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District Court Definition

The Michigan District Courts are trial courts with limited authority. District Courts have jurisdiction over disputes involving small amounts of money or misdemeanors (crimes punishable by a year or less in jail). District Court judges also preside over the initial hearings in felony matters: arraignment, probable cause conference, and preliminary examination. If a district court judge finds sufficient evidence for a felony matter to proceed to trial, it transfers jurisdiction of the case to a Circuit Court. If there is insufficient evidence, the judge dismisses the felony charge(s).

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