District Courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. “Limited jurisdiction” means that a court is only able to hear certain types of cases. The most common types of cases heard in District Court are misdemeanor criminal cases and landlord/tenant cases. The District Court also hears civil cases if the relief being requested is less than $25,000.00, small claims cases if the relief being requested is less than $3,000.00, as well as municipal ordinance violations.
District Courts also conduct preliminary hearings on felony criminal hearings.
There are 98 districts in the State of Michigan and these districts contain 105 District Courts. Ottawa County is home to the 58th District Court. The 58th District Court has three locations:
- 414 Washington Avenue, Grand Haven, MI 49417
- 85 W. 8th Street, Holland, MI 49423
- 3100 Port Sheldon Road, Hudsonville, MI 49426
Unlike District Courts, Circuit Courts are courts of general jurisdiction. “General jurisdiction” means that the court has the power to hear all types of civil and criminal cases, with the exception being cases that are only heard in special administrative hearings or federal courts.
Circuit courts have “original jurisdiction” over civil case involving more than $25,000.00 and felonies, or misdemeanors that carry a jail sentence greater than one year. The circuit court also hears appeals from the District Court, zoning appeals, Secretary of State appeals, and certain other appeals from administrative hearings.
The Family Division of the Circuit Court handles all domestic relations issues, including divorce, child support, spousal support, and parenting time. The Friend of the Court offers assistance with these cases when children are involved, and is located in the Grand Haven courthouse, with office hours in Holland as well. The Family Division/Juvenile Services is located at the Fillmore complex in West Olive and handles all juvenile delinquency, neglect/abuse, emancipation, consent/release of parental rights and child protective proceedings.
Ottawa County Circuit Court is located at 414 Washington Avenue, Grand Haven, MI 49417.
A major function of the Probate Court is the administration of deceased estates. It is the court’s task to interpret wills in the event of uncertainty or conflict over the will’s meaning. The court may also determine rights to an estate where the person has died “intestate” (without a will). This function of the court demonstrates one of the important purposes of courts in our society — they make a formal record of the legal status of property. The Probate Court is responsible for appointing guardians and conservators for incapacitated adults and minors who cannot make responsible decisions about themselves or their property.
The Family Division/Juvenile Services and the Probate Court Division of the Ottawa County Circuit Court are located at 12120 Fillmore Street, West Olive, MI 49460.
Court Forms for Filing
Forms can be printed for all local courts by accessing the State Court Administrative Website: courts.mi.gov. Within this directory, forms will be categorized by general types of cases.
For information on the federal court system, go to: www.uscourts.gov. Ottawa County is located in the Western District of Michigan. Go to miwd.uscourts.gov for more information on our U.S. district court.