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June 2017

Jun 2017
30
June 30, 2017

MSC: The ecclesiastical abstention doctrine does not limit Courts' subject matter jurisdiction

In Winkler v. Marist Fathers of Detroit, Inc., No. 152889, the Michigan Supreme Court held that though the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine (the “Doctrine”) does not allow a court to substitute its opinion for that of a religious entity on matters that are ecclesiastical in nature, it does not divest a court of jurisdiction over claims as a whole just because they involve an ecclesiastical question.

Jun 2017
30
June 30, 2017

COA endorses streamlined process for amending pleadings

In Stenzel v. Best Buy Company Inc. 328804 a special conflict resolution panel of the Court of Appeals has decided to deviate from Williams v Arbor Home, Inc, 254 Mich App 439; 656 NW2d 873 (2002) and rule that the Michigan Supreme Court intended to streamline the process for amending a pleading to include a new party by allowing a party to file an amended pleading directly under MCR 2.112(K)(4), rather than filing a motion for leave to amend which the court would be required to grant without exception under MCL 600.2957(2). The Court of Appeals decided the two approaches were in direct conflict with one another, but that the constitutional authority granted to the Michigan Supreme Court under Article 6 § 5 to “establish, modify, amend and simplify the practice and procedure in all courts of this state” allowed the court rule to override and control.

Jun 2017
30
June 30, 2017

MSC: Supreme Court “adds” extra day to statute of limitations period for medical malpractice actions

The Michigan Supreme Court, in Haksluoto v. Mt. Clemens Regional Medical Center, No. 153723, reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals and held that when a timely notice of intent (NOI) is filed, it preserves the day it was filed as one to be used after the required notice period of 182 days ends and the statute of limitations for medical malpractice actions resumes.

Jun 2017
28
June 28, 2017

MSC grants MOAA to consider whether trial judge’s questions inappropriately influenced jury’s verdict

The Michigan Supreme Court granted mini-oral argument in People v. Chatman, No. 155184to address whether the questioning of witnesses by the trial judge “improperly influenced the jury by creating the appearance of advocacy and partiality” against the defendant.
 

Jun 2017
28
June 28, 2017

COA: Savage and senseless nature of murder is not sufficient evidence of premeditation under first-degree murder statute

In People v Oros, No. 329046, the Court of Appeals held that the brutality of a murder is not sufficient evidence to prove premeditation in a first-degree premeditated murder charge. Furthermore, the court vacated a second count of first-degree murder on a felony-murder theory because the jury instructions erroneously allowed for a conviction based on the crime of using false pretenses to defraud. 
 

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