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7th District Court

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 $5500 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.

If you would like to ask the court to make a Michigan adult criminal conviction non-public, you need to complete state form MC 227 Application to set Aside Conviction.  Please note that there is an amendment to section 780.621 that goes into effect April 11, 2021.

Probation Services

7th District Court- West
1007 E. Wells Street 
South Haven, MI 49090
Monday-Friday 8:30am - 4:45pm. 
Phone: 269-637-5258
Fax: 269-639-4517

David Hill, Probation Officer

Florencia Jackson, Probation Secretary

7th District Court- East
212 E. Paw Paw Street Suite 130
Paw Paw, MI 49079
Monday- Friday 8:30am - 4:45pm
Phone: 269-657-8222
Fax: 269-657-8233

Ryan Smith, Probation Officer

Shelly Sonnevil, Probation Secretary

To make a payment on Probation Fines and Costs, please refer to the "Court Payments" tab. In order to make a payment online, you will need a Pay Location Code specific to your court's location, case number and a debit/credit card. Payments can also be made over the phone, by mail, or in person. Please see the "Court Payments" page for more information.

Pre-Sentence Investigation Report (PSI)

A Pre-Sentence Investigation report includes the probation officer's evaluation of the offender, the circumstances of the offense, a personal criminal history of the offender and a sentencing recommendation. Victims also have an opportunity to provide information on what impact the crime has had on their lives and may express their opinions regarding the appropriate sentence. Probation officers are required to use the department's PSI recommendatino guidelines to arrive at a sentencing recommendation. The guidelines, developed as an adjunct to the legislative sentencing guidelines, ensure that agent sentence recommendations are logical and consistent, and consider cost-effective community sentencing alternatives, when appropriate.

Community Service

Weekend Work Alternatives

Alcohol Abuse, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Treatment Referrals

Substance Abuse and Alcohol Testing

Electronic Monitoring (SCRAM)

7th District Court - Paw Paw
Paw Paw Courthouse
212 E. Paw Paw Street
Paw Paw, MI 49079

Phone: (269) 657-8222
Fax: (269) 657-8223

Email: 7dc@vbco.org

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

Judge Michael T. McKay 

Judge Michael T. McKay

Robyn Papaioannou, District Court Administrator

James R. Becker, Magistrate

Susan Klein, Judicial Assistant

Ryan Smith,  Adult Probation Officer

Probation Department:
Phone: (269) 657-8247

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

7th District Court - South Haven
South Haven Courthouse

1007 East Wells Street
South Haven, MI 49090 

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

Email: 7dc@vbco.org

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

Judge Arthur H. Clarke III

Judge Arthur H. Clarke III

Robyn Papaioannou, District Court Administrator

James R. Becker, Magistrate

Laura Canaan, Judicial Assistant

David Hill, Adult Probation Officer