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86th District Court

*****************SCAM WARNING**************************

The 86th District Court is reporting that members of the public are receiving emails ordering them to appear in court. The court does not send summons, court notices or any other official court documents by email. Such notices would come via the USPS or by personal service from a court officer. Here is an example of one such email:

Notice to Appear,

You have to appear in the Court on the July 14.
Please, prepare all the documents relating to the case and bring them to Court on the specified date.
Note: The case may be heard by the judge in your absence if you do not come.
You can find the Court Notice is in the attachment.

Rene Hicks,
Clerk of Court

Court officials believe the email attachment may be a virus. The public is advised to delete such emails if they receive them, and to not open the attached document. Again, official court notices are not distributed by email.


The District Court, which was established by the Michigan Legislature in 1968 pursuant to constitutional mandate, has more citizen contact than any other court in our judicial system. 

The 86th District Court serves three Counties:

Antrim County

Physical address:                
205 E Cayuga
Bellaire, MI 49615
(231) 533-6441

Mailing address: 
PO Box 597
Bellaire, MI 49615
(231) 533-6441

Grand Traverse County
280 Washington Street
Traverse City, MI 49684
(231) 922-4580

Leelanau County
8527 E Government Center Drive
Suite 201
Suttons Bay, MI 49682
(231) 256-8250

The current judges are Honorable Thomas J. Phillips and Honorable Michael S. Stepka, who serves as Chief Judge. Court is held in Traverse City every day of the week, in Antrim County on Wednesday and in Leelanau County on Tuesday.

The District Court is comprised of four divisions: The
Civil Division handles cases that involve money or damage claims, as well as landlord/tenant disputes. The Criminal Division is responsible for processing paperwork filed by the police departments, state law and local ordinance prosecutors. The Traffic Division processes citations written by police departments. Finally, the Probation Department is responsible for conducting pre-sentence investigations, alcohol assessments, probation violation hearings and supervision of offenders.

This court implemented the first Sobriety Court in northern Michigan in late 2001, wherein repeat offense drunk drivers are given the chance to participate in long-term court monitored treatment in lieu of jail. The goal of Sobriety Court is to reduce the incidence of drunk driving.

In 2003, a Domestic Violence docket was established which maintains a fast track for these types of cases and offers programs oriented toward supporting nonviolence and dealing with the underlying cause of the violent behavior.


This Court is committed to compliance with the American with Disabilities Act. If you require special accommodations to use the court because of disabilities, please contact the ADA Coordinator at (231) 922-4502 to make arrangements.
ADA Request for Accommodations formlinks to external site


Driving Directions:

Antrim County Courthouse
Grand Traverse County Courthouse
Leelanau County Courthouse