Jurisdiction of the 51st District Court
The 51st District Court is located at 5100 Civic Center Dr. Waterford, MI 48329. The Court has a limited jurisdiction, servicing the Charter Township of Waterford.
The 51st District Court has two active judges, the Honorable Richard D. Kuhn, Jr. and the Honorable Todd A. Fox. Additionally, the 51st District Court has several magistrates, including the Honorable Russell Anderson and Honorable Sandra Aspinall who handle criminal arraignments, small claims cases, traffic tickets, landlord/tenant disputes, probation matters, weddings, and requests for warrants by local and state police.
The Court’s website can be accessed at: https://www.waterfordmi.gov/198/51st-District-Court/
The 51st District Court is separated into 4 primary divisions:
Traffic Tickets / Civil Infraction Division - deals with traffic tickets, citations and civil infraction tickets issued within the Charter Township of Waterford.
Criminal Division - processes criminal complaints from the Waterford Township Police Department, the Oakland County Sheriff's Office, the Michigan State Police, and local and state prosecutors. The District Court has the exclusive jurisdiction over all criminal matters where the maximum penalty does not exceed 1-year in jail, also known as "misdemeanors." The Court also handles the initial process of all felony charges allegedly committed in the Charter Township of Waterford. These felony matters first begin with an arraignment, followed by a probable cause conference ("PCC") and ultimately a preliminary examination ("PE"). A preliminary examination is a hearing conducted to determine if the prosecution has sufficient evidence to show that a crime was committed and it is more likely than not that the accused committed that crime. If the prosecution proves both of these elements, the case is bound over for trial to the Oakland County Circuit Court, located at 1200 N Telegraph Road, Pontiac, MI 48341. The Oakland County Circuit Court is also known as the 6th Circuit Court.
Probation Department - handles pre-sentence investigation interviews, substance abuse evaluations, probation supervision, and probation violation hearings for misdemeanor offenses.
Sobriety Court - The 51st District Court maintains one of the best Sobriety Court Programs in the State of Michigan. Sobriety Courts are designed to help someone convicted of an Operating While Intoxicated or similar criminal offense address underlying substance abuse through an intensive yet supportive program. The 51st District Court's Sobriety Court is often a great way for someone to obtain and maintain long-term sobriety. The program uses community resources and support groups that foster pro-social development and personal growth while maintaining accountability through the use of graduated stages of probation. The 51st Sobriety Court accepts transfers from neighboring communities, it is often a first choice by many attorneys in the area due to the quality of the program.
Veterans Treatment Court - the 51st District Court also maintains a Veterans Treatment Court, which is a specialized and intensive program focused on serving the needs of veterans who have been convicted of a criminal offense in the Court. Similar to the Sobriety Court program, the 51st District Court's Veterans Treatment Court accepts transfers from surrounding communities. It is an excellent program designed specifically to help veterans successful in completing a probationary sentence through the use of mental health treatment, substance use treatment, and a support system of other veterans in the program.
Civil Department - the Civil Department of the 51st District Court is divided into three subdivisions that handle the following matters:
General Civil Matters – generally deals with case that involve monetary damage claims under $25,000.00.
Small Claims – small claims cases that are handled in the 51st District Court have monetary damage claims of up to $6,500.00, any claims for monetary damages beyond $6,500.00 must be filed in the general civil division.
Landlord/Tenant Cases – deals primarily with proceedings regarding a landlord's attempt to regain possession of real property through an eviction action against a tenant or to obtain a monetary judgement against a tenant for costs related to a lease agreement.
Common Criminal Charges in the 51st District Court
Common criminal charges in the 51st District Court include: assault and battery, aggravated assault, domestic violence, disturbing the peace, operating while intoxicated (OWI/DUI), operating while visibly impaired (OWVI), operating under the influence of drugs (OUID), open intoxicants, retail fraud (theft), reckless driving, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, moving violation causing serious impairment, disorderly persons/disorderly conduct, public intoxication trespassing, resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance, larceny, and more.
Spencer M. Bondy & the 51st District Court
I regularly appear in the 51st District Court and have handled numerous criminal matters involving the Charter Township of Waterford as well as matters prosecuted by the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office involving allegations of criminal activity that occurred in the Charter Township of Waterford. I am familiar with the policies, procedures, and requirements of the 51st District Court's Court Administration and each individual Judge. I have consistently obtained outstanding results for my clients facing serious legal issues, including direct and collateral consequences from criminal charges in this Court. If you have a matter in the 51st District Court, please contact me today.