7th District Court


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
  • Land contract forfeitures
  • Landlord-tenant disputes such as eviction proceedings
  • Small Claims (civil suits involving $5,500 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:

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


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.

No Weapons Allowed

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.

Probation Services

To make a payment on Probation Fines and Costs, please see the Payment Information page. In order to make a payment online, you will need a Pay Location Code specific to your court's location, case number and a debit/credit card. Payments can also be made over the phone, by mail, or in person. 

Pre-Sentence Investigation Report (PSI)

A Pre-Sentence Investigation report includes the probation officer's evaluation of the offender, the circumstances of the offense, a personal criminal history of the offender and a sentencing recommendation. Victims also have an opportunity to provide information on what impact the crime has had on their lives and may express their opinions regarding the appropriate sentence. Probation officers are required to use the department's PSI recommendation guidelines to arrive at a sentencing recommendation. The guidelines, developed as an adjunct to the legislative sentencing guidelines, ensure that agent sentence recommendations are logical and consistent, and consider cost-effective community sentencing alternatives, when appropriate.

Probation Early Discharge Eligibility Information

If you are sentenced to probation, you may be eligible for an early discharge from that probation provided that all terms have been met and you have completed at least ½ of your probation duration.  Please see the Probation Notice of Early Discharge (PDF) for more information.


  • Alcohol Abuse, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Treatment Referrals
  • Community Service
  • Electronic Monitoring (SCRAM)
  • Substance Abuse and Alcohol Testing
  • Weekend Work Alternatives