73B District Court
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.
The 73B District has one district court judge: David B. Herrington, one attorney magistrate Jessica L. Testolin-Reinke, and a support staff of 10 full and part-time employees. The court has the following divisions:
Administration: handles public complaints and oversees the administration of the court. The Court Administrator for the 73B District Court is Megan Shedd.
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.
Magistrate Court: and Traffic Division deal with citations written by police departments, informal hearings, small claims hearings, and weddings.
Probation Division: conducts pre-sentence investigations, alcohol assessments, probation supervision, and probation violations.
Community Corrections: oversees some defendants on bond, and oversees some defendant’s after conviction.
The District Court has exclusive jurisdiction of civil matters involving claims not exceeding $25,000 in controversy, and:
landlord/tenant eviction proceedings
land contract forfeitures
garnishments and executions, and other related proceedings
The District Court has the exclusive jurisdiction over all criminal matters in which the maximum penalty does not exceed one year in jail. It also conducts preliminary examinations in all felony cases in which the penalty exceeds one year in jail. The preliminary exam is conducted to determine whether or not the prosecution has sufficient evidence to show probable cause that the defendant committed the crime charged. If the District Judge decides there is probable cause, the matter is bound over to Circuit Court for trial.
Traffic Division and Magistrate Division
The District Court also has the responsibility for all traffic violations involving civil infractions and misdemeanors such as speeding, careless driving, and reckless driving.
For civil infraction tickets (violation of state statute or local ordinance which imposes no jail time) the Magistrate Division takes pleas of responsible, not responsible, or responsible with explanation. The Magistrate Division of the District Court also handles all informal hearings, small claims hearings, approves or denies search warrants, arrest warrants, and may hold arraignments. The Attorney Magistrate, Jessica Testolin-Reinke, oversees all Magistrate matters.
Probation, which is granted by the judge, is a sentence feature that allows the offender to live in the community under the supervision of a probation officer. The 73B District Court has a Probation Officer, Jesse Osentoski, who oversees all matters dealing with probationers.