FAQs

Did You Know?

  • The City of Southfield was the first city in the State of Michigan to hold a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Walk Celebration in commemoration of the first national holiday observance in 1986.

  • The City of Southfield has more than 700 acres of park land as well as two public nine-hole golf courses. 

  • Southfield Flower Day was developed by the Mayor and City Council to promote curb appeal and beautification efforts throughout the City of Southfield.

  • There are 32 miles of rivers and streams in Southfield, and the City hosted the 1st annual Rouge River Cleanup over 35 years ago.

General Information

Civil/Small Claims

Felony/Misdemeanor

Civil Infraction


What are the court's business hours?
The counter hours are 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m, Monday through Friday. The court is closed on legal holidays. Back to top

Where are you located?
The 46th District Court is located at the Southfield Municipal Complex, 26000 Evergreen Road at Civic Center Drive, between the John Lodge and I-696 Expressways. Use the Evergreen exit from either expressway. Back to top

I was just served a summons and complaint. What do I do next?
If you have been served with a summons, you must file an answer to the complaint within 21 days of receiving the summons. An answer is a written response to the complaint. The answer must be filed at court and a copy must be sent to the plaintiff or plaintiff's attorney. Back to top

How do I know which court to file my case in?
Proper venue is determined by where the defendant (party being sued) is located or conducts business. The 46th District Court has jurisdiction over Southfield, Lathrup Village, Franklin, Bingham Farms and Beverly Hills. In the case of a tort action, venue may be determined by where the incident occurred. Back to top

What is the maximum amount I can claim in a general civil suit?
The jurisdictional limit for a general civil suit is $25,000.00. Back to top

I was just served a summons and complaint. Do I need an attorney?
Michigan law requires all corporations, limited liability companies and partnerships to be represented by an attorney. If you are being sued individually, you may be represented by an attorney if you choose. Back to top

I received a default judgement in the mail. What can I do?
If you disagree with the default judgement, you may file a motion to have it set aside. There is a form available at the court for parties wishing to set aside a default judgement. If you believe the judgement is correct and would like to make payments, you may file a petition for installment payments. The form is available at the court. Back to top

Can I stop a garnishment?
If you believe a garnishment was improperly issued, you may file an objection to the garnishment. The form is available at the court. Parties may also petition for installment payments in response to a periodic (wage) garnishment. Please be advised that until the court enters an order, a periodic garnishment remains in effect. The filing of an objection to a garnishment or petition for installment payments does not cancel the garnishment. The court may take two to three weeks to enter an order. Back to top

What are the filing fees?
See the fee schedule. Back to top

Is there a motion fee?
There is a $20 motion fee.  Back to top

What is an arraignment?
An arraignment is a hearing whereby a defendant is informed of the charges against him/her, is appointed counsel if necessary and is permitted to plead to the charges. Pretrial motions may be made and bail is set. Back to top

When can I appear for an arraignment?
Arraignments on misdemeanor tickets and warrants are held Monday thru Friday at 8:30 a.m. You will not be allowed to check in after 9 a.m. Back to top

Do you have night court or weekend court?
No, the court is open for business Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Back to top

What is an expungement?
Setting aside a conviction removes an adult Michigan criminal conviction from the public record of the Michigan State Police and the court, and is sometimes referred to as an expungement.  Back to top

How can I request an expungement of a misdemeanor?
Before you can file an application to set aside a conviction, you must first obtain a certified copy of the conviction. You must appear in person at the court and fill out a file/copy request form. There is an $11.00 certification fee paid to the 46th District Court.

Please allow for a 1-2 week processing time. Once you have obtained a certified copy of the conviction, you must appear in court to file an application to set aside conviction. Additional instructions will be provided at that time. Back to top

If I posted bond for a defendant, when can I expect a refund?
A bond refund check will be issued by the court once a final disposition has been entered by the court. Back to top

I received a ticket for Expired Plates, but I have now renewed my tags. Can I have the ticket waived?
Expired Plates is not a waivable offense; the fine is $130.  You may write a letter asking for consideration if the plates have been renewed.  Back to top

I received a ticket for No Operator's License on Person, but I have a valid driver's license. What should I do?
To have a ticket for No Operator's License waived, you must present your valid driver's license to a police officer within 14 days of the citation issue date to have the police officer sign the back of the ticket. You must then bring the signed ticket to the court within 14 days of the citation issue date. The court will waive the fines and costs. Back to top

How do I schedule an informal or formal hearing?
To request an informal hearing, call the court within 14 days, mail a written request or sign the back of the violation checking "admit with explanation" or "deny responsibility" and mail it to the court within 14 days. A notice of hearing will be mailed to you.

To request a formal hearing, send a written request to the court or have your attorney file an appearance. A notice of hearing will be mailed to you. Back to top

What is the difference between an informal and a formal hearing?
A magistrate presides over an informal hearing. The office and the defendant are present. Attorneys may not represent either party at an informal hearing. The proceedings are not on the record.

A district judge presides over a formal hearing. The city or state is represented by an attorney. The defendant may represent his/herself or may retain an attorney. The proceedings are on the record. Back to top

May I write a personal check to pay my fine?
The court will accept a personal check unless your operator's license is suspended. Back to top

May I use a credit card to pay my fine?
Yes, all credit/debit/check card transactions will be processed through Gov$wipe and will be charged an additional transaction fee.  The court accepts MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express.  Back to top

How many points is this ticket and how long will they stay on my driving record?
Points stay on your driving record for two years. You may call the Civil Infraction Division at (248) 796-5860 for individual violation point assessment. Back to top

I missed my court date for my traffic ticket. What should I do?
If you missed your court date, the court will enter a default judgement against you and assess a $35.00 late fee.

If you would like to reschedule your hearing, you must file a motion to set aside the default judgement and post a bond. The form is not available at the court, but you may explain in writing why you failed to appear and file your explanation with the court. The bond amount shall be the original fines on your violation plus a $35.00 late fee and must be posted in cash. If your motion is granted, you will receive a notice of hearing with your new court date. If your motion is denied, you will be notified in writing.

If you do not wish to reschedule, you may pay the original fines on your violation plus a $35.00 late fee. Payment must be received within 14 days of the default judgment to avoid additional penalties and fees. Back to top