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Van Buren County 7th District Court West


Van Buren County’s District Court, designated as the 7th District Court, has exclusive jurisdiction over the following types of cases:

* Adult criminal misdemeanor offenses punishable by up to one year imprisonment
* Civil infractions or traffic violations
* Civil suits involving $25,000 or less
* Landlord-tenant disputes such as eviction proceedings
* Land contract forfeitures
* Small Claims (civil suits involving $3000 or less)

In addition, the District Court is where all adult criminal proceedings begin regardless of the nature of the offense. To carry out these functions, 7th District Court is divided into four main divisions: Traffic, Criminal, Civil, and a Probation Department and has jurisdiction to:

* Issue arrest and search warrants
* Set bail and accept bond
* Preside over preliminary examinations for felonies
* Conduct misdemeanor and felony arraignments

A District Court Judge may appoint a full time Magistrate to assist in judicial duties. This may include conducting arraignments, accepting guilty pleas and sentence for traffic, dog, game, snowmobile, and marine law violations. The magistrate may set bail and accept bond in criminal matters, issue arrest and search warrants authorized by the prosecutor and perform other duties allowed by statute. The magistrate also performs marriage ceremonies and an attorney magistrate may hear small claim cases.

7th District Court is a weapons free court. Please do not bring any weapons to any court appearance or into the courthouse building. This applies even if you have a concealed weapons permit. You may be subject to a search for weapons.

Language Access Coordinator

Seventh District Court West Division

1007 East Wells Street
South Haven, MI 49090 

Phone: (269) 637-5258
Fax: (269) 639-4517

Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.

  Judge Arthur H. Clarke III

Judge Arthur H. Clarke III
James R. Becker, Administrator/Magistrate
Laura Canaan, Secretary/Recorder
David Hill, Adult Probation Officer
Florencia Jackson, Probation Secretary
Dawn Borah, Finance Clerk
Isabel Galaviz, Civil Clerk

Maggie Yelding, Civil Clerk
Kristi Mitchell, Deputy Clerk
Teena Harris, Deputy Clerk
Ronda Willett, Deputy Clerk

Lauren Harry, P/T Deputy Clerk