Detroit, MI – Katie Jory, Associate Attorney, attended the 36th District Court Landlord Tenant Bench/Bar Meeting held at the court house on January 24, 2018. Highlighted below are the details of the meeting that were shared during the informative session.
1. Witnesses Required: Effective IMMEDIATELY, ALL judges will abide by the policy that Judge Miller has regarding Plaintiff witnesses. If Defendant is ready to go to trial, Plaintiff must have its witnesses at court or there within 15 minutes or the case will be DISMISSED. This includes the initial hearing. Only when Defendants ask for an adjournment or there is a stipulation to adjourn, will an adjournment be granted.
2. Assigned Judge’s Name Must Be on Pleadings: Beginning February 5, 2018, any pleading that is filed AFTER the initial pleading must have the name of the assigned Judge to the case. For landlord tenant, that would mostly apply to Orders of Eviction.
3. Proof of Service: The Judges would prefer both sides of the Proof of Service to be copied so the name and address of the Tenant and the type of service are all in the same place. The Judges appreciate the landlords that attach receipts of mailing to the Proof of Service.
4. Eviction Diversion In Need of More Landlords: 36th has an eviction diversion program on Tuesday mornings. The Department of Health and Human Services and Legal Aid attorneys are there to assist tenants in applying for rent assistance and arranging payment schedules. The tenants are given conditional dismissals. If the tenant does not follow the payment plan, the Landlord files an affidavit and applies for a writ. The program has been working well so the Court is hoping to expand it to more landlords.
5. Detroit Ordinance: The Judges said they are unsure of how they will handle the new Ordinance’s phase in period because the Ordinance will not be in effect for all parts of Detroit until 2019. It seemed as if they were waiting for Legal Aid to bring it up as a defense first.
6. Corporations Cannot File on Own Behalf: Starting March 1, 2018, the 36th District Court Clerk will not accept any landlord tenant filings from non-attorneys unless the person is working on behalf of an attorney. This means a person who is working for or a member of a LLC cannot file on behalf the attorney representing them.
7. Unit 1 and Unit 2 Cases: The Chief Judge is looking into the feasibility of cases with Unit 1 and Unit 2 manually assigned to the same Judge but it will not be for awhile, if it’s even possible.
8. Judge’s Mailboxes: The Judges will soon have mailboxes inside their courtrooms for the purpose of Judge’s Copies of motions and briefs.