Below are some of the general Frequently Asked Questions that we receive at the 52-4 District Court. For frequently asked questions related to specific subjects, select one of the following links:
What tickets can I pay online?
- You may pay tickets online if you wish to admit responsibility without an explanation (on certain civil infraction tickets).
- If your ticket is in default, you may not use this service.
- If you wish to deny responsibility, please see statement regarding informal hearing requests in the Traffic section.
When can I pay my ticket?
Between the hours of 8:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Court is NOT closed for lunch.
Who should I make my check or money order payable to?
What is the difference between a Magistrate and a Judge?
A Magistrate is an attorney who only hears traffic, small claims, and arraignment cases. They are hired by the court.
Judges are elected officials who hear all types of cases.
Do you take filing via fax?
Yes we do. The fax number is 248-528-3588.
What is a waivable ticket?
- Defective Equipment
- No proof of registration
- No Operator's License
If you have an officer sign off your ticket and return it to the Court by the specified date, the fines and costs will be waived. You are still responsible/guilty of the offense and if it is a reportable offense to the Secretary of State, it will go on your driving record. Defective Equipment and No Proof of Registration are not reportable to the Secretary of State. No Operator's License is reportable, but no points are assessed.
What is an Informal Hearing?
An Informal Hearing consists of the Magistrate, the respondent and the police officer who issued the ticket. Attorneys are not allowed to participate in an Informal Hearing. Both individuals are placed under oath and the Magistrate listens to the testimony. The burden of proving the defendant responsible is on the police officer, who is also called the Plaintiff.
The Plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of the evidence, or that it is more likely than not, that the respondent is responsible for the alleged traffic violation. The respondent is also entitled to testify, including having witnesses testify on his/her behalf. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Magistrate will make a determination of responsible or not responsible. If either party is not satisfied with the outcome, the case may be appealed within seven days of the Informal Hearing to a Formal Hearing which will then be sent to the Traffic Division and held before a District Judge. If the decision is appealed by the Respondent, a cash bond must be posted in the amount of the fine. A notice of the Formal Hearing will be mailed to the respondent within approximately two months.
What is a Formal Hearing?
A Formal Hearing is held before a District Court Judge. At the Formal Hearing, the respondent may be represented by an attorney, and the Prosecutor will represent the Plaintiff's case.
What happens if you do not respond to a ticket by the date specified?
If a denial of responsibility or payment is not made by the date specified, or if the respondent fails to appear for a scheduled hearing, a Default Judgment is entered. Once a Default Judgment is entered, a $25.00 default fee is added to the price of the ticket. Within 14 days of being notified of the Default Judgment, the respondent must either pay the fine, plus the $25.00 default fee, or file a Motion to Set Aside the Default Judgment.
How do you file a Motion to Set Aside a Default Judgment?
You must fill out the Motion to Set Aside a Default Judgment form with your explanation of why you feel you should be allowed to set aside the default. A cash bond must be posted in the amount of the ticket, plus the $25.00 default fee and the form within 14 days of being notified of the default.
If the Magistrate grants the motion, a Formal Hearing will be scheduled and you will be sent a notice of the Formal Hearing within approximately two months. If the Magistrate denies the motion, the default will stand and the bond that you have posted will be applied to the ticket and the matter will be closed.