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Van Buren County’s District Court, designated as the 7th District Court, has exclusive jurisdiction over the following types of cases:

* Adult criminal misdemeanor offenses punishable by up to one year imprisonment
* Civil infractions or traffic violations
* Civil suits involving $25,000 or less
* Landlord-tenant disputes such as eviction proceedings
* Land contract forfeitures
* Small Claims (civil suits involving $3000 or less)

In addition, the District Court is where all adult criminal proceedings begin regardless of the nature of the offense. To carry out these functions, 7th District Court is divided into four main divisions: Traffic, Criminal, Civil, and a Probation Department and has jurisdiction to:

* Issue arrest and search warrants
* Set bail and accept bond
* Preside over preliminary examinations for felonies
* Conduct misdemeanor and felony arraignments

A District Court Judge may appoint a full time Magistrate to assist in judicial duties. This may include conducting arraignments, accepting guilty pleas and sentence for traffic, dog, game, snowmobile, and marine law violations. The magistrate may set bail and accept bond in criminal matters, issue arrest and search warrants authorized by the prosecutor and perform other duties allowed by statute. The magistrate also performs marriage ceremonies and an attorney magistrate may hear small claim cases.

7th District Court is a weapons free court. Please do not bring any weapons to any court appearance or into the courthouse building. This applies even if you have a concealed weapons permit. You may be subject to a search for weapons.

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This page last updated on 1/9/2017.

Seventh District Court West Division

Seventh District Court West Division
1007 East Wells Street
P.O. Box 311
South Haven, MI 49090
(269) 637-5258
(269) 639-4517 FAX
Hours M - F 8:30 A.M. -4:45 P.M.


  Judge Arthur H. Clarke III

Judge Arthur H. Clarke III

James R. Becker, Administrator/Magistrate

Laura Canaan, Secretary/Recorder

David Hill, Adult Probation Officer

Florencia Jackson, Probation Secretary

Dawn Borah, Finance Clerk

Isabel Galaviz, Civil Clerk

Maggie Yelding, Civil Clerk

Kristi Mitchell, Deputy Clerk

Teena Harris, Deputy Clerk

Ronda Willett, Deputy Clerk

Lauren Harry, P/T Deputy Clerk


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219 E. Paw Paw St. | Suite 303 | Paw Paw, MI  49079-1429 | 269-657-8200

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