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 recent 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 April 19, 2021.
- The court shall be closed for all courthouse activities to the public except those listed beginning April 19, 2021 except for the following essential operations until further notice:
- Criminal matters involving incarcerated defendants, including trials and sentencing’s.
- 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
- Walk-in proceeding will continue to be conducted remotely utilizing Zoom
- Other Civil proceedings and Criminal proceedings will be conducted virtually to the maximum extent possible, consistent with Administrative Order No. 2020-6.
- Off-site visits with probationers and clients will not resume.
- 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.
- 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.
- Wedding ceremonies are not being performed at this time.
- Those individuals that are not a defendant, plaintiff, witness, victim or attorney should refrain from attending these essential operation proceedings.
- Access to court records can be made utilizing the Record Search function at grcourt.org.
- Court window services will remain open for payment and collections and check-in for felony arraignments. Also for new cases regarding Landlord Tenant (LT), General Civil (GC), and Small Claims (SC).
- Court payments may also be made utilizing online-payments. Payments can be made at 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.
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.
- June 8, 2020: Chief Judge Michael J. Distel, acting pursuant Supreme Court Administrative Order No. 2020-14 , effective May 6, 2020 with approval of the State Court Administrative Office (SCAO), has issued Local Administrative Order 2020 – 03 (Phase One Court Reopening Plan)
- April 24, 2020: Chief Judge Michael J. Distel orders that the 61st District Court shall suspend all operations beginning March 18, 2020 – May 15, 2020.
- April 9, 2020: Chief Judge Michael J. Distel orders that the 61st District Court shall suspend all operations beginning March 18, 2020 – May 1, 2020.
- March 23, 2020: Chief Judge Michael J. Distel orders that the 61st District Court shall suspend all operations beginning March 18, 2020 – April 12, 2020.
- March 18, 2020: Chief Judge Michael J. Distel orders that the 61st District Court shall suspend all operations beginning March 18-April 5, 2020.
- March 16, 2020: Chief Judge Michael J. Distel announced additional actions being taken by the 61st District Court to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- March 13, 2020: Chief Judge Michael J. Distel announced the following actions being taken by the 61st District Court to help prevent the spread of COVID-19
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
- Civil Cases ( < $25,000)
- Small Claims ( < $6,500)
- Land Contract Forfeitures
- Misdemeanor Criminal
- Felony Criminal Arraignments & Preliminary Exams