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  1. #1
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    Demand And Order To Remove Case

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Michigan

    I filed a small claims case against my previous employer (two weeks ago) who withheld approximately $3000 from my pay. This weekend, I received a letter from his attorney for a "Demand and removal of case" to be moved to circuit court. I purposely filed in small claims so I wouldn't have to pay for a lawyer/attorney, and so that I could represent myself. My previous employer has deep pockets and I'm sure he's doing this to force me to spend money.

    I want this case to stay in small claims. Am I forced to let this go to circuit court? Or do I have a say in this?


    Thanks for any help,
    jrider


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrider View Post
    Am I forced to let this go to circuit court? Or do I have a say in this?
    Yes to the first.
    No to the second.

    It's automatic.

    Lawyers are not allowed in MI small claims court so if a party wants to be represented by a lawyer he gets the case removed to the higher court.

    Yes, your former employer wants to make it as difficult and expensive for you as can be.

    I wonder why you didn't just file a wage claim with the state:

    http://www.michigan.gov/documents/WH...5_141360_7.pdf

    You can still do that, you know, and dismiss your lawsuit without prejudice and see how the wage claim goes.


  3. #3
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    I did file with MI Wage & Hour. The company found a loophole with interstate commerce. Had to move to Federal Wage & Hour. They said they don't have the same "reach" that MI Wage & Hour does. They suggested I go to small claims.


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrider View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Michigan

    I filed a small claims case against my previous employer (two weeks ago) who withheld approximately $3000 from my pay. This weekend, I received a letter from his attorney for a "Demand and removal of case" to be moved to circuit court. I purposely filed in small claims so I wouldn't have to pay for a lawyer/attorney, and so that I could represent myself. My previous employer has deep pockets and I'm sure he's doing this to force me to spend money.

    I want this case to stay in small claims. Am I forced to let this go to circuit court? Or do I have a say in this?


    Thanks for any help,
    jrider
    Unless the employer is claiming that the case involves a dispute exceeding $25,000 the removal should be to district court, not circuit court. Michigan Compiled Laws (MCL) section 600.8408(4) specifically authorizes either the plaintiff or defendant to remove the case to district court, not circuit court. The reason for this is that district court has exclusive jurisdiction of all civil cases under $25,000. MCL § 600.8301(1). Your claim was only for $3,000 so its within the jurisdiction of district court, not circuit court. So while you cannot avoid having the case taken out of the small claims division of district court and removed to the general division of district court, it should not go to circuit court.

    MCL § 600.8423(1) provides for transfer of the case to a court of proper jurisdiction where the defendant (your employer) files a counter-claim that exceeds the amount of the small claims jurisdiction. So the employer could get it to circuit court under this rule if it filed a counter claim against you exceeding $25,000. But that’s the only way it gets to circuit court.


  5. #5
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    Based on the wording of the form (http://courts.mi.gov/Administration/SCAO/Forms/courtforms/dc86.pdf), I suspect that the OP just assumed it was "circuit court". The form itself doesn't mention circuit court.


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zigner View Post
    Based on the wording of the form (http://courts.mi.gov/Administration/SCAO/Forms/courtforms/dc86.pdf), I suspect that the OP just assumed it was "circuit court". The form itself doesn't mention circuit court.
    You may be right. If the defendant used that form, that gets the case removed to the general civil division of district court.


  7. #7
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    For further reference: https://michigancourtrules.org/mcr/chapter-4-district-court/rule-4-306-removal-to-trial-court/

    It's entirely possible that the defendant didn't use the pre-printed form and simply titled his demand incorrectly. If that's the case, so long as the pertinent information is contained in the demand, the incorrect title shouldn't invalidate it. Even if it does, the defendant could simply show up at court and ask that the case be removed to the district court.


  8. #8
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    Yes, you are correct. It is district court. Regardless, my previous employer is just playing games. He has a high dollar attorney and this just pushes out the timeframe in which the case can be heard.


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrider View Post
    Yes, you are correct. It is district court. Regardless, my previous employer is just playing games. He has a high dollar attorney and this just pushes out the timeframe in which the case can be heard.
    Perhaps your employer just wishes to avail themselves of all possible defenses.


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by adjusterjack View Post

    . . . . if a party wants to be represented by a lawyer he gets the case removed to the higher court.
    In some instances that may very well be true, but it is not an accurate representation of applicable law! As irrespective of motive both plaintiff and defendant are afford the privilege of having the case removed from the small claims division to the general civil division of the district court. The only proviso being that the demand must be made prior to the commencement of trial. (See: Revised Judicature Act of l961 - 600.8411 Removal; )


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by latigo View Post
    In some instances that may very well be true, but it is not an accurate representation of applicable law! As irrespective of motive both plaintiff and defendant are afford the privilege of having the case removed from the small claims division to the general civil division of the district court. The only proviso being that the demand must be made prior to the commencement of trial. (See: Revised Judicature Act of l961 - 600.8411 Removal; )
    From my prior post pointing to the law on the matter:

    (A) Demand. A party may demand that the action be removed from the small claims division to the trial court for further proceedings by

    (1) signing a written demand for removal and filing it with the clerk at or before the time set for hearing; or

    (2) appearing before the court at the time and place set for hearing and demanding removal.


    (Emphasis added)


    ETA: Your cite actually speaks to the requirement that the judge advise the parties about their right to have the trial removed to a higher court prior to the commencement of the trial. (Link for reference: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(nkm...e=mcl-600-8411


    Last edited by Zigner; 04-02-2018 at 11:26 PM.
  12. #12
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    So at this point, the defendant has requested to move to civil. Will the court set a new date? Or will I have to initiate through a form or letter?


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrider View Post
    Yes, you are correct. It is district court. Regardless, my previous employer is just playing games. He has a high dollar attorney and this just pushes out the timeframe in which the case can be heard.
    It really makes no sense to me. It would be a lot cheaper for your ex employer to simply pay you the money. He has probably spent more than 3k just to retain his attorney.


  14. #14
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    He has deep pockets. My 4 coworkers said the same thing... he has to have had spent more on his legal fees than what I am asking for. They are now considering doing the same thing I am.


  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrider View Post
    He has deep pockets. My 4 coworkers said the same thing... he has to have had spent more on his legal fees than what I am asking for. They are now considering doing the same thing I am.
    Why did your employer withhold $3000 from your expected pay? What is the employer's defense to your claim?

    I can see a defendant using his "deep pockets" to hire an attorney to help defend against a claim the defendant believes has no merit.


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