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October 2015

Oct 2015
30
October 30, 2015

COA: A motor vehicle that was not driven is not statutorily required to pay for accidental damage arising out of its ownership or maintenance

In Meemic Insurance Co. v. Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance, No. 322072, the Court of Appeals held that an insurer of an owner of a motor vehicle involved in an accident is not statutorily required to pay property insurance benefits if the motor vehicle was not driven and the owner elected to forgo no-fault insurance.

Oct 2015
30
October 30, 2015

COA: Transfer of personal property solely for the purpose of providing a service is nontaxable under Michigan’s Use Tax Act

In Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. Department of Treasury, No. 321505, the Court of Appeals held that contracts between the plaintiff and a third-party were not subject to Michigan’s Use Tax Act (UTA) because the plaintiff did not exercise the requisite “use” to subject the software to the tax.

Oct 2015
30
October 30, 2015

COA: A hospital has no common law duty to assist a discharged patient with transportation

In Chelik v. Capitol Transport, L.L.C., No. 32349, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that Michigan law does not impose a duty on a hospital in aiding a discharged patient with transportation.  The Court affirmed the trial court’s grant of the defendant hospital’s motion for directed verdict.  

Oct 2015
28
October 28, 2015

COA articulates standard for “reasonableness” of a departure from the sentencing guidelines in post-Lockridge world

For the first time since People v. Lockridge, the Michigan Court of Appeals has articulated a standard for analyzing the reasonableness of a sentence when it departs from the defendant’s advisory sentencing guideline range.  In People v. Steanhouse, No. 318329, the Court held that trial courts should employ the “principle of proportionality” test articulated in People v. Milbourn.  Under this test, sentences must be proportionate to the seriousness of the circumstances surrounding the offense and the offender.  If the sentence fulfills this principle of proportionality, it is reasonable.  In Milbourn, the Michigan Supreme Court recognized that departures from the guidelines are appropriate where the guidelines do not adequately account for important factors legitimately considered at sentencing.  The Court further stated that even where some departure appears to be appropriate, the extent of the departure (rather than the fact of the departure itself) may embody a violation of the principle of proportionality.  In deciding on the “principle of proportionality” test, the Court of Appeals rejected the abuse of discretion standard of review used by federal courts, because, unlike the federal system, Michigan courts are not procedurally bound to apply the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors.   Defendant’s case was remanded in order for the trial court to determine whether defendant’s 30 to 60 year sentence was reasonable under the “principle of proportionality” test.

Oct 2015
26
October 26, 2015

COA: If insurer has written notice of third party’s claim, its liability is not discharged by settling with insured under MCL 500.3112

In Covenant Medical Center, Inc. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, No. 322108, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that if an insurer has written notice of a third party’s claim, then the insurer cannot discharge its liability to a third party by settling with its insured; in doing so, the Court reversed the decision of the trial court and remanded the case for further proceedings.

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