General Civil FAQs
What is the difference between a 7 day notice and a 30 day notice?
A 7 day notice allows a person to stay if they pay the amount that they are required to before the 7th day. Failing to do so will result in beginning eviction procedures. A 30 day notice is a notice that terminates tenancy even if a payment is made.
I was just served a Summons & Complaint. What do I need to do next?
Start by reading through the papers that you were served so that you understand the claims being filed against you. Follow the instructions on the Summons to file your written answer (response) with the court and the plaintiff/plaintiff’s attorney. For more information on how to respond, click here.
How do I answer a Complaint?
A complaint can be answered by sending in a written statement to the court either explaining your side of the situation or by objecting to the complaint. It is required that you sign and date your answer and mail it into the Civil Division of the District Court within 21 days of receiving it. Once the court has received the answer, the case will be set up for a scheduling conference. Failing to answer the complaint will result in a default judgment. It is extremely important that you are aware of all court dates and are in attendance of them following your scheduling conference.
Do I need to hire an attorney?
You are not required to have an attorney for General Civil cases unless you are a corporation or an LLC. You may wish to hire an attorney if you are unfamiliar with the civil lawsuit process, Michigan Court Rules, and Michigan laws. If you choose to represent yourself, you are expected to abide by the requirements the same as an attorney would.
Why do I have a default judgment entered against me?
When you are served (either personally or by alternate service methods) you must respond in writing to the claims made against you within a certain time frame (either 21 days or 28 days depending on how you were served). When you fail to file this written response, you are considered to have defaulted, and the plaintiff may request to have a default judgment entered against you.
I have a default judgment entered against me. Can I have this set aside?
You may pay $20.00 to file a Motion to Set Aside the Default Judgment. Your motion will be held in front of a judge with the plaintiff in attendance as well. The judge will determine if the default judgment is to be set aside. Filing this motion does NOT guarantee the judgment will be set aside.
How do I set up payments on a garnishment?
Most all garnishments are served by the employer. In order to make payments on the garnishments, you must file a Motion for Installment Payments with the 56-B District Court. A filing fee of $20.00 will be assessed when you file the form. The Plaintiff will be notified and will give you an answer to your request. If the Plaintiff has no objection to the motion you filed, then the court will grant a judgment. If the Plaintiff does object, the case must be set up for a hearing.
Can I sue anyone in the 56-B District Court?
A suit can be brought in the 56-B District Court only if the claim arises out of an event that occurred in Barry County, or the Defendant resides in Barry County.