616-632-5700 Location Map

COVID-19 Updates

November 19, 2020

In accordance with Administrative Order 2020-14, effective May 6, 2020, the State Court
Administrative Office has directed the court that it must return to a Phase I Reopen Plan
pursuant to a revised SCAO Return to Full Capacity Guide in response to a COVID surge in the
State of Michigan.

Chief Judge Michael Distel of the 61 st District Court –Grand Rapids, with the approval of the
State Court Administrative Office, has entered a revised Phase I Plan effective November 23,
2020.

Specifically:

  1. The court shall be closed for all courthouse activities to the public except those listed
    beginning November 23, 2020 except for the following essential operations until December
    31, 2020:
    • Criminal matters involving incarcerated defendants, including trials and sentencings.
    • Video arraignments
    • Walk-in arraignments for felonies
    • Preliminary examinations
    • Specialty Courts sanction only cases
    • Other emergency proceedings as necessary
    • Those who do not have the ability to connect remotely
  2. Other Civil proceedings and Criminal proceedings will be conducted virtually to the
    maximum extent possible, consistent with Administrative Order No. 2020-6.
  3. Walk-In hearings will only be held on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons and Thursday
    mornings.
  4. Off-site visits with probationers and clients will not resume.
  5. Pursuant to MCR 8.110(C), members of the public or staff who refuse to wear required face
    coverings or adhere to social distancing requirements may be asked to leave the court facility.
  6. Any member of the public who is asked to leave the court facility must be offered an
    opportunity to conduct court business virtually, attend court proceedings virtually, file
    documents in an alternative manner, or confer with court administration to determine
    alternate arrangements for accessing the court.
  7. Wedding ceremonies are not being performed at this time.

Additionally:

  1. Those individuals that are not a defendant, plaintiff, witness, victim or attorney should
    refrain from attending these essential operation proceedings.
  2. Court payments may be made utilizing online-payments during this crisis. Payments can be
    made at www.grcourt.org or by calling 855.292.8925. Payments can also be mailed in to
    District Court Clerk’s Office, Suite 1400, 180 Ottawa NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.
  3. Access to court records can be made utilizing the Record Search function at
    www.grcourt.org
  4. Court window services will be closed except for payment and collections and check-in for
    felony arraignments.  All new cases regarding Landlord Tenant (LT), General Civil (GC), and
    Small Claims (SC) will only be accepted in the mail or they may be deposited in the Civil Drop
    box located outside the entrance to Suite 1400, which is located by Hearing Room 1A toward
    the back of the 1 st floor of the Courthouse.

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
Announcements
Victim Impact Panel Notice
In order to reduce the risk posed to the public, court staff, and other stakeholders, while protecting public safety and the legal rights of our citizens, the Court has determined that we cannot continue our Victim Impact Panel any time in the foreseeable future. We understand that ideally having someone in person and local is more impactful, but in looking at the changes that we would need to make currently in order to run these panels it would be impractical.
Click Here to Read the Full Notice

Cases
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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