Modern Legislation, Metropolitan Court, Miniscule Results: A Study of Detroit’s Landlord-Tenant Court

This article is a description of a study of cases filed and tried in the Detroit, Michigan, Common Pleas Court, Landlord-Tenant Division, during 1970 and 1971. The court is in a large urban center and handles a high volume of cases, in most of which one or both parties appear without an attorney. The impetus for the study was Michigan legislation passed in 1968, which gave tenants additional defenses to summary eviction procedures. The main goal of the study was to observe the effects of the legislation on tenants who were subject to summary proceedings in Detroit. The purpose of the study was not just an analysis of landlord-tenant law or practices per se, but also the more general inquiry into the administration of justice and practical effects of reform legislation.