- Trial Court
Trial Court - Hon. Gary J. Bruce, Chief Judge
Trial Court Divisions
The Michigan Supreme Court has designated the Berrien County Court as a consolidation site for the merger of the District Court, Probate Court and Circuit Court into a single Trial Court. The Trial Court is divided into three Divisions:
Criminal Division - Courthouse 1st Floor
The Criminal Division is assigned ordinance, civil traffic infraction, misdemeanor and felony criminal proceedings involving adults. There are separate Specialty Court dockets for community, drug treatment, mental health and swift and sure sanctions probation program cases.
Civil Division - Courthouse 3rd Floor
The Civil Division hears all civil suits, without regard to dollar amount of the dispute, including small claims and landlord/tenant cases. A Specialty Court handles selected business cases.
- Landlord - Tenant
- Small Claims
- Civil and Administrative Agency Appeals
- Mediation and other Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Driver license restoration
FAMILY Division - Courthouse 3RD/4th Floor
The Family Division hears cases involving estates of deceased persons, probating wills, commitments of persons alleged to be mentally ill, protection of legally incapacitated persons, adoptions, personal protection orders, divorce, custody and paternity, and abuse and neglect of children. The Family Division also handles juvenile delinquency (criminal) cases.
- Juvenile abuse and neglect
- Juvenile delinquency (criminal)
- Mental competency
- Foster Parenting
- Wills and estates
- Appointment of Guardian and Conservators
- Divorce and custody
- Friend of the Court
- Probate Court
Electronic devices such as cell phones, cameras, pagers, etc., are not permitted in the courthouse buildings in Niles or St. Joseph.