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COVID-19 Updates

March 23, 2020

Chief Judge Michael J. Distel recognizing the states of emergency declared by the President and the Governor, hereby orders that the 61st District Court shall suspend all operations beginning March 18, 2020 – April 12, 2020, except for the following:

  • Felony and misdemeanor arraignments of defendants held in custody (conducted by video);
  • Arraignments on felonies and serious criminal offenses for individuals released from custody prior to video arraignment (as ordered by the Court at the time of release from custody);
  • Probable Cause Conferences;
  • Scheduled Preliminary Examinations;
  • Trials for incarcerated individuals;
  • Sentencing for incarcerated individuals;
  • Other emergency proceedings as necessary.

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About 61st District Court

Located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the 61st District Court has six judges and one full-time, law trained magistrate. The Court hears cases which arise within the boundary of the City of Grand Rapids.

A district court has exclusive jurisdiction of all civil litigation up to $25,000. and handles garnishments, eviction proceedings, land contract and mortgage foreclosures, and other proceedings. In the criminal field, district court handles all misdemeanors where punishments do not exceed one year, including arraignment, setting and acceptance of bail, trial and sentencing; and conducts preliminary examinations in felony cases. Also, a small claims division is provided in district court for civil cases where the amount claimed is not more than $6,000. In these cases, litigants agree to waive their right to a jury, rules of evidence, representation by a lawyer, and the right to appeal from the district judge’s decision. If either party objects, the case will be heard by the general civil division of the district court.

Media Releases
61st District Court - Kent County, Michigan

Victim Impact Panel Notice: The panels scheduled for March 17 and April 7, 2020, have been cancelled. With the threat of the coronavirus continuing to grow, we are exercising precaution for our participants and speakers.

The District Court handles the following cases:

  • Civil Cases ( < $25,000)
  • Small Claims ( < $6,000)
  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Land Contract Forfeitures
  • Misdemeanor Criminal
  • Felony Criminal Arraignments & Preliminary Exams
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