Filing a Suit in Small Claims Court
If you have a dispute with a person or business that you cannot resolve through mediation, you can file a claim against them in the Small Claims Division of District Court.
To start the case, you must file an Affidavit and Claim Form with the District Court. The form is available at the 81st District Court window in the Alcona County Building, or you can print the form and instructions from the link above, fill it out, and take it to the court.
You must file your case in the city or county where the transaction or dispute took place, or where the person or business you are suing is located. If your complaint involves more than one person or business, the suit may be filed in the District Court where any of the persons live, or where any of the businesses operate.
The cost of filing a lawsuit in the Small Claims Division of District Court is:
$25 for claims up to $600;
$45 for claims over $600 and up to $1,750;
$65 for claims over $1,750 and up to $5,000.
The party filing the claim, also known as the plaintiff, is responsible for paying the filing fee and other required fees, which could include postage or service fees. Be prepared to pay all fees when you file your claim. In some cases, the amount of the fees may be included as part of the judgment against the defendant if the judge decides in your favor. Once you have filed your suit, the court will notify the other party that you have filed a lawsuit against them and the scheduled date of their court appearance.
In some cases, the defendant may offer to settle out of court after learning you have filed a suit. If you decide to settle your case out of court, you can either voluntarily dismiss your lawsuit or obtain a judgment. If you want an enforceable judgment, the terms of your agreement must be submitted in writing and signed by both the plaintiff and the defendant. A copy of the agreement must be filed with the court.