Small Claims Appeal Process

The Tribunal's Small Claims Division utilizes an informal hearing process to resolve the majority of all appeals filed with the Tribunal. Parties typically represent themselves in such appeals. Please see our Glossary for definitions of commonly used terms.

Steps to a Small Claims Appeal:


1. Initiating Appeal

  • An appeal is initiated by the printing and mailing of a completed petition form.
2. Notice of Docket
  • The Tribunal will send a Notice of Docket to Petitioner and Respondent. This will put Respondent on notice to access, complete, and mail an answer form.
3. Discovery
  • There is no discovery in the Small Claims Division except by leave of Tribunal only, as provided by TTR 261.
4. Notice of Hearing
  • Notice of the scheduling of a hearing is sent to both parties approximately 45 days in advance of the hearing.
  • The notice will provide the date, time, and location of the hearing.
5. Hearing
  • Small Claims hearings are generally 30 minutes in length.
  • The presiding judge will be a Tribunal Member or Hearing Officer.
  • Parties are required to submit their documentary evidence to the Tribunal and the opposing party at least 21 days in advance of the scheduled hearing date, as provided by TTR 287.
  • A party may request that a hearing be conducted "on the file."
  • A party may request that a hearing be adjourned.
6. Opinion and Judgment
  • If the presiding judge is a Tribunal member, the Opinion and Judgment will be a Final Opinion and Judgment. The parties may appeal the Final Opinion and Judgment to the Michigan Court of Appeals, as provided by MCL 205.753 and the Michigan Rules of Court.
  • If the presiding judge is a hearing officer, the Opinion and Judgment will be a Proposed Opinion and Judgment. The parties may file exceptions to a Proposed Opinion and Judgment within 20 days of the entry of the Proposed Opinion and Judgment.