Detroit Evening Report: Detroit’s 36th District Court will resume in-person eviction hearings starting June 5

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The 36th District Court in Detroit will resume in-person hearings for landlord-tenant disputes starting June 5.

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All Detroit residents who received an eviction notice are eligible for free legal help from attorneys who are contracted by the Office of Eviction Defense.

In-person hearings were halted during the COVID-19 pandemic and transitioned to virtual hearings. The District Court said they intend to use virtual hearings as an option in the future.

Attorney Tonya Myers Phillips, who advocates for tenants’ rights along with the Detroit Right to Counsel Coalition, is requesting that 36th District Court Chief Judge William McConico reconsider the in-person hearings requirement, saying it puts an unnecessary burden on low-income renters in Detroit.

“Detroit Right to Counsel Coalition values the freedom of choice and respects citizens’ choice to attend in-person hearings. However, an overly broad mandate is draconian and harmful,” Phillips said in a statement. “We respectfully request that the 36th District Court embrace the use of technology and work with our coalition and community partners to implement an eviction-diversion program and docket reduction strategy that complements the Right to Counsel Ordinance and allows for the majority of people facing eviction to receive full legal representation.”

Read: Gilbert Foundation’s eviction defense fund surpasses 6K households goal early

Landlords and tenants with upcoming hearings scheduled should refer to the Notice to Appear information on where and when to appear. Information on virtual hearings switching to in-person dates can be found at or by phone at 313-965-2200.

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