General Civil Cases

The amount of general civil claims cannot exceed $25,000. Civil lawsuits for claims greater than $25,000 must be filed in Circuit Court.

To start a general civil lawsuit, the cause of action must have occurred in the City of East Lansing, or the defendant must reside or do business in the City of East Lansing. Use the Summons and Complaint MC 01 (PDF) and Summons and Complaint MC 01a (PDF) to start this process. Click here for the required filing fee.

In most general civil cases, the plaintiff is asking for a specific amount of money to be paid by the defendant. However, in some civil cases, the plaintiff may ask for an injunction, which is when the court orders the defendant to stop some behavior or to do a specific thing.

Unlike small claims, in general civil cases either party has the right to an attorney, the right to a jury trial, and the right to appeal the decision of the court.