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June 2015

Jun 2015
28
June 28, 2015

COA: A plaintiff cannot rely on the internal documents of a defendant transportation authority to satisfy the notice requirement under the MTA Act

In Fields v. Smart, No. 318235, the Court of Appeals held that the Metropolitan Transportation Authorities Act (“MTA Act”) requires that someone other than the defendant actually serve some form of notice on the defendant transportation authority rather than  relying solely on the authority’s receipt of police reports and the authority’s own internal documents.

Jun 2015
28
June 28, 2015

COA: Proper consideration of a child’s best interests in custodial dispute does not require court to interview the child to determine the child’s reasonable preference

In Maier v. Maier, No. 322109, the Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not err when it declined to interview the child at issue for the purpose of determining the child’s reasonable parental preference, a factor considered when deciding the child’s best interests in a custody dispute.  Further, the Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it reached a custody decision without considering the plaintiff’s psychological condition, committed harmless error by considering the plaintiff’s failure to abide by court orders when determining best-interest factors, and any erroneous admission of hearsay testimony did not reach the level of bias.  Finally, the Court of Appeals held that the trial court properly considered the best interests of the child when granting parenting time.  Therefore, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s award of custody and parenting time.

Jun 2015
21
June 21, 2015

COA: A “finder” may not have to register under Michigan’s Uniform Securities Act

In Pransky v. Falcon Group, Inc., No. 319266; 319613, the Court of Appeals held that Michigan’s Uniform Securities Act (“Securities Act”) does not require a “finder” to register as a “broker-dealer,” “agent” or “investment advisor.”  Thus, a consulting agreement requiring Defendant Falcon Group, Inc. (“Falcon”) to perform services as a finder for Plaintiff Pransky was not illegal. Therefore, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s order dismissing Pransky’s claims premised on the illegality of the consulting agreement but vacated the order compelling Pransky to pay attorney fees.

Jun 2015
21
June 21, 2015

COA to lower courts: Consider proper statutory factors before ruling on child-custody jurisdiction

In Cheesman v. Williams, No. 320446, the Court of Appeals clarified the analysis that a trial court must undertake to determine the existence and exercise of jurisdiction in a child-custody dispute. Under MCL 722.1201(1), a Michigan court has jurisdiction over a child-custody dispute under certain circumstances, and only under those circumstances. In order to decline to exercise jurisdiction under MCL 722.1207 because Michigan is an “inconvenient forum,” the trial court must first fully consider whether the circumstances of MCL 722.1201(1) apply, and then must consider the eight factors under MCL 722.1207. Because the trial court failed to consider all of the relevant statutory provisions and because the record was devoid of evidence regarding certain issues, the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for the trial court to properly apply the statutes and to take additional evidence.

Jun 2015
21
June 21, 2015

MSC: Governmental employee’s failure to intervene in victim’s already initiated drowning does not transform inaction into the proximate cause of the victim’s death

In Beals v. Michigan, No. 149901, the Michigan Supreme Court held that a lifeguard’s failure to intervene does not satisfy the proximate cause element for the exemption to governmental immunity articulated in MCL 691.1407(2).

Jun 2015
19
June 19, 2015

MSC: Insanity is a potential defense to any crime

In People v. Moore, the Supreme Court clarified that insanity is a defense to all categories of crimes.  As the Court noted, MCL 768.21a does not limit application of the insanity defense to just specific intent crimes.  Therefore, in the absence of this limiting language, insanity may be used as a defense to general intent, specific intent, and strict liability offenses.

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