Oceana County Michigan

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What is an Informal Hearing?

An informal hearing is a court proceeding held to decide whether you are responsible for the traffic offense in which you are charged. It is your opportunity to defend yourself, to ask questions, and to have witnesses testify in your favor. The testimony is under oath, but the hearing is much less formal than a trial.

How is the hearing different from a trial?

The Magistrate, rather than the District Judge, usually presides over the hearing. Neither party may be represented by an attorney. There is no jury and no court reporter. The Magistrate’s final decision will be based on preponderance, a 51 to 49 percent majority of the evidence, not on proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Intent is not a criteria whether an individual is responsible or not responsible. The Magistrate CANNOT reduce or waive points on the violations for which you are charged.

How do I defend myself at the hearing?

You will testify on your own behalf, you may have witnesses testify on your behalf, and you may ask questions of the witnesses against you. It is expected, however, that any questioning will be concise and courteous. Keep in mind that the citing officer may also bring witnesses, so in general, remember that the hearing is your “day in court”, so come prepared.

What if the hearing date I receive does not work?

You are allowed one (1) adjournment from the original hearing date scheduled. The officer is also allowed this opportunity. NO ADJOURNMENTS WILL BE ALLOWED WITHIN SEVEN (7) DAYS OF THE SCHEDULED HEARING DATE.

  • If you are found responsible (sentenced) at your informal hearing, be prepared to immediately pay all fines and costs in full (Michigan Court Rule 1.110). The Court will accept cash, check, money order or credit cards (3.5% fee added for credit/debit card transactions).
  • If you do not wish to proceed with your scheduled court hearing, all fines and costs must be paid at least 24 hours prior to your court date.

Contact 78th District Court

Staff

Honorable H. Kevin Drake
District Court Judge
Adriana Facundo
Magistrate / Court Administrator
Brandi Bruch
Chief Clerk / Deputy Magistrate
Cristine Ortwine
Deputy Clerk - Traffic Division
Kay Tull
Deputy Clerk - Civil Division

Oceana County Building

100 S. State Street, Suite L-15
P.O. Box 471
Hart, MI 49420
Phone: (231) 873-4530
Fax: (231) 873-1861

Hours

Monday - Friday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Send 78th District Court A Message

Oceana County News

Job Opportunity – District Court Deputy Clerk – Civil Division

Posted: July 14th, 2021
Under the direction of the Court Administrator/Magistrate, performs a variety of complex clerical tasks throughout the life cycle of
Read More

Job Opportunity – Maintenance Supervisor

Posted: July 11th, 2021
Position Description: Under the general direction of the County Administrator, oversees the daily operations of the maintenance department and supervises
Read More

Job Opportunity – Court Recorder / Collections Clerk

Posted: June 29th, 2021
Under the supervision of the Chief Circuit Court Judge, serves a multi-capacity role including court recorder, collections clerk, and
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Press Release – Oceana County courts increase in-person access

Posted: June 24th, 2021
In response to updated guidance from the Michigan Supreme Court, Michigan State Court Administrator’s Office, the Michigan Department of
Read More

Upcoming Events

Aug5

Planning Commission Meeting

Oceana County Building
1:00pm - 3:00pm
Aug5

Parks & Recreation Commission Meeting

Oceana County Building
3:00pm - 4:00pm
Aug6

Department of Veterans Affairs Meeting

County Services Building – Griswold Street
11:00am - 1:00pm
Aug12

Board of Commissioners Meeting

Oceana County Building
11:30am - 1:00pm
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