Magistrate (Traffic & Criminal Division)
The Magistrate’s Office, located in the basement of the courthouse, is the record keeper for all pending traffic, criminal and civil infraction filings. Also, civil ceremonies (weddings) are performed in this office as well as the small claim hearings.
The District Court Collections Department is located in the Magistrate’s Office with the exception of those defendants that are on District Court Probation, those defendants take up collection issues with that department, however, all payments with regard to traffic, criminal and civil infractions are made at this office.
Civil Infractions are paid at the Magistrate’s office in person, by mail, or by using GPS. You have 14 days from the violation date on the ticket to contact the court for the amount due and pay the fine.
Some of the more common civil infractions are:
Speeding 1-10 over $117.00
Speeding 11-15 over $127.00
Violation of Basic Speed Law (VBSL) $117.00
Seat Belt Violation Driver or Passenger $65.00
Violation of Child Restraint Law $86.00
No Proof of Insurance tickets are $130.00 unless valid proof of insurance for the date of offense is provided to the Court within 14 days of the violation date on the ticket, then in that case the fine is reduced to $25.00.
Defective Equipment tickets are $101.00 unless the defect is repaired and a police officer inspects and signs off the back of the ticket within 14 days of the violation date on the ticket and presented to the Court, then the fines and costs are waived.
Fail to Yield, Fail to Stop at Stop Sign, Fail to Stop in Assured Clear Distance (FSACD), Fail to Stop Red Light are $117.00.
Vehicle plate and registration violations are generally $112.00 except no proof of registration, if registration certificate is shown to the Magistrate’s office within 14 days of the violation date on the ticket and is valid for date of offense, the fines and costs are waived.
Careless Driving is $180.00
Parking tickets are $50.00
For all other violations you must call Magistrate’s Office.
Points that are associated with specific violations are the business of the Secretary of State office; you must contact your local branch office for more information.
Misdemeanors are considered criminal offenses and are deemed more serious than a Civil Infraction as the fine is higher, fingerprints may be required and may carry jail time. Traffic Misdemeanor tickets must be addressed at the Magistrate’s Office. Some violations can be handled by the Clerks however some violations require an arraignment. Not all Misdemeanor violations will be charged as a ticket. Some charges will come from the Prosecuting Attorney’s office. If you have received a ticket or a notice to appear for arraignment you should contact the Magistrate’s office with your questions.
Felony charges are the most serious. The Defendant is arraigned by the Magistrate, a bond is set bond and future court dates are scheduled. Felonies will not be issued as a ticket; a notice to appear may be mailed but generally the warrant is entered into LEIN (Law Enforcement Information Network) for the Defendant’s arrest. If you have received a Notice to Appear for Arraignment or have been arrested and posted bond for release from jail, you should contact the Magistrate’s office with your questions.
Formal hearings may be requested in person, by telephone or by representation within 14 days of the date of the ticket. The matter will be set for a Pre-trial and Formal hearing. The Pre-trial is held with a Prosecuting official and the Defendant or his Attorney. If the case isn’t settled at the Pre-trial and there is need for the Formal hearing, it will be held in the District Courtroom where the Judge presides over the proceedings. A Prosecuting Attorney will represent the State or the local municipality and the Defendant and/or his Attorney are present; witnesses may be subpoena’d.
Informal hearings may be requested in person or by telephone within 14 days of the date of the ticket. An Informal Hearing will be scheduled and presided over by the Magistrate. Informal hearings are attended by the Police Officer who wrote the ticket and the Defendant. Witnesses may be subpoena’d.
Minor in Possession/Consumption of Alcohol tickets are handled in the Magistrate’s office. First time offenders have the opportunity to participate in the MIP Deferral Program. This program gives opportunity for first time offenders to have this charge dismissed after a six month non-reporting probationary period with no new criminal offenses and successful completion of a Court approved first offender substance abuse program. If you received a ticket for Minor in Possession/Consumption of Alcohol a notice to appear for an arraignment will be mailed. These are scheduled on the last Wednesday of the month. Second time or subsequent offenders will be scheduled for an arraignment on a regular arraignment date and notice to appear will be mailed.
Arraignment is a formal reading of a criminal charging document in the presence of the defendant to inform the defendant of the charges against him or her, penalties are explained, defendant is advised of their rights, given opportunity for Court Appointed Counsel, bond is set and future hearing date(s) are scheduled.
Payments: The Court accepts cash, personal and business checks, money orders or payment through Government Payment Services Inc., using credit, debit & prepaid debit cards.
In accordance with MCR 1.110: Fines, costs, and other financial obligations imposed by the Court must be paid at the time of assessment, except when the Court allows otherwise, for good cause shown.
Small Claim hearings are presided over by the Magistrate. All filing and record keeping is performed by the District Court Clerks in Civil Division.
Weddings are performed by the Magistrate every Wednesday afternoon except the last Wednesday of every month. The fee for the ceremony is $10.00, you will need two witnesses at least 18 years of age and a marriage license. Marriage licenses are acquired from the County Clerk’s Office. You must call in advance to schedule an appointment.