What is Small Claims?
Small Claims is a dispute resolution option in the district
court for money dispute in the amount of $5,500 or less. The
Small Claims process is designed to expedite the resolution of
the dispute. To proceed under Small Claims rules, the parties
must agree to waive the right to a jury trial, right to attorney
representation and the right to appeal beyond District Court.
The information below has been prepared by the 47th District
court as a general overview of the Small Claims process. It is
not intended to take the place of professional legal advice.
The proper court in which to file your Small Claims actions is
where the other party lives, does business or where the incident
To file make sure you are bringing the claim against the
proper party and you have the defendant’s proper name and
address. You must have the correct address for the service of
To make a claim at the 47th District Court, complete and
bring the “Affidavit and Claim” form with the appropriate filing
fee and any other fee that applies to the 47th District Court
Civil Division. You may obtain the form from any District Court
or by clicking the link below.
Affidavit and Claim Form
Small Claims Filing Fees (SC)
|Up to $600
|$601 - $1,750
|$1751 - $5,500
The defendant must be served with the Small Claims Affidavit.
Service can be done by certified mail or by personal service.
Prices are per defendant.
Certified mail service must be completed by the Court.
Certified Mail Fees
|To a business
|To an individual
Service by a process server will be made by the Court
approved process server. If an incorrect address is provided,
the plaintiff may be invoiced an additional $10.00 fee by the
process server for attempted service at the incorrect address.
Process Server Fees
|To a business
|To an individual
Upon service, the defendant my file an answer to the
complaint within 21 days of service and must appear at the
scheduled hearing. If, as the defendant, you feel you have a
claim against the person suing you, you may file that
“counterclaim” in writing. The counterclaim may be served by
first class mail.
Either party may have the case moved from Small Claims to
Demand and Order For Removal Form
If the parties reach an agreement before trial, the plaintiff
should notify the Court prior to the hearing date that the case
If the plaintiff fails to appear for the scheduled hearing,
the case will be dismissed. If after proper service, the
defendant fails to appear for the scheduled hearing, a default
judgment will be entered against the defendant.
Each side should come prepared with any evidence and/or
witnesses needed to present his/her case. During the hearing
each party has an opportunity to present their case and
cross-examine the other party’s presentation.
A verdict in the plaintiff’s favor does not mean the
defendant will pay the judgment and the costs immediately. You
may have to take additional steps to obtain the money. In some
cases, success in collecting may depend on whether the other
party has the money to pay. If not, the effort and cost to file
and proceed may not be worth it.
Oakland County Mediation Center
550 Hulet Dr # 102, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302
Mediation is a dispute resolution alternative to filing a
court case. This non-profit Michigan Corporation provides
community mediation services to Oakland County residents.