Welcome to District Court
82nd Judicial District Court
82nd District Court
Honorable Richard E. Noble
806 W. Houghton Avenue
P.O. Box 365
West Branch, MI 48661
Fax (989) 345-5910
The 82nd District Court was created by the State of Michigan in 1969. Prior to that judicial matters were adjuicated by a Justice of the Peace.
Judges who have served in 82nd District Court are:
Richard E. Noble 1997 - Present
Paul T. Dwyer, Jr. 1991 - 1996
Joel I. Mills 1975 - 1991
Edwin S. Barlett 1969 - 1975
Citizens have more contact with the district court than any other court in the state.
District court has exclusive jurisdiction of all civil litigation up to $25,000.00, including landlord-tenant proceedings, land contract forfeitures, small claims, and other summary proceedings.
In the criminal field, district court handles all misdemeanors where punishment does not exceed one year, including the arraignment, setting and acceptance of bail, trial and sentencing. The district court also conducts preliminary examinations in felony cases.
A small claims division for civil cases up to $3,000.00 is provided in district court. 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.
District judges may appoint magistrates. Magistrates may set bail and accept bond in criminal matters; accept guilty pleas; and sentence for traffic, motor carrier, and snowmobile violations and dog, game, and marine law violations. The magistrate may also issue search warrants, and arrest warrants authorized by the prosecutor or municipal attorney. Attorney magistrates may hear small claims cases. Magistrates may, at the direction of the chief judge, perform other duties allowed by statute.
District judges are elected for six-year terms on non-partisian ballots, under the same requirements as circuit judges. The Legislature sets their salaries which may be supplemented by local governments.