36th District Court will resume virtual first hearings for landlord tenant cases on Monday July 31, 2023

  • Detroit's 36th District court has just announced it will resume landlord-tenant cases in-person after years of online hearings which began during the pandemic
  • The Office of Eviction Defense reminds tenants that a no-show in court could result in a default judgement and subsequent eviction
  • Attorneys will be present in court to assist all Detroit residents who appear to fight an eviction notice 

36th District Court has announced that Landlord-Tenant cases will resume to in-person beginning Monday, June 5 to address the influx of cases on the Landlord-Tenant docket. Those slated to appear in court should check the notice they received from the court regarding their appearance and contact the court if they have any questions.

All Detroit residents who have received an eviction notice are eligible for free legal help by attorneys contracted by the Office of Eviction Defense, which was created as a result of the Right to Counsel Ordinance passed by Detroit City Council.

During the pandemic, all landlord-tenant hearings were taking place virtually, and 36th District Court has indicated a goal to resume virtual hearings as an option at some point in the future.

The Office of Eviction Defense expects there to be some wrinkles during this shift but is working hand in hand with court officials to ensure the transition is as seamless as possible. Detroiters need to know attorneys will be in the courtrooms and available in the hallways and nearby attorney-client meeting rooms to meet with those facing eviction, but they must show up to all hearings.

“As we all work together to provide access to legal representation for tenants in Detroit, we want to stress to residents that they need to make every attempt to appear at court,” said April Faith-Slaker, executive director of the City of Detroit’s Office of Eviction Defense. “If residents fail to appear, a default judgment could be made which will lead to an eviction order. This adjustment requires us to be patient with the process. Residents should do their due diligence to stay up to date on their court details. Once you appear in-person, our Right to Counsel attorneys are ready and waiting to help.”

If you have an upcoming hearing scheduled, be sure to refer to your Notice to Appear for information on when and where to appear. If you originally received a notice for virtual hearings that have been changed to in-person, call the 36th District Court to check to clarify any uncertainty beforehand at (313) 965-2200. 

Visitors should keep in mind the following expectations in preparation for their in-person hearings:

  • The courthouse opens at 8:00 AM
  • Arrive early to pass through security and find your assigned courtroom
  • Cell phones are allowed in the courtroom but many items are prohibited, such as cords/chargers, food, beverages, and weapons.
  • NOTE: If a tenant does not appear, a default judgment and ultimately an eviction order could be issued in their absence, so we strongly recommend showing up to court 

To look up your court hearing details, click here.