At any time before the trial, either party has the right to remove the case to the General Civil Division of the Trial Court. The form used for this is "Demand and Order for Removal."
After removal from the Small Claims Division both parties have:
The right to hire an attorney
The right to a jury trial ($50 fee)
The right to appeal any final judgment of the Berrien Trial Court.
If the plaintiff by filing in Small Claims gave up the right to claim any amount over $5,500, the plaintiff may now claim the entire amount up to $25,000, by filing an amended complaint and by paying the difference in the filing fee.
The defendant must file a written answer within 14 days from the date of the order. Once the case becomes a General Civil case, all parties are required to follow the Michigan Court Rules and corporations must be represented by an attorney.