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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What happens if I receive a ticket for a civil infraction traffic violation?
  2. How do I pay a ticket by mail?
  3. Can I appeal a decision from an informal hearing?
  4. What if I fail to show up for the hearing or do not pay the ticket fine?
  5. Can I request a hearing on past due civil infraction?
  6. What if my traffic violation was a misdemeanor?
  7. What happens if I am arrested on a traffic misdemeanor?
  8. What happens if  I post a bond for someone and they don't show up for their court date?
  9. What if I am a minor and receive a traffic ticket?
  10. What if I am ticketed or arrested for a city ordinance violation?
  11. What can I do if there is a warrant for my arrest?
  12. What can I do if my driving privileges have been suspended?
  13. Can I get a copy of a case?
  14. How can I get a copy of my court record?
  15. Can I change my court date?
  16. Do you have court on Saturday?
  17. How many points do traffic violations have?
  18. Will a traffic ticket affect my insurance premiums?
  19. Does the 36th District Court Traffic and Ordinance Division process parking tickets?

 

What happens if I receive a ticket for a civil infraction traffic violation?

The ticket that you received will include a number at the top and will indicate the violation you were ticketed for, how you can respond to the ticket, where you need to appear to settle the matter, what your rights are, and the badge number of the issuing officer. Your options are:

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To admit responsibility for the violation and pay the amount indicated on the ticket in person or by the mail.

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To admit responsibility with an explanation attached to the ticket describing any special circumstances, follow the instructions for: "Admit Responsibility with Explanation" on the back of the ticket. A magistrate will review the ticket and your explanation. You will be notified by mail of the magistrates decision.
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You must contact the court within 14 days by mail, telephone, representation or in person to deny responsibility and schedule an informal hearing. No attorney for either side is allowed.
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Deny responsibility and request a formal hearing before a judge. A representative of the prosecutor's office and the issuing officer will be present. You have the right to be represented by an attorney at this hearing. If you cannot afford one, the court will appoint one for you.
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How do I pay a ticket by mail?

DO NOT MAIL CASH
Mail Payments to:

36th District Court
421 Madison
Detroit, MI 48226

ATTENTION: FINANCE UNIT

Make check or money order payable to the 36th District Court. Place citation number on check or money order

All other correspondence should be mailed to:

36th District Court
T & O Division
421 Madison Avenue
Detroit, MI 48226

Allow 10 days for processing.

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Can I appeal a decision from an informal hearing?

Yes. You have seven days after an informal hearing to request an appeal. You must post a bond in the amount of the fine. A formal hearing will be scheduled in front of a judge. You may wish to have an attorney present for this hearing.

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What if I fail to show up for the hearing or do not pay the ticket fine?

If you have been issued a ticket for a civil infraction and do not respond in one of the four ways indicated, a default judgment will be issued against you by the court. This could result in your driver's license being suspended by the Secretary of State's office. You have 14 days from the date of the ticket to either pay it or schedule a hearing. On the 45th day following the 21st day, your license will go into suspension. If your license is suspended it will cost you an additional $45 to have it reinstated. This additional fee can only be paid to the district court. The court will give you a clearance form which you must take to the Secretary of State's office to lift the suspension.

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Can I request a hearing on past due civil infraction?

Yes, by filing a motion to set aside the judgment issued against you.

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What if my traffic violation was a misdemeanor?

Misdemeanor traffic violations such as driving under the influence, leaving the scene of accident, etc., are more serious offenses and can result in you being issued a ticket or placed under arrest. In either case, you must appear in court for arraignment, informed of your legal rights, and asked to plead guilty or not guilty. You have the right to be represented by an attorney at this and all other hearings. If you can not afford one, the court will appoint one for you.

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What happens if I am arrested on a traffic misdemeanor?

You will be taken to a precinct station, processed and allowed to post bond. If you do not post a bond, you will spend the night in jail. For those who post bond, an arraignment is usually held within two days.

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What happens if  I post a bond for someone and they don't show up for their court date?

When you post a bond for someone it is your responsibility to see that they make all required court appearances. If the person you posted the bond for fails to appear for all court appearances, the bond will be forfeited and you will lose your money.

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What if I am a minor and receive a traffic ticket?

If you are under the age of 17 and receive a misdemeanor traffic violation, you must appear at the Third Judicial Circuit Court - Family Division, 1025 E. Forest, Detroit, MI 48207, (313) 833-5600.

If you are under age 17 and receive a civil infraction citation, you must appear at the 36th District Court.

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What if I am ticketed or arrested for a city ordinance violation?

If you are ticketed or arrested in the city of Detroit for an ordinance violation, your case will be processed in the same manner as traffic misdemeanors are handled. The maximum penalty for conviction of an ordinance violation is up to a $500 fine and/or 90 days jail.

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What can I do if there is a warrant for my arrest?

You must post a bond, appear in court and request an appointment to see a judge.

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What can I do if my driving privileges have been suspended?

To reinstate driving privileges, you must settle all pending cases and pay all reinstatement fees.

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Can I get a copy of a case?

Yes. A certified copy for $10 or an uncertified copy for $2.

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How can I get a copy of my court record?

Pay a fee of $1.

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Can I change my court date?

You are allowed under certain circumstances, one court date change on a civil infraction violation. You must appear in court in order to change your court date for a misdemeanor violation.

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Do you have court on Saturday?

No.  The 36th District Court is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm. 

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How many points do traffic violations have?

You must contact the Secretary of State's office for that information.

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Will a traffic ticket affect my insurance premiums?

Yes, but you must contact your insurance company for further information.

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Does the 36th District Court Traffic and Ordinance Division process parking tickets?

No, these are handled by the City of Detroit Parking Violation Bureau located at:

1600 W. Lafayette
Detroit, MI 48216
Phone: (313) 963-9630

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