The 53rd District Court

The District Court is actually made-up of two courts: one in Howell and the other in Brighton.

The Howell court is located at 204 S. Highlander Way, Howell, MI. This courthouse is known as the Trial Court and houses the Circuit Court and District Court (Howell division) all in one building. The Brighton court is located a 224 N. First St., Brighton, MI. Both courts are open from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Make sure you know which court you are ordered too attend on your hearing; failing to appear could have major consequences on you and your case.

Three Judges oversee the court’s docket on a daily basis: Honorable Theresa Brennan, Honorable L. Suzanne Geddis, and Honorable Carol Sue Reader. The court takes a strong stance on dangerous crimes and appropriately addresses all less severe crimes. It has recently been a part of a huge Federal criminal case involving the I-96 shooter—only some of the incidences involved occurred within court’s jurisdiction.

The court oversees and handles all misdemeanors from arraignment to disposition (or sentencing or trial), and it also handles all arraignments and preliminary exams for felony matters. For felony matters, all charges will begin at the District Court and if bound over, because there was a finding of probable cause, it will then be transferred to the 44th Circuit Court. The court also oversees and handle all traffic tickets or citations.

For all misdemeanors, the District Court will first handle the arraignment, and then if the individual pleads not guilty or stands mute the matter will be set for pre-trial. The pre-trial will be the opportunity for the individual or their counsel to speak with the prosecutor. After this hearing multiple things could happen, including a motion hearing, another pretrial, a plea, or trial. Remember you have certain constitutional rights during each and every criminal proceeding, so protect them by contacting Josh Jones today.

As of January 1, 2014, 53rd District Court no longer accepts payments, filings, or paperwork at the Brighton location, and instead you must visit the Howell location at:  204 S Highlander Way, Suite 1, for these services.

The 44th Circuit Court

The Circuit Court is a division of the state judiciary, and it serves as a trial court of general jurisdiction serving all of the citizens of Livingston County and the municipalities located within. The court is located at 204 S. Highlander Way, Howell, MI, and it hours of operation are 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

The Honorable Michael P. Hatty and and Honorable David Reader, Chief Judge, oversee the 44th Circuit Court's docket. Judge Reader is the Chief judge presiding over both the District and Circuit Court in Livingston County, Michigan.

The criminal division of the court will oversee all felony matters; however, it will also oversee or has the jurisdiction to preside over misdemeanor charges that are attached to felony complaints. The court retains jurisdiction once and if the District Court renders the charges against the individual to be bound over to Circuit Court because there has been a finding of probable cause, unless remanded back to District Court. The court also oversees the filing of personal protection orders (PPOs) and other various legal matters both civil and criminal, including crimes committed by juveniles within the court’s jurisdiction.

The Circuit Court also handles all Juvenile Court cases, which include Child Protections, Juvenile Justice, Adoptions, and Personal Protections (in these matters protection is sought from a minor rather than for a minor). Juvenile Criminal matters will only be in the Juvenile Court if the individual is under the age of 17, and even then depending upon the criminal charge the individual could still be transferred to the Adult Criminal Court (i.e. traditional criminal proceedings ensue).

If you are looking for information or documents on your criminal matter you can perform a records search on the court’s website.

MARGARET M. DUNLEAVY

LIVINGSTON COUNTY CLERK

204 S. Highlander Way, Suite 4

Howell, MI  48843

(517) 546-9816

It is essential to maintain counsel when faced with any felony charge, and even for criminal misdemeanor matters. A criminal defense attorney can provide you with opportunity, knowledge, and the ability to fight your case. Lawyer-up with someone who always have your back.