Thursday, June 27, 2019

Civil / Small Claims

The District Division of the Isabella County Trial Court has jurisdiction over Small Claims (claims not exceeding $5,000.00), General Civil Complaints (claims not exceeding $25,000), Landlord-Tenant disputes and Land Contract forfeitures.

The Isabella County Trial Court provides an informational brochure regarding the Small Claims process. A copy of this brochure may be obtained at Windows #3 or #5 of the Isabella County Courthouse, 300 North Main, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

For further information contact the Civil Division Coordinator at (989) 317-4219.

Landlord / Tenant Disputes

Information regarding Landlord and Tenants rights may be obtained by the following:

  • There is a Self-Help Section located on the Michigan State Court's Website which will take you through the proper steps to process a Landlord-Tenant case in District Court. This site includes all the necessary forms for this procedure.
    A booklet titled "A Practical Guide for Tenants and Landlords" may be obtained by contacting the office of State Representative, Kevin Cotter, for the 99th District, at (517) 373-1789

    The Michigan Legislature's website has information for Tenants and Landlords. Visit their site at (click on publications and scroll down to Tenant and Landlord)

    For further information, contact the Civil Division Coordinator, at (989) 317-4219.

Alternative Program for Dispute Resolution (Facilitation/Conciliation)

The Isabella County Trial Court is pleased to introduce our Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program. Our goal is to refer all small claims, landlord tenant disputes, and other cases into dispute resolution on the day of the hearing. This program is specifically designed to resolve issues pertaining to small claims and landlord tenant disputes and is available to all court users.

After analyzing historical trends, we’ve concluded the majority of cases filed in our Court relating to small claims and landlord tenant disputes can be settled efficiently and effectively through the facilitation process. While we recognize everyone has the right to have a matter heard by the Court, we strongly encourage you to participate in this extremely effective mediation program. Our ADR Coordinator and Civil Division Coordinator will assist you in all stages of the process.

All facilitators are trained and experienced professionals meeting or exceeding state standards. The process usually involves one or more sessions with a trained and/or experienced facilitator who acts as a catalyst for dispute resolution. The facilitator asks questions, helps define issues, opens channels of communication, and assists in generating alternative settlements proposals and solutions. The facilitator does not evaluate or place a monetary value on the dispute.

Advantages for participants: direct control over resolution of the dispute, direct influence over the outcome, cost management, written agreements which are enforceable, provides greater speed in resolution of the dispute, no penalties if an agreement is not reached, does not prevent further court action, cases are held confidential. ADR provides clients, attorneys, and organizations greater flexibility in resolving disputes and is a win-win situation for all parties.

Typical cases for facilitation include: merchant/consumer, landlord/tenant, professional/client, neighborhood disputes, victim/offender, school, property damage, contested estates, family/sibling, farmers, guardianship, probate/juveniles, divorce, domestic relation disputes or other civil disputes, as evaluated by the Civil Division Coordinator, ADR Coordinator, and local community trained volunteers.

The filing process will not change. In electing to participate in this program, you and the other party(ies) will be given an opportunity to resolve your dispute. On the day of the hearing, the parties will meet with community based facilitators in an effort to resolve the dispute in a manner that is acceptable to both parties. Depending on the outcome of the session, the court would then prepare a Consent Judgment, Dismissal, or extend your case to allow settlement terms or case action to occur. During this period, court staff and the case facilitators will be available to assist you in settling your claim.

For further information regarding the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program contact the following coordinators:

Julie Willoughby, Civil Division Coordinator
(989) 317-4219

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