Answers to frequently asked questions about Informal Hearings. You may also request an Informal Hearing online.
How do I get my Informal Hearing rescheduled or adjourned?
You are allowed one adjournment of the original hearing date. The officer is also allowed this opportunity. No adjournments will be allowed within seven (7) days of the scheduled hearing date.
What happens if I fail to appear for my Informal Hearing?
The Court will enter a default judgment against you. This means that the Court will automatically find you responsible for the infraction charged, set the fine and costs, and mail you a judgment notice. The Court rules allow you one opportunity to set the Default Judgment aside and schedule a new hearing.
How do I defend myself at the hearing?
You may testify on your own behalf, have witnesses testify on your behalf, and ask questions of the witnesses against you. It is expected that any questioning will be concise, courteous and not argumentative. Remember that the hearing is your "day in court", so come prepared. Have your defense and questions ready.
How do I get my witnesses to appear?
You may ask them to appear voluntarily, or if necessary, you may use the subpoena power of the court to obtain their attendance. Subpoena forms may be obtained from the Court Clerk. You are responsible for paying witnesses who appear on your behalf, unless the witness agrees to waive fees. Current witness fees are set by statute; they are $6.00 per half-day, plus $.10 per mile traveled to and from the hearing.
May the citing officer bring witnesses?
What are the possible outcomes of an Informal Hearing?
You may be found not responsible, responsible, or responsible for a lesser infraction than the one charged.
What are the payment procedures?
If you are found responsible on the scheduled Informal Hearing date, be prepared to immediately pay all fines and costs in full -- Michigan Court Rule 1.110. You may pay using cash, check, money order, Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover.
Do I have the right to an appeal?
If the Magistrate finds you responsible after an Informal Hearing, you have the right to appeal to a Formal Hearing before the District Judge. A cash appeal bond equal to the fines and costs imposed by the Magistrate must be posted in person within seven (7) days. Either side may appeal.