Many municipalities have followed the Michigan Legislature in creating municipal civil infractions. These are violations of municipal ordinances that were once criminal misdemeanors and have been decriminalized to civil infractions. They have civil penalties, not criminal. The municipalities have then created violation bureaus that process the civil infraction notices. However, if a notice is not answered, a civil infraction ticket is issued and the matter is forwarded to the Court.
A person who receives a municipal civil infraction must answer the ticket either by admitting responsibility, admitting responsibility with an explanation, or by denying responsibility and requesting an informal or formal hearing. If the infraction is denied, an informal hearing is scheduled by the Court. If the infraction is admitted or admitted with explanation, the Court will impose a fine.
These infractions also allow either party (Plaintiff or Defendant) to request a formal hearing before the Judge. The Judge may impose both monetary and/or equitable sanctions such as orders to dispose of junk vehicles from the property within a prescribed period of time.
If a citizen receiving such a ticket does not answer the citation, the Court will enter a default judgment and the municipality may then pursue its legal remedies as if this were a regular civil case. Also, if a judgment is entered in favor of the municipality where the infraction involves the use of land, and if the judgment is not paid, the municipality may record the judgment as a lien against the land.
If you require special accommodations to use the court because of disabilities, please contact the court immediately to make arrangements.