COA: A properly crafted named-driver exclusion in a vehicle insurance policy allows insurers to exclude coverage for damages caused by specific drivers

In Frankenmuth Insurance Co. v. Poll, No. 320674, the Michigan Court of Appeals reviewed the trial court’s ruling on a motion for summary disposition as well as de novo issues involving statutory construction and construction of insurance contracts as they apply to named-driver exclusion provisions in an insurance policy under the No-Fault Act, MCL 500.3101. The Court of Appeals held that a named-driver exclusion may allow insurers to exclude specific drivers from an insurance policy. Read More

MSC rules that convictions for both OWI and OWI causing injury, arising out of same incident, violates double jeopardy

In People v. Miller, No. 149502, the Michigan Supreme Court held that conviction and punishment of both operating while intoxicated (“OWI”) and operating while intoxicated causing serious impairment of another person’s body function (“OWI-injury”) arising from the same incident violates the constitutional protection of double jeopardy. Except where explicitly authorized by statute, double jeopardy protects defendants against successive prosecutions for the same offense and against the imposition of multiple punishments for the same offense. 
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Interview with SCOTUS Justice Samuel Alito

Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, is posting a series of thought provoking conversations with some of America's leading public figures.  This week's interview features U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. Read More

COA requires clear and convincing evidence of arbitrary and capricious decision-making to overturn adoption decisions of the Michigan Children's Institute

In In re ASF, Minor, No. 324821, the Michigan Court of Appeals considered what evidence is sufficient to successfully challenge the determination of the superintendent of the Michigan Children’s Institute withholding consent for adoption.  Because the Court determined that the trial court did not clearly err when it found that petitioners failed to present clear and convincing evidence demonstrating that the superintendent’s decision was arbitrary and capricious, the Court affirmed the decision of the circuit court upholding the superintendent’s decision denying consent for the adoption. Read More

COA holds that utility companies may install “smart meters” on customer property and enter onto property without owner permission

The Michigan Court of Appeals in Detroit Edison Company  v. Stenman, No. 321203, held that Michigan utility provider, Detroit Edison Company (“DTE”), may install “smart meters” on customer property, and the installation of the meters did not violate the property owners’ health and privacy rights under the Fourth Amendment. It further held that DTE may enter onto real property to service its equipment without landowner permission. Read More

COA determines that an assignee of a cause of action becomes the real party in interest with respect to that cause of action

In the consolidated cases of Cannon Township v. Rockford Public Schools, Nos. 320683 and 320940, the Court of Appeals held that an agreement assigning a cause of action to another party creates a real party in interest. Therefore, the court affirmed the trial court’s denial of Rockford Public Schools’ (RPS) motion for summary disposition against Cannon Township. Read More

COA: Tort claimant suing transit authority cannot satisfy statutory requirement of timely written notice of claims by filing application for no-fault benefits

In Clay v. Doe, No. 321008, the Court of Appeals held that a tort claimant bringing suit against a transportation authority must provide the authority with written notice of the claim no later than 60 days from the injury occurrence pursuant to Michigan’s Metropolitan Transportation Authorities Act of 1967, MCL 124.419.  Additionally, the Court of Appeals reaffirmed that an application for no-fault benefits from a transit authority’s insurance administrator does not comply with the 60-day notice requirement.   Read More

COA: Condominium association must follow formalities in bylaws before initiating suit

In Tuscany Grove Association v. Peraino, No. 320685, the Court of Appeals held that a condominium association may not initiate an action that will incur litigation costs unless the association complies with the requisite formalities in its bylaws. Therefore, the court affirmed the trial court’s order granting defendant’s motion for summary disposition because the condominium association did not obtain a supermajority vote before filing its action. Read More

Michigan Judicial Institute's Handbook of Legal Terms

The Michigan Supreme Court created the Michigan Judicial Institute, or MJI, in 1977 to provide education programs and materials for Michigan judges and court personnel.  One of the MJI's first projects was to publish a handbook of Legal Terms for court staff who may have lacked a legal background. Read More

COA - WPA plaintiffs must be a current employee and are obligated to prove their whistleblowing objectively advances the public interest

In Whitman v. City of Burton, No. 294703, the Michigan Court of Appeals considered for the third time the case of Bruce Whitman, a former police chief of the City of Burton, and once again held that Mr. Whitman was not entitled to protection under the Whistleblower Protection Act (“WPA”). The Court determined that Mr. Whitman was not a current employee, nor did his whistleblowing objectively advance the public’s interest, and therefore he was not entitled to WPA protection. Read More
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