52/3 District Court General Information

The 52/3 District Court (which is also referred to as the Rochester Hills District Court) is located at 700 Barclay Circle in the city of Rochester Hills, Michigan.  The jurisdiction of the 52/3 District Court covers the following communities: Addison Township; Auburn Hills; Lake Angelus; Oakland Township; Orion Township; Oxford Township; Rochester; Rochester Hills;   Village of Lake Orion; Village of Leonard; Village of Oxford.  The three presiding Judges are the Honorable Julie A. Nicholson, the Honorable Nancy Tolwin Carniak, and the Honorable Lisa L. Asadoorian.  The court also has magistrates that handle informal hearings concerning traffic tickets, arraignments for criminal matters, small claims cases, and warrant requests.

The normal business hours for the 52/3 District Court are from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.  The 52/3 District Court is closed for most legal holidays.

52/3 District Court General Telephone Number: 248-853-5553

52/3 District Court Fax Telephone Number: 248-853-3277

52/3 District Court Website: www.oaklandcourts.com.  Tickets can be paid at the courthouse during its normal business hours or by credit card at this website.  There is an additional fee for all credit card transactions (the fee varies depending upon the amount of payment).  The Court accepts payment by checks or money orders made payable to the “52/3 District Court”, by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or Discover), or by cash.  However, restitution payments must be made in cash only.  Pursuant to Michigan Court Rule 1.110 all payments of fines, costs, restitution, and cost recovery are due at the time of sentencing for criminal matters.

The Civil Division handles cases involving money or damages for $25,000 or less, small claims cases for $5,500 or less, and landlord/tenant disputes which are alleged to occur within the jurisdiction of the Court.  For civil cases involving an individual, the person suing or being sued is free to either retain a lawyer or self represent.   Legal counsel is not provided by the Court for individuals or corporations who are indigent, insolvent, or otherwise without funds to hire a lawyer.  There are organizations such as Legal Aid which may (or may not) provide a lawyer to someone who is indigent.

The magistrates and District Court Judges also perform marriage ceremonies for the general public.  Unusually, ceremonies must be scheduled at least 2 weeks in advance.  To schedule a marriage ceremony, contact 248-853-5553.

Criminal Cases are prosecuted by either local counsel that represent the city or village in question, the Oakland County Prosecutor’s office, or the Michigan Attorney General’s office.  Criminal cases include both felony and misdemeanor cases that are alleged to have occurred within the jurisdiction of the Court.  Criminal cases also include alleged probation violations.  Individuals accused of criminal offenses or probation violation have the ability to retain legal counsel, seek court appointed counsel if indigent, or self represent.

The Traffic Division deals with traffic tickets written by local police agencies, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department, and the Michigan State Police for traffic violations that are alleged to have occurred within the jurisdiction of the Court.  Individuals who are alleged to have committed non criminal traffic violations are not entitled to court appointed counsel, but are free to retain legal counsel if they so choose.

If you receive a traffic ticket or a misdemeanor ticket, it is important to address the matter by or before the date listed on the ticket.  Failure to handle a ticket timely can have a severe result, which may include the following depending upon the circumstances: a bench warrant, additional fines/costs, points, a suspension of driving privileges.

For traffic tickets the individual can either retain counsel to contest the hearing, admit responsibility and pay the fine, or admit responsibility with an explanation.  Upon admitting responsibility or being found responsible for most traffic offense the violation is reported to the Secretary of State, which posts the offense to the individual’s driving record and assesses points.  Legal counsel may help reduce or avoid this consequence.

Criminal cases cannot be handled by just paid a fine or fee without appearing in court.  Criminal cases require the accused person to be arraigned on the charge or charges before the court or appear at a pretrial if the arraignment is able to be waive through legal counsel.  Arraignment consists of receiving notice in Court of the charge or charges, notice of the possible penalty if convicted, having a plea entered by the Court, and setting the amount and conditions of bond.  It is important to be prepared to post bond if the court does not set a personal bond.  Bond conditions can also include drug and alcohol testing, which can become costly over time.  For criminal cases, it is always advisable to seek legal counsel if you can afford do so.   Legal counsel can help you receive a reasonable bond amount and the best possible result given the facts and circumstances of the case.

The Probation Department is responsible to monitor persons convicted of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court that receive probationary supervision as part of their sentence.  The probation department also interviews Defendants prior to their sentence in some instances.  For drinking and driving offenses the probation department conducts alcohol assessments in all instances if the alleged offender is convicted.  If an individual is alleged to have violated his or her probation, the probation department is responsible to provide notice of the alleged violation(s), provide a recommendation to the Court, and appear (if necessary) to testify concerning the alleged probation violation if a hearing is desired by the Defendant.  The probation department for the 52/3 District Court is located in the same building as the courthouse.

It is important to be on time when coming to Court, and dressed appropriately.  Adjournment requests are usually denied by the Court if there is a conflict, and must always be done in accordance with the Michigan Court Rules.  If there is paperwork relevant to your case, it is important to bring it with you so it can be properly considered.  Again, plan to pay any fines, costs, restitution, and cost recovery at the time of the disposition or sentencing of the case.

Camera phones are not allowed in the building (with the exception of lawyers), and the deputies at the security desk will not hold or watch any property.

For experienced, local legal representation hire Attorney Daniel Hilf of Hilf & Hilf, PLC.  He regularly appears before the Judges of the 52/2 District Court, and has a reputation for strong advocacy and outstanding results.