File a Civil Dispute

  • File a Civil Dispute

 The 19th District Court has jurisdiction in civil cases where the amount in dispute is less than $25,000.

In almost all cases, attorneys represent plaintiffs. However, plaintiffs do have the right to represent themselves.

To file a civil suit in Dearborn, one must contact the Civil Division of the 19th District Court to secure a summons and complaint form. The form calls for the plaintiff to describe the nature of the dispute and to explain the complaint about the defendant.

Also, the complete name and address of the defendant is needed to enable the court to serve him or her with a summons. (Plaintiffs may choose to have their attorney serve the defendant, but the court will still need the information about the name and address).

The defendant has 21 days to respond after being served.

If the defendant does not respond within 21 days, the court may enter a default judgment on behalf of the plaintiff. If the defendant does respond prior to the deadline, a pre-trial date is set for the involved parties to meet with the judge. Should a settlement not be forthcoming, a trial date will be set at this time. Either party may request a jury trial.

If the matter proceeds to trial, both the plaintiff and defendant will be allowed to present evidence and call witnesses to the question.

A judge or a jury will make a determination in the case following the presentation of evidence and witness testimony.

Fees to file a civil suit


Up to $600

$601 to $1,750

$1,751 to $10,000

$10,001 to $25,000





Jury Demand   $50

Dearborn Residents




Garnishments/Filing   $15