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Departments > 51st District Court > Civil

51st District Court

Civil Department

PDF Icon Collecting Money from a Small Claims Judgment


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 trail, and the right to appeal a Judge's decision.  The cost of beginning a small claims lawsuit depends on the amount of the claim.  Please see the list of civil fees above.


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.  Landlord-Tenant cases include such actions as the following: Non payment of rent, Termination (Eviction), Health hazard or injury to premises, land contract forfeitures and disputes.  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.  Please see the list of civil fees above.

View Landlord Tenant Filing Steps

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.  Please see the list of civil fees above.