2. COMPLAINT: Non-Payment of Rent, Recover Possession of Property, Damage/Health Hazard to Property - One carbon set and two copies for each additional tenant must be filled out as much as possible.
      3. Original Notice to Quit/Demand for Possession with two copies for each tenant.
      4. Copy of lease agreement for court (if applicable) with two copies for each tenant.
      5. An envelope with proper postage addressed to each tenant.
    2. Service
      1. Above documents must be served by a court officer or process server, and also by 1st class mail. If stamped envelopes are not provided, there will be a $2 charge per defendant.
      2. The Court officer bills landlords directly for statutory service fees plus mileage for each tenant.
    3. Filing Fees:  To review the District Court Civil Filing Fees, click here.   

    If the plaintiff filed a claim for possession and a claim for money damages, a money judgment may be awarded if there was personal service on the defendant or if the defendant appeared in court. If personal service was not obtained and the defendant failed to appear at the hearing, further attempts to make personal service can be made. In addition, any physical damages and unpaid rent to the date of final re-possession of the premises may be asserted by an amended complaint for money damages and served or re-served upon the tenant without paying a new filing fee. However, if the amount of money damages increases beyond the maximum amount for the filing fee previously paid, an additional filing fee may be required (see Filing Fees).
    Note: The Judge will make a decision as to the entitlement to any security deposit.
    Be aware of the reciprocal obligations of both parties as to the security deposit

The data contained herein is for informational purposes only; it is not legal advice.