Legal Aid and Defender Association, Inc.

Legal Aid and Defender Association, Inc.
613 Abbott Street
Detroit, MI 48226

With two photos

June 19, 2012

Legal Aid and Defender conducts free workshop on small claims court

DETROIT – Legal Aid and Defender Association, Inc. (LAD) conducted the second in a series of three free workshops on small claims court May 15 at Clinton/Macomb Library in Clinton Township.

The workshops are designed to teach residents of the tri-county area how to represent themselves in the small claim court and collect money judgments. Kelly Bidelman, managing attorney of LAD’s Macomb County office in Mount Clemens, conducted the May 15 workshop.

Small claims court is a judicial process in district courts for settling money disputes of $3,000 or less, Bidelman said. The limit will be raised to $5,000 in September, then triennially in increments of $500 until it reaches $7,000 in 2024, she said.

In a response to question from an attendee, Bidelman said that personal injury cases cannot be filed in small claims court but must be filed in circuit court.

LAD’s first workshop on small claims court was held April 24 at its headquarters in Detroit. The third workshop will be held Wednesday, June 20 at Oakland County Law Library, 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Pontiac.

Registration for the workshop will begin at 3:30 p.m. The workshop itself will begin promptly at 4:00. Bidelman, who also manages LAD’s Oakland County office in Pontiac, will conduct the workshop. For further information, contact Gina Polley, deputy chief counsel of LAD’s Civil Law Group, at (313) 967-5638 or

Due to their popularity, LAD is planning to conduct additional workshops this year in the tri-county area.

LAD is Michigan’s largest provider of free civil legal services to low-income residents. It serves metropolitan Detroit through its offices in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. It also represents criminal defendants in Wayne County and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Including brief consultations and comprehensive legal services, the public law firm handles some 15,000 legal matters yearly.

“We work with clients in a comprehensive manner, so that as we solve their legal problems, we help solve other problems as well,” LAD President and CEO Deierdre L. Weir said. “We help people rebuild their lives and help families stay together.”

Anyone seeking legal services can call (877) 964-4700 or visit


Kelly Bidelman, managing attorney of Legal Aid and Defender Association’s Macomb County office, conducts workshop on small claims courts at Clinton/Macomb Library. (Photo by John Meiu)

Macomb County residents attend workshop at Clinton/Macomb Library on small claims courts conducted by Kelly Bidelman (in background, standing), managing attorney of Legal Aid and Defender Association’s Macomb County office. (Photo by John Meiu)

Roger Lennert
Legal Aid and Defender Association
(313) 967-5607
(313) 587-3077 cell

David Adrian
Adrian & Associates
(248) 322-9226
(248) 515-4607 cell