The 41-A District Court is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Michigan’s Court System as well as the 50th Anniversary of the City of Sterling Heights with an open house for the general public from 1 to 4 p.m. on Friday, June 22 at 40111 Dodge Park Road.
The City of Sterling Heights was also incorporated as a City 50 years ago on July 1, 1968. As such, leaders at the 41-A Court thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to encourage the community to come see the inside of the Court in a friendly and informal way.
Current judges at 41-A District Court include Douglas P. Shepherd, Chief Judge; Kimberley A. Wiegand, Chief Judge Pro Tem; and Judges Michael S. Maceroni and Stephen S. Sierawski. The 41-A District Court judges hope they’ll see many residents and members of the community at the open house event on June 22.
“District court is known as the people’s court because millions of citizens interact with this court each year,” said Chief Judge Pro Tem Kimberley Wiegand. “41-A District Court has been serving Michigan citizens well for the last 50 years by being fair, accessible and efficient. We are proud of our service to the people of this region and look forward to providing even better service in the years ahead.”
As required by the 1963 Michigan Constitution, legislation passed in 1968 to create the state’s currently district court system. The effective date was June 17, 1968 and most courts began operation on January 1, 1969. The district court is often referred to as “The People’s Court” because the public has more contact with the district court than any other court in the state — and many go to district court without an attorney.
District courts handle a wide range of criminal proceedings, including most misdemeanors, offenses for which the maximum possible penalty does not exceed one year in jail. In misdemeanor cases, the district court judge arraigns the defendant, sets and accepts bail, presides at the trial and sentences the defendant. Typical district court misdemeanor offenses include driving under the influence of intoxicants, driving on suspended license, simple assault, shoplifting and possession of small amounts of marijuana. The district courts also conduct preliminary examinations in felony cases, after which, if the prosecutor provides sufficient proof, the felony case is transferred to the circuit court for arraignment and trial.
Those with questions or those seeking more information can contact Community Relations Director Bridget Kozlowski at email@example.com or by calling (586) 446-2471.