Detroit Today: Detroit’s 36th District Court reinstating virtual first hearings in eviction disputes

Virtual first hearings will resume on July 31.

Photo of the 36th District Court in Detroit, Mich.

Photo of the 36th District Court in Detroit, Mich.

Beginning July 31, defendants facing eviction cases in the city of Detroit will once again be allowed to attend the hearing virtually.

The announcement made by the 36th District Court reverses their earlier decision to require in-person attendance back in June.

The court says this is an effort to ensure residents facing eviction gain access to legal representation.

Currently, the city provides residents making less than 200% of the federal poverty guidelines with an attorney if they are facing eviction.

Tonya Myers Phillips of the Detroit Right to Counsel Coalition joined Detroit Today to discuss the importance of this decision for low-income resident facing evictions.

Listen: The importance of virtual first hearings in eviction cases explained


Tonya Myers Phillips is the project leader of the Detroit Right to Counsel Coalition. She says resuming virtual hearings help residents obtain attorneys for their cases.

“This will essentially help individuals be able to obtain legal counsel and be able to connect with legal counsel,” says Myers Phillips.

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