Court Education

Court Visitors

Observations of court proceedings at the 36th District Court is, and, can be a very positive experience for students and allows them an opportunity to see the court as an integral part of the justice system in a “real” court environment.

The 36th District Court has jurisdiction for the following actions occurring in the City of Detroit:
  • All Traffic and Ordinance Violations
  • All Criminal Misdemeanor Cases
  • Preliminary Examinations for Felony Cases
  • Small Claims Suits
  • Civil Lawsuits (other than small claims) for amounts up to $25,000.00
  • All Real Estate Matters Involving Rent and Land Contract Disputes

Courtroom observations for high school students are arranged through the Office of the Court Administrator at (313) 965-2568. Please provide the following information:

  • The instructor(s) name, telephone and fax number, name of the school, number of students and the requested date of your visit.

Courtroom proceedings may be observed Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Due to limited space in the courtrooms, no more than 25 students are allowed per visit and at least 3 chaperones are required. Click and review the Prohibited Items list prior to your visit. All surrendered items will be confiscated and will not be returned.

On demand or short notice visits are not available and must be scheduled two weeks in advance to allow for courtroom availability and clearance into the building. A court representative will meet you in the Lobby and direct you to those courtrooms which are available for viewing.

Domestic Violence Early Intervention Program

The 36th District Domestic Violence Early Intervention Program (DVIP) was an innovative program that started in 1994 in an effort, by the Court to reduce domestic violence by educating defendants about domestic violence and its adverse effect. The DVIP was held at the 36th District Court every Saturday and attendance was mandatory as a condition of the defendant’s bond. Although the class was not a counseling session, defendants were urged to follow their cases to completion instead of continuing a cycle of violence. The session included group discussions, video presentations and information on the legal process. The DVIP was discontinued in October 2013.

The Handgun Intervention Program

The Handgun Intervention Program (H.I.P.) was established by the late Honorable Willie G. Lipscomb., in July 1993 as a result of a bright, college-bound teenager who was shot and killed. In an effort to help make the streets of Detroit safer and no longer able to watch gun-toting youths pass through his courtroom without a lesson, Judge Lipscomb launched H.I.P. His innovative program strived to educate citizens about the senseless violence that all too often resulted from the possession of handguns. The H.I.P. focused on the pervasive problem of youth homicide resulting from illegal handguns carried by children and young adults. The program targeted predominately African American males who were first or second–time offenders between the ages of 17-28 who were charged with carrying illegal and/or concealed weapons. The program was discontinued in October 2013.