Civil Department

Small Claims


Small claims provides a forum that allows for resolving money disputes of up to $5,500. To start a small claims lawsuit, the cause of action for which you are suing must have occurred or the defendant you are suing must live or do business in the Township of Waterford. Small claims cases are an informal and speedy way to settle money disputes. Initial hearings in small claims court are before a mediator who attempts to resolve the matter before proceeding to a Judge. If you have a case in small claims court, you give up the right to have an attorney present in court, the right to a jury trial, and the right to appeal a Judge's decision. The cost of beginning a small claims lawsuit depends on the amount of the claim.

Landlord-Tenant


Landlord-tenant cases are intended to handle disputes between landlords and tenants occurring within the Township of Waterford. If you are renting a home, apartment, mobile home, or some other building from someone, you are a tenant. A landlord is the person who is renting the property to you. Both landlords and tenants have legal rights.

Actionable Cases


Landlord-tenant cases include such actions as the following:
  • Disputes
  • Health hazard or injury to premises
  • Land contract forfeitures
  • Non-payment of rent
  • Termination (eviction)
If you want to start an action against a landlord or tenant, you must begin by giving the proper notice and then filing the proper forms and paying the required fees at the clerk's office.
For more information, view the Landlord Tenant Filing Steps (PDF).


General Civil


General Civil cases include all lawsuits that are not small claims cases. The amount of a general civil claim can not exceed $25,000. Civil lawsuits for claims greater than $25,000 must be filed in circuit court. To start a general civil lawsuit, the cause of action must have occurred in Waterford or the defendant must reside in the Township of Waterford.

In addition to suing for monetary damages, if you want to sue for the return of possession, you can file a claim and delivery case to recover your item. In all general civil cases, unlike small claims, either party has the right to an attorney, the right to a jury trial, and the right to appeal the decision of the court. The cost for starting a general civil lawsuit depends on the amount of the claim.

Civil Department

51st District Court
5100 Civic Center Drive
Waterford, MI 48329

Department Supervisor
Jill Penfound

Phone: 248-618-7593
Fax: 248-674-4476