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What You Can Expect After Filing a Civil Complaint in Detroit

Now that you’ve filed the complaint and summons in your client’s civil case with the Civil Division of Michigan’s 36th District Court, what happens next?

Serve the Defendant

The first step is to serve the defendant with the filed complaint and summons, along with serving subpoenas to any named witnesses or other parties. You can opt to have local law enforcement serve the process for your case, or hire a private process server. No matter which way you go, certain deadlines must be met for the service of process to be valid. Because time is of the essence, we always suggest going with a qualified and reputable process server for all of your case’s needs.

Receive Defendant’s Answer

Once the defendant is served, they have a certain amount of time to issue a response to the complaint, along with filing a counterclaim if they choose. If the defendant cannot be located to be served, and therefore cannot answer the complaint, alternative service measures must be taken so that the case can progress.

Prepare for Court

Once the defendant, witnesses, and all other case stakeholders have been properly and legally notified, both sides will begin the discovery phase. During this phase, both parties gather evidence that must also be shared with the opposing side before the scheduled hearing date. Both sides have the right to an attorney to help with civil issues in Michigan as well.

Appear in Court

After adequate time has passed for both sides to collect and share their evidence, the case parties are expected to appear in court. On that scheduled court date, a judge will hear evidence from both sides, including testimony from any witnesses or other parties, and will make a decision in the case.


In Detroit, the losing party in a civil case has the right to appeal or request a trial by jury.

Quality Process Servers in Detroit

If you have filed a civil case for your client and need quality service of process here in Detroit, look no further than the process service experts at Accurate Serve®. Trust us with all of your civil court case needs, including service, document retrieval, skip traces, and diligent searches. Send us work via our website and see how easy service of process can be!