|  
17th District Court

Historical Background

In 1847, the first Justice of the Peace Court was established in Redford Township, Michigan, with William A. Smith serving as the first Justice. From 1847 to 1964, 15 Justices of the Peace served the Redford Court. During this period, there was no official Courthouse. Court was held in the homes of the Justices, Township Hall, and later at commercial buildings in the Township.

On January 1, 1964, a new Michigan State Constitution was enacted which mandated that new courts would be created to replace Justice of the Peace and Circuit Court Commissioners by January 1, 1969. In 1968, the State Legislature created an act, which established the 17th JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT OF REDFORD TOWNSHIP.

The first elected District Court Judges were Judge John M. Dillon and Judge Robert F. Brang. The Court rented a building across the street from the Township Hall on Beech Daly Road, and installed the first recognized District Court House. In 1978, the current Courthouse was built next to the former Central Fire Station and existing Township Hall. In 1997 a special fund diverting a small portion of court costs into a seperate Township account was created to prepare for the day when the courthouse would need to be renovated and improved.  The typical useful life of a court building was 30 years in 1978. With flooding issues, heating and cooling issues, and security issues, in 2015 Judge Karen Khalil started the process of researching ways to relocate the courthouse or renovate and expand the existing space. Judge Khalil's vision led to a new vision for the 17th District Court.

In 2018, the former Central Fire Station was demolished to make room for the expansion and renovation of the 17th District Court. The new facility will improve security throughout the building, allow all staff to work on the 1st floor of the building, improve ADA access to court litigants, and update technology in an effort to improve court services.