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                                Public Notice

Courts operate under the direction of the State Court Administrative Office, which has asked courts to implement an incremental approach to re-opening consisting of four phases, depending on data from the health department and local hospitals.

Due to the recent increase in active COVID cases locally, the Court has been directed to return to Phase 2 of re-opening. As a result, in-person services are not available at this time.  Court hearings will continue to be held via Zoom (see below for more information). Filings can be submitted via mail or placed in the drop boxes located in the lobby of the Justice Center.  For assistance, please contact the Traffic/Criminal Division 734.794.6750, option 1, or the Civil Division 734.794.6752, option 4, during normal business hours. 

Governor Whitmer's Executive Orders regarding Covid-19

Visit the State Court Administrative Office (SCAO) website for the Judicial Branch's response to COVID-19 and for a complete list of Administrative Orders impacting court operations.

Washtenaw County COVID-19 information and updates

  • Please Note – Drop boxes are located in the Justice Center lobby for drop off of case filings. All emergency matters must include a cover letter that clearly states the reasons for the emergency request.  

Jury Selections/Jury Trials in August 2020

Jury selections and jury trials scheduled for August 4, 10, 11 and 18 of 2020 will be rescheduled by the Court to later dates.  Notices will be mailed to the parties.

The following jury selection dates have been cancelled:

  • August 4, 2020 at 8:30 AM
  • August 10, 2020 at 8:30 AM
  • August 11, 2020 at 8:30 AM
  • August 18, 2020 at 8:30 AM

Jurors who were summoned for the above dates do not need to appear on their assigned dates. Jurors may be issued a new jury summons for a later date. 

Small Claims Mediation August/September 2020 

Small claims cases scheduled for in-person mediation but adjourned due to COVID virus concerns and new small claims cases will be scheduled by the Court for online mediation through the Washtenaw County Dispute Resolution Center (DRC).  Notices will be mailed along with the information sheet for the online platform, MI-Resolve (text format) or Zoom mediation, that the parties have been assigned to use. 

DRC MI-Resolve Information Sheet

DRC Zoom Mediation Information Sheet  

Case Evaluation Schedule for August 2020

  • Case evaluation dockets scheduled for August 4, 11, 18, and 25 will be held via Zoom. 
  • For future dates: Summaries and checks need to have the correct case number(s) marked upon them. Items can be submitted by:
    • Drop box: The box is located in the Justice Center lobby. (Do not place non-case evaluation filings in the Case Evaluation drop box.) 
    • Mail: The USPS and other mail delivery services are still diligently working.
    • Email: Summaries can be submitted via email to: D15ADR@a2gov.org.  One case summary per email.  In the subject line include the case number. Please note file size is limited to 25 MB per email.  If more than one email per case is necessary, include a note in the subject line, e.g. "email 1 of 2". 
  • Summaries received after 4:30 PM, whether in-person, by mail or email will be marked received on next business day.    
  • Any questions regarding this process should be emailed to the ADR Clerk at D15ADR@a2gov.org.

Civil Schedule for the week of August 10-14, 2020

  • The Justice center will remain closed. No in-person hearings.  
  • IF YOUR GENERAL CIVIL (PROVIDER) CASE HAS SETTLED PLEASE fax the clerk’s office at 734-794-6753.
  • August 12, 2020 - All Status conferences will be referred for Case Evaluation and scheduled for Final Pretrial. You will receive dates by mail. 
  • August 12, 2020 - The Court will schedule Final Pretrial Conferences and Jury Trial dates. You will receive dates by mail.
  • August 12, 2020 - Motions (Other than MSD) will be held via Zoom.  Meeting invites are forthcoming. Please note motions will be heard at 1:30 p.m.
  • August 14,2020 - Final Settlement Conferences will be held via Zoom.  Meeting invites are forthcoming.

Criminal Misdemeanor Schedule

The court has the ability to conduct certain cases via Zoom technology. Please see the below list for case types available via Zoom.  Hearings will be scheduled every 20 minutes from 9 a.m. through 1:40 p.m.  If you would like to have a Zoom hearing, see the "Court Appearances via Zoom" section below for contact information. 

State Pretrial Dockets

Parties whose cases are assigned to Judge Hines may request a hearing via Zoom on: August 3, August 17 or August 31.     

Parties whose cases are assigned to Judge Valvo may request a hearing via Zoom on: August 14 or August 28.

City Pretrial dockets 

Parties whose cases are assigned to Judge Valvo may request a hearing via Zoom on: August 3, August 17 or August 31.

Parties whose cases are assigned to Judge Hines may request a hearing via Zoom on: August 14 or August 28.

Domestic Violence dockets

Parties whose cases are assigned to Judge Hines may request a hearing via Zoom on: August 12 or August 26.

Additional dates may be given for emergency hearings as needed.

Landlord-Tenant Schedule beginning July 7, 2020

Judge Valvo's landlord-tenant docket will resume on July 7, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. All cases that were filed and for which the court has proofs of service prior to March 23 will be heard this date. Dockets will continue every Tuesday thereafter at 8:30 a.m. Parties may request to participate via Zoom.

Notice to Landlords: Filing New Landlord-Tenant Summary Proceedings Actions after March 27,2020

All landlords preparing to file new landlord-tenant cases are encouraged to review the federal CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act), Public Law No. 116-136, Section 4024.  The Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020. The Act Prohibits initiating notices to vacate and/or initiating legal actions to recover possession of certain properties which participate in federally covered housing programs until after July 25, 2020.

Related Documents:

Information for tenants:

Tenant Rights Insert

"What Can You Do" Flyer

Court Appearances via Zoom

Parties who wish to participate in their hearings via Zoom should email the contact person for their assigned Judge at least 24 hours in advance during normal business hours in order to schedule a Zoom hearing.  Parties will receive an email from the Court containing a link to the Zoom hearing.

Virtual Appearance Information Sheet

OfficeContact PersonEmail
Judge BurkeAshley Jackson


Judge HinesSandy Dixon


Judge ValvoShannon Henson


Magistrate GarwoodEmily Robb


During the COVID-19 state of emergency, the Court is closed to the public. The 15th District Court is, where possible, conducting hearings remotely, using Zoom videoconferencing.  While the building is closed to the public, the Court will make hearings accessible to the public by livestreaming all Court hearings ultilizing YouTube, except those cases made non-public by law. You may access the Courts' proceedings by follwing these links:

Magistrate Garwood

Judge Burke

Judge Valvo

Judge Hines

About the Court:

The 15th Judicial District Court is located in downtown Ann Arbor in the Ann Arbor Justice Center. The court is presided over by three judges; the Honorable Elizabeth Hines, the Honorable Joseph F. Burke and the Honorable Karen Quinlan Valvo,  as well as one appointed magistrate, the Honorable Tamara Garwood. Daily court operations are overseen by Court Administrator Shryl Samborn.

The court is comprised of four divisions: Administration, Civil, Traffic/Criminal, and Probation. Administration is responsible for the administrative management of all non-judicial functions of the Court. The Civil Division maintains the court files for general civil, landlord-tenant, and small claims cases. The Traffic/Criminal Division maintains the records for all traffic and criminal misdemeanors, civil infractions, ordinance violations, and University of Michigan Regents violations. The Probation Department is responsible for pre-sentence investigations, alcohol assessments, supervision, counseling, and referrals to outside assessment and treatment programs for those who are placed on probation.

The 15th Judicial District Court has jurisdiction over cases which include but are not limited to:

  • Civil Cases where the disputed amount is $25,000 or less
  • Small Claims cases where the disputed amount is $6,000 or less
  • Landlord/Tenant disputes
  • Criminal & Traffic Misdemeanors punishable by 1 year or less in jail
  • Arrest Warrant &Search Warrant Issuance
  • Ann Arbor City Ordinance Violations
  • Traffic & State Civil Infractions
  • University of Michigan Regents Ordinance Violations
  • Felony Probable Cause Conferences & Preliminary Exams 

Notice to Visitors

If you will be visiting the court, please note that all visitors to the Ann Arbor Justice Center must successfully pass through the security screening process to enter. All visitors and their belongings are subject to search by Court Security Officers. All visitors are required to pass through metal detectors. All purses, briefcases, or other containers are required to pass through an x-ray machine. The following items are prohibited: 

  • Weapons, e.g. cutting edge instruments such as pocket knives
  • Any other items that may be construed as weapons by Court Security Officers  
  • Food & Beverages 

Please do not bring any prohibited items with you into the courthouse; leave them at home or in your vehicle.

Requests for ADA Accommodations or Foreign Language Interpreters

Please contact the court prior to your visit if you will need an ADA accommodation or a Foreign Language Interpreter. Request forms are located the court's Forms web page in the Miscellaneous section. Additional information can be found on the Local Administrative Orders web page. Questions should be directed to Court Administrator Shryl Samborn at 734.794.6757 or slsamborn@a2gov.org.      

For information regarding disability resources, including parking, please visit the City of Ann Arbor Streets, Buildings, and Parking web page

15th District Court
Ann Arbor Justice Center
301 E Huron St
PO Box 8650
Ann Arbor, MI 48107