(CENTREVILLE) – A special event is being held this Friday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the District Court system in Michigan.
Tabitha Wedge, St. Joseph County District Court Administrator and Magistrate, says the event will be at 3 PM in the 3B District Court, located at 125 West Main Street in Centreville.
Legislation was passed in 1968 to create the District Court system. Most courts began operation on January 1, 1969. The 3B District Court started with Judge William McManus and Court Administrator/Magistrate David Richer. Judge William Welty was elected in 2001 and served as the second District Court Judge.
Currently elected and serving are Chief Judge Jeffrey C. Middleton and Robert K. Pattison.
The District Court is often referred to as “The People's Court” because the public has more contact with the District Court than with any other court in the State, because many people go to District Court without an attorney.
District Court has exclusive jurisdiction over all civil claims for damages up to $25,000, including small claims, landlord-tenant disputes, land contract disputes and civil infractions.
In addition, District Courts handle a wide range of criminal proceedings, including most misdemeanors, offenses for which the maximum penalty does not exceed one year in jail. It also will conduct preliminary examinations in felony cases.
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