What is a citation/ticket?
Citation means "a complaint or notice upon which a police officer shall record an occurrence involving one or more vehicle law violations by the person cited." The cited driver is the defendant.
A citation can be a civil infraction or a misdemeanor depending on the seriousness of the traffic violation.
All defendants who receive a citation must respond to the allegations in the citation.Refer to the back of your citation or contact the court for procedures regarding misdemeanors.
Note: the following policies apply only to the 63RD District Court. If your citation is from a court other than the 63RD District Court, you must contact the court listed on your citation for processing instructions.
The defendant has these options when a civil infraction is issued:
* Does not apply to misdemeanor citations. Refer to the back of your citation or contact the court for procedures regarding misdemeanors.
If a defendant wishes to admit responsibility without explanation for a civil infraction, he or she must make an appearance by mail, in person or by representation. Admissions of responsibility are not accepted by telephone.
To avoid late charges all admissions of responsibility must be received within 20 days from the date you received your citation (your citation may read within 5, 10 or 15 days - the 63rd district courts allow you 20 days). You do not need to call the court to confirm this.
Personal checks and money orders are accepted through the mail, and should be made payable to "63rd District Court". Please do not staple or tape your money order to the citation. However, we do not accept checks as a form of payment in any of the following situations: (1) a Bench Warrant has been issued for the person; (2) to post Bond or Bail on a criminal case; and (3) the person previously paid with an NSF or No Account check.
Credit card payments (Visa, MasterCard & Discover Only) are accepted only in person with a signature and proper identification.
Cash payments are accepted in person only. Do not send cash payments through the mail.
Warning: Failure to make a timely appearance will result in entry of a default judgment against the defendant. Noncompliance with the judgment will result in eventual suspension of the defendant's license as well as other possible sanctions. Failure to answer a citation or a notice to appear in court for a traffic violation can also result in license suspension.
|Traffic Fine Schedule|
|Infraction||Fine & Cost|
|Speeding 1 - 10 mph over||$ 100.00|
|Speeding 11-15 mph over||$ 110.00|
|Speeding 16-20 mph over||$ 120.00|
|Speeding 21-25 mph over||$ 130.00|
|Speeding 26-30 mph over||$ 160.00|
|Speeding 31-35 mph over||$ 180.00|
|Speeding 36 mph & over||Contact the Court|
|Note: For citations issued from a traffic crash/accident, in a school or construction zone, or in a Commercial Motor Vehicle, contact the court for exact fine amount.|
|Drove across Median||$ 100.00|
|Failed to stop in assured clear distance||$ 100.00|
|Improper lane usage||$ 100.00|
|Drove left of center||$ 100.00|
|Disregard traffic signal||$ 100.00|
|Failed to yield right of way||$ 100.00|
|Violation basic speed law||$ 100.00|
|Improper turn||$ 100.00|
|Improper passing||$ 100.00|
|Disregard stop sign||$ 100.00|
|Wrong way/one way street||$ 100.00|
|Handicapped parking||$ 150.00|
|Improper parking/no parking||$ 50.00|
|Fire lane parking||$ 70.00|
|Booster seat violation||$ 65.00|
|Expired registration plate (less than 3 days)||$ 80.00|
|Expired registration plate (more than 3 days)||$ 100.00|
|Expired operator's license (less than 3 days)||$ 180.00|
|Expired operator's license (more than 3 days)||$ 200.00|
|Seatbelt violation||$ 65.00|
|Tinted windows||$ 100.00*|
|Defective equipment||$ 100.00*|
|No proof of registration||$ 100.00**|
|No proof of insurance||$ 150.00** ($25 if valid proof shown)|
Contact Secretary of State for Points
* Unless corrections are made.
** Unless proof shown
A defendant's admission of responsibility with explanation consists of the following:
A defendant's appearance to make admission with explanation may take place in one of the following ways:
If the defendant admits responsibility with explanation, the court may not set aside the defendant's admission and find the defendant not responsible (see informal or formal hearing). If the court finds the defendant responsible with explanation it may only reduce the civil fines and costs in light of the extenuating circumstances. The court may not reduce the number of points assessed by the secretary of state.
The defendant's appearance (by mail or in person) must occur within the time specified. Failure to make a timely appearance will result in entry of a default judgment against the defendant. Noncompliance with the judgment will result in eventual suspension of the defendant's license, as well as other possible sanctions.
To deny responsibility is to contest the case. The defendant must appear to offer a defense at an Informal or Formal hearing. Denials of responsibility/requests for hearings must be received within 20 days from the date your citation was issued. Request for Informal or Formal Hearings may be made by mail, by fax to 616-363-6211, or in person. See request form.Requests for hearings are not accepted by phone
There are two types of hearings for contested civil infraction cases:
Civil Infraction Informal Hearing
The majority of contested cases are heard and decided at Informal hearings. A hearing conducted by a District Court Magistrate or Judge involving the police officer, the defendant and any witnesses, held without a prosecutor or defense attorney. The determination may be appealed to a formal hearing.
Civil Infraction Formal Hearing
A hearing conducted only by a District Court Judge involving the police officer, defendant and all witnesses. Defendant may be represented by an attorney and a prosecutor must be present.
How do I request a hearing?
REQUEST FORM - To request an INFORMAL or FORMAL hearing notify the court in person or in writing that you are denying responsibility for your citation and specify if you wish to have an INFORMAL or FORMAL hearing. Please notify the court of any dates and time that you will not be available to appear for your hearing. (The court will try to accommodate reasonable requests). Also, inform the court of the address you wish to have your notice to appear sent; if it is different from the address on your citation. A phone number where you can be reached during business hours 8:00am through 5:00pm is appreciated.
Requests for INFORMAL or FORMAL hearings must be received 20 days from the date the ticket was issued. Failure to make a timely request for a hearing will result in entry of a DEFAULT JUDGMENT against the defendant.
What happens if I don't show up for a hearing?
If a defendant fails to appear at an informal or formal hearing the court may enter a default determination of responsibility and impose appropriate sanctions.
Failure to answer a citation or notice to appear in court for an informal or formal hearing can also result in license suspension.
1950 East Beltline NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Monday - Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm
Judge Sara J. Smolenski, Chief Judge
Judge Steven R. Servaas
Kevin McKay, Court Administrator