The Tribunal’s Small Claims Division utilizes an informal hearing process to resolve the majority of all appeals filed with the Tribunal. Parties typically represent themselves in such appeals. Steps to a Small Claims Appeal:
- Initiating Appeal
An appeal can be initiated by the timely filing of a letter or the printing and mailing of a completed petition form.
- Petition Form
If an appeal is initiated by the filing of a letter, the Tribunal will send the petitioner a petition form that must be completed and returned by the date on the form, as required by TTR 320.
The failure to complete and timely return the petition form may result in the dismissal of the appeal.
- Answer Form
If the completed petition form has been timely returned, the Tribunal will send an answer form to the respondent.
The answer form must be completed and returned by the date on the form, as required by TTR 332.
The failure to complete and timely return the answer form OR properly submit a copy of the completed answer form to the petitioner may result in the conducting of a default hearing.
There is no discovery in the Small Claims Division except by leave of Tribunal only, as provided by TTR 111(3).
- Notice of Hearing
Notice of the scheduling of a hearing is sent to both parties approximately 30 days in advance of the hearing.
The notice will provide the date, time, and location of the hearing.
Small Claims hearings are generally 30 minutes in length.
The presiding judge will be a Tribunal member or hearing officer.
Parties are required to submit their documentary evidence to the Tribunal and the opposing party at least 21 days in advance of the scheduled hearing date, as provided by TTR 342.
A party may request that a hearing be conducted “on the file,” as provided by TTR 317.
A party may request that a hearing be adjourned.
- Opinion and Judgment
If the presiding judge is a Tribunal member, the Opinion and Judgment will be a Final Opinion and Judgment. The parties may appeal the Final Opinion and Judgment to the Michigan Court of Appeals, as provided by MCL 205.753 and the Michigan Rules of Court.
If the presiding judge is a hearing officer, the Opinion and Judgment will be a Proposed Opinion and Judgment. The parties may file exceptions to a Proposed Opinion and Judgment within 20 days of the entry of the Proposed Opinion and Judgment.
Source: State of Michigan