Civil Division

The 40th District Court Civil Division is composed of three distinct case types:
- General Civil
- Landlord/Tenant
Small Claims

*For information on forms, fees, Court Officers/service, please visit the pages on the side tabs of the website.*

General Civil Cases

  • Lawsuits involving $25,000 or less
  • Disputes between two or more parties
  • Everyone has the right to hire their own attorney
  • Everyone has the right to a jury trial (with the exception of small claims)
  • Everyone has the right to appeal, however small claims can only be appealed from Magistrate to a Judge; A Judge's ruling is final.
  • Corporations must be represented by an attorney
The Process of Starting A General Civil Suit:
  • Ensure proper party name and address
  • Prepare "Summons & Complaint" forms: MC01 & MC01a
  • Pay a filing fee (check, money order, cash)
  • Serve the defendant by certified mail or process server
  • Confirm the case is started in the correct District Court (defendant's city of residence or city in which the action took place)
  • 40th District Court serves the community of St. Clair Shores

Landlord & Tenant 

Landlord Tenant- An association between two individuals arising from an agreement by which one individual occupies the other's real property with permission, subject to a rental fee.

The term "landlord" refers to a person who owns property and allows another person to use it for a fee. The person using the property is called a "tenant". The agreement between a landlord and a tenant is called a lease or rental agreement. 

Filing a Landlord/Tenant Case In The 40th District Court:
When filing a Landlord/Tenant case in the 40th District Court, you must submit the following:

  • Summons Packet (MCL 600.5735)
  • Complaint Packet (non-payment of rent (DC 102a), to recover possession of property (DC 102c)
  • Original Notice to Quit (7 Day or 30 Day Notice), plus five (5) copies
  • A self-addressed stamped envelope
  • A stamped envelope addressed to the Defendant
  • Check made payable to "40th District Court" for Filing Fee (See Fee Schedule Page)
  • Check made payable to "40th District Court Officer" for Service Fee ($27 per defendant)
  • Summons Packet, Complaint Packet, and Original Notice to Quit, as listed above PLUS two (2) additional copies of each for every additional Defendant. Please list all defendants on each summons and complaint (Example: For two Defendants, you need the Summons and Complaint Packet plus two (2) additional copies, the Original Notice to Quit plus five (5) copies, etc.) 
  • A self-addressed stamped envelope
  • An individual stamped envelope addressed to each Defendant
  • Check made payable to "40th District Court" for Filing Fee (See Fee Schedule Page)
  • Check made payable to "40th District Court Officer" for Service Fee ($27 per defendant)

$1 - $600------------------------------$90.00
$601 - $1,750------------------------$110.00
$1,751 - $10,000--------------------$130.00

    ** There is a $20.00 Motion Fee for any Motions filed which must be paid at the time of filing**

PAYMENT- The 40th District Court accepts Cash, Money Order, Cashier's Check, Check

*Any forms and necessary copies or envelopes that are not complete will be returned. You must have all copies with you when you file your case. The court does not provide copies or envelopes to you. The court staff is not permitted to assist in filling out any forms. Any questions you may have must be directed to an attorney*

Small Claims

You may file a lawsuit in small claims court for up to $6,500.00 only if the the action took place in St. Clair Shores, or the defendant resides in St. Clair Shores. If your claim is more than $6,500.00, and you still elect to file in small claims court, you waive your right to collect more than that amount. 

If you file a lawsuit to recover for damage to your motor vehicle arising out of an automobile accident if the other driver is at fault, you are limited to that amount not otherwise covered by your insurance up to $1,000.00 if the defendant had insurance at the time of the accident. 

When you file in small claims court, you give up or waive the following rights:
  • The right to be represented by an attorney 
  • The right to have a jury trial
  • The right to appeal the final decision of the court (unless the case is heard by an attorney/magistrate)

Actions Excluded From Small Claims FIling

  • Fraud
  • Libel- a published false statement that is damaging to a person's reputation 
  • Slander
  • Assault/Battery
  • Intentional Torts
Dishonored checks & Consumer Protection actions are allowed in Small Claims

See MCL 600.8424 

*Download Small Claims Forms Here*

Click here for Information on Collecting on a Small Claims Judgement