The court has three judges, three part-time
magistrates and a full support staff to provide quality judicial services to southeast Michigan residents within their
jurisdiction. It is comprised
of four divisions: Civil, Criminal, Traffic, and Probation.
The current judges of the 52nd
District Court, 3rd Division are the Honorable Julie A. Nicholson, Honorable Nancy T. Carniak, and the Honorable Lisa L. Asadoorian. Parties to a case should not have direct contact with a judge via email or telephone.
52-3 is separated into 4 primary divisions including:
- Traffic Division deals with citations written by police departments.
- Civil Division handles cases that involve money or damage claims, and landlord/tenant disputes.
- Criminal Division processes
paperwork from police departments, state law and ordinance prosecutors.
Cases involve misdemeanor offenses, both traffic and non-traffic.
Department responsible for supervision of probationers, conducting pre-sentence
investigations, alcohol assessments, and probation violation hearings.
The District Court, which was established by the Michigan Legislature in 1968 pursuant to constitutional mandate,
has more citizen contact than any other court in our judicial system. Of the 258 District Court Judges in the State of
Michigan, 33 are located in Oakland County, with three of those Judges
currently sitting in the 3rd Division of the 52nd District Court.
Robert L. Shipper was elected in 1968 to serve as the first Judge of the 52nd
District Court, 3rd Division. In 1974, the Michigan State
Legislature and the Oakland County Board of Commissioners authorized a second
judgeship. In 1975, the Honorable Mildred A. Vlaich was elected to the
bench. On January 1, 1981, the Honorable James P. Sheehy was elected to
serve the community. In 1988, a third judgeship was authorized and the
Honorable Ralph H. Nelson was elected to the bench.
The District Court has
exclusive jurisdiction of civil matters involving claims
not exceeding $25,000 in the following areas:
- Landlord/tenant eviction proceedings
- Land contract forfeitures
- Garnishments and executions, and other related proceedings
District Court also hears cases
assigned by the Circuit Court on civil matters where claims
The District Court has
the exclusive jurisdiction over all criminal matters where the maximum
does not exceed one year in jail. It also conducts preliminary
examinations in all felony cases where
penalty exceeds one year confinement. The preliminary exam is
conducted to determine whether or not the prosecution has sufficient
evidence to show the probability the defendant committed the crime
charged. If the District Judge decides there is probable cause, the
matter is sent to Circuit Court for trial.
District Court also has the responsibility for all traffic violations
involving civil infractions and misdemeanors such as speeding, reckless
driving and operating while intoxicated.
The 3rd Division of the 52nd District Court, located in Rochester, serves the following communities: