Understanding Michigan’s Court System
Here is a very cursory listing of some of Michigan’s courts and their primary functions. While these courts can deal in other matters, these are the scenarios in which you’ll most likely encounter them.
The Michigan Supreme Court – this is the highest court in our state, and is comprised of 7 Supreme Court justices. You get to the Michigan Supreme Court on appeal from any of Michigan’s appellate courts. The Supreme Court has the right to hear or decline a case; in the event that a case is declined, then the previous ruling remains unchanged.
The Michigan Court of Claims – this is the court that hears claims against the state. That’s when you are suing the state of Michigan and naming the state as the defendant in your lawsuit.
Probate Court – this is a court of limited jurisdiction. The probate court can only hear cases with regard to wills and the administration of trusts. There’s generally a probate court in each county (although some counties that have consolidated their probate courts).
The Court of Appeals – the court of appeals is Michigan’s intermediate court that hears cases on appeal from the circuit court. You can appeal from the circuit court as a matter of right, which means that you always have the option to appeal an unfavorable ruling.
Michigan District Court – if your lawsuit involves a misdemeanor conviction not to exceed a year of potential jail time, or a claim in damages less that $25,000, then you’ll find yourself in Michigan’s District Court. This is also where you’ll file for small claims (waiving a right to a trial by jury, waiving the right to a lawyer, and waiving the right to appeal the district judge’s decision).
In whatever court you find yourself, our law firm is here for you. Goodwin & Scieszka is a personal injury firm located in Southfield, Michigan that specializes in:
If you’ve been injured, our firm will help you get the recovery you deserve.