Michigan Court Rule 1.110 provides that “Fines and costs must be paid at time of assessment.” The 87-A District Court will utilize all legal methods available to compel timely compliance.
Failure to take action on your citation within 14 days may result in a default entered on all civil infractions. A default fee will be added and may lead to the suspension of your driving privileges for failing to appear.
A civil infraction, such as moving and mechanical violations are handled in the Traffic Division. Misdemeanor (i.e., drunk driving) and felony cases are handled in the Criminal Division.
If you are issued a traffic ticket, you may be subject to fines and points on your driving record.
Information on your citation is important. Please read it thoroughly! The due date of your ticket is 10 days from the date it was written (including weekends). Failure to respond by the due date may result in additional costs, the possible issuance of an arrest warrant and/or suspension of your driver’s license.
The following chart is provided for your convenience and lists the most common fines on civil infractions and applies to payments accepted on or before the due date. This chart does not necessarily apply to cases heard in court.
This schedule is subject to change without notice and the Otsego County Judicial System is not responsible for any inaccurate information provided on the chart. If you do not find your specific charge, you may contact the clerk’s office at (989) 731-0201 (Mon-Fri 8:00 – 4:30). Any questions regarding assessed points should be directed to the Secretary of State.
What happens if I receive a ticket for a civil infraction traffic violation?
The ticket that you received will include a number at the top and will indicate the violation you were ticketed for, how you can respond to the ticket, where you need to appear to settle the matter, what your rights are, and the badge number of the issuing officer. Your options are:
- To admit responsibility for the violation and pay the fine in person, by the mail or over the internet.
- To admit responsibility with an explanation attached to the ticket describing any special circumstances. A magistrate will review the ticket and your explanation. You will be notified by mail of the magistrate’s decision.
- You must contact the court within 10 days by mail, telephone or in person to deny responsibility and schedule an informal hearing. No attorney for either side is allowed at the hearing.
- Deny responsibility and request a formal hearing before a judge. A representative of the prosecutor’s office and the issuing officer will be present. You have the right to be represented by an attorney at this hearing.
- If an officer certifies on your copy of the ticket that the violation has been corrected and your copy of the ticket is presented to the court on or before the due date, the ticket may be waived.
- If an officer certifies on your copy of the ticket that the violation has been corrected, and your copy of the ticket is presented to the court after the due date, a $50.00 late charge will be assessed.
- If the violation has not been corrected by the due date, then fines and costs will total $115.00, plus a late charge of $50.00.
No Proof of Insurance
- If your vehicle was covered with insurance at the time the ticket was issued, and your proof is presented to the court by the due date, the fines and costs will be reduced to $25.00.
- If your vehicle was covered with insurance at the time the ticket was issued and your proof is presented to the court after the due date, the fines and costs will be $160.00.
- You MUST present written proof of insurance in person for the fine to be reduced. Phone copies are not accepted due to financial auditing requirements.
No Proof of Registration – Civil Infraction
- If you have a valid certificate of registration on the date the ticket was issued and it is presented to the court by the due date, the ticket will be waived. You MUST present the actual certificate of registration for the fine to be waived. Phone copies are not accepted due to financial auditing requirements.
- If you do not have a valid certificate of registration on the date the ticket was issued, but obtain one and it is presented to the court by the due date, the fines and costs will be $115.00.
- If you do not have a valid certificate of registration on the date the ticket was issued, but obtain one and it is presented to the court after the due date, then the fines and costs will be $165.00 (including late fee).
Can I appeal a decision from an informal hearing?
Yes. You have seven days after an informal hearing to request an appeal. You must post a bond in the amount of the fine. A formal hearing will be scheduled in front of a judge. You may wish to have an attorney present for this hearing.
What if I fail to show up for the hearing or do not pay the ticket on time?
If you have been issued a ticket for a civil infraction and do not respond in one of the four ways indicated, a default judgment will be issued against you by the court. This could result in your driver’s license being suspended by the Secretary of State’s office. You have 10 days from the date of the ticket to either pay it or schedule a hearing. On the 45th day following the 10th day, your license will go into suspension. If your license is suspended, it will cost you additional money to have it reinstated. The court will give you a clearance form which you must carry for two months until the Secretary of State clears your license on the statewide computer system.
Misdemeanor Traffic Violations
Misdemeanor traffic violations, such as driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident, etc., are more serious offenses and can result in you being issued a ticket or placed under arrest. In either case, you must appear in court for arraignment, be informed of your legal rights, and asked to plead guilty or not guilty. You have the right to be represented by an attorney at this and all other hearings. If you cannot afford one, the court may appoint one for you, depending on the likelihood of a jail term being imposed.
If you fail to appear for your scheduled hearing, the court may issue a warrant for your arrest and your driver’s license may be suspended.
If you plead guilty to a misdemeanor, you will be required to pay a fine and points will be assessed to your driving record. Some violations can result in being sent to jail for up to one year. If, at your arraignment you plead not guilty, you have the right to request a trial by a judge (bench trial) or a jury. A date will be set for your pretrial hearing. You may also post bond at your arraignment if you did not do so following your arrest.
What happens if I am arrested on a traffic misdemeanor?
You will be taken to the county jail, processed and allowed to post bond. If you do not post a bond, you will spend the night in jail. For those who post bond, arraignment is usually held within one week.
What happens if I post a bond for someone and they don’t show up for their court date?
When you post a bond for someone it is your responsibility to see that they make all required court appearances. If they miss any of them you will lose your money by forfeiture.
What if I am a minor and I receive a traffic ticket?
If you are under the age of 17 and receive a misdemeanor traffic violation you must appear at the Family Court Offices.
If you are under age 17 and receive a civil infraction citation, you must appear at the District Court Offices.
What if I am ticketed or arrested for a local ordinance violation?
If you are ticketed or arrested for a local ordinance violation, your case will be processed in the same manner as traffic misdemeanors are handled.
What can I do if there is a warrant for my arrest?
You must appear in court.
What can I do if my driving privileges have been suspended?
To reinstate driving privileges, you must settle all pending cases and pay all reinstatement fees.
Can I get a copy of a case?
Yes. There is a copy charge of $1.00 per page.
How can I get a copy of my court record?
You may be required to fill out and submit a copy request form. Please note that the court will charge $1.00 per page for copies requested. Contact the court at (989) 731.0201 for additional information.
Can I change my court date?
You are allowed, under certain circumstances, one court date change on a civil infraction violation.
You must appear in court in order to change your court date for a misdemeanor violation.
How many points do traffic violations have?
You must contact the Secretary of State’s office for point information.
Will a traffic ticket affect my insurance premiums?
It could. You should contact your insurance company for further information.
Does the District Division process parking tickets?
In the City of Gaylord, parking tickets can be paid at the City Police Department on Main Street. If you are contesting a City Police parking ticket, the ticket will be transferred to the District Court. All other parking tickets are handled in District Court. Court fees are assessed to all parking tickets processed by the Court.
How do I pay a ticket with cash or a credit card?
Go to the District Court Clerk’s office for cash or credit card payments. You can also pay your traffic ticket with a Visa or MasterCard using the court’s web site. You will receive an electronic receipt if you pay over the Internet.
How do I pay a ticket over the Internet?
How do I pay a ticket by mail?
DO NOT MAIL CASH
- Mail the payment to the District Court address, (located at the bottom of your ticket)
- Place citation number on your cashier’s check or money order
- Allow 10 days for processing.