COA holds that defendant must register under SORA even where conviction for unlawful imprisonment of minor involved no sexual contact

In People v. Bosca, No. 317633, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not err in requiring the defendant to register as a sex offender, where the defendant was convicted of unlawful imprisonment of a minor in violation of MCL 750.349b.  The Court determined that the required registration was constitutional and was proper under the 2011 version of SORA applicable in this case.  Even though the underlying conduct was not of a sexual nature, registration is required because unlawful imprisonment involved a victim under the age of 18 is a listed offense Read More

MSC will consider whether trial court erred by admitting entire recording of interrogation and testimony regarding sexual abuse accommodation syndrome

In People v. Tomasik, No. 149371, the Michigan Supreme Court granted leave to appeal to consider whether the trial court erred by (1) admitting a recording of the entire police interrogation; (2) admitting expert testimony regarding child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome under MRE 702; and (3) denying the defendant’s motion for a new trial based on newly disclosed impeachment evidence from a 2003 report concluding that the abuse victim tended to be dishonest.
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MSC directs COA to decide whether state’s failure to execute probation violation warrant, when it knew defendant was serving prison sentence out-of-state, entitles defendant to relief

In People v. Cowan, No. 149595, the Michigan Supreme Court remanded to the Court of Appeals, directing it to consider whether the defendant is entitled to relief because the State of Michigan, whether deliberately or negligently, failed to execute a warrant for a probation violation while it knew that the defendant was serving a prison sentence in Indiana. The Court directed the Court of Appeals’ attention to People v. Ortman, 209 Mich. App. 251 (1995), in which it held the warrant should have been waived when the state waited almost two years to execute the warrant, and People v. Diamond, 59 Mich. App. 581 (1975), in which the Court of Appeals held that probation authorities must use due diligence in executing a probation revocation warrant once it has issued. The Court directed the Court of Appeals to compare the Michigan cases with Moody v. Daggett, 429 U.S. 78 (1976), in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that a prisoner was not denied due process when authorities waited to execute a parole violation warrant until he was done serving prison time for another crime.   
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MSC grants mini-oral argument on question of whether obstruction of a license plate by a towing ball, in violation MCL 257.225(2), permits traffic stop

In People v. Dunbar, No. 150371, the Michigan Supreme Court granted mini-oral argument to consider whether to grant leave to appeal on the issue of whether the obstruction of a license plate with a towing ball violates MCL 257.225(2), therefore allowing officers to conduct a traffic stop. The defendant was convicted of drug violations after a search of his vehicle after a traffic stop revealed contraband. The officers conducted the stop because the vehicle’s license plate was partially obstructed with the vehicle’s towing ball. MCL 257.225(2) provides that “[t]he [license] plate shall be maintained free from foreign materials that obscure or partially obscure the registration information and in a clearly legible condition.” The Court of Appeals held, over a dissent, that the stop was unconstitutional, as the presence of a towing ball did not violate the statute, particularly because thousands of Michigan vehicles are equipped with towing balls. Our prior post discussing the Court of Appeals opinion is here.
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COA holds that part of a facility may qualify for air pollution control tax exemptions but the State Tax Commission must seek MDEQ’s approval before granting such exemptions

The Michigan Court of Appeals in City of Sterling Heights v. Chrysler, No. 317310, held that a party may seek a tax exemption for air pollution control systems, and such systems need not be the purpose of the entire structure. Further, the Court held that before the State Tax Commission (“Commission”) grants an air pollution tax exemption, it must seek the approval of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (“MDEQ”). Read More

COA concludes that a party who prevails under the Revocation of Paternity Act may vacate a prior child support order

In Adler v. Dormio, No. 319608, the Court of Appeals held that a person who obtains a judgment under the Revocation of Paternity Act may seek relief from a prior support order under applicable Michigan Court Rules. Therefore, the Court of Appeals vacated and remanded the trial court’s order that denied defendant’s motion to vacate a child support order. Read More

MIFPA’s high standard for denying request to transfer adoption proceedings to tribal court may give tribes a second bite at the apple

According to the Court of Appeals, Michigan’s Indian Family Preservation Act (MIFPA) does not permit a circuit court to deny a request to transfer an Indian child custody proceeding to a tribal court based on the timeliness of the request or the effect the transfer may have on the child’s best interests despite the merit of these considerations.  As such, the Court reversed the circuit court’s denial of the tribe’s transfer request in In re Spears, No. 320584, even though the proceedings began back in 2010 and the tribe only submitted its request after the Michigan Children’s Institute failed to recommend the tribe’s preferred adoptive placement.
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COA clarifies distance calculations under Michigan’s 100 mile rule in child custody disputes

Michigan law provides that when parents share custody, one parent may not move more than 100 miles from the child’s legal residence at the commencement of the divorce action without obtaining either the consent of the other parent or court approval.  MCL 722.31(1).  In Eickelberg v. Eickelberg, No. 318840, the Court of Appeals held that for purposes of this rule, the distance of such a move should be measured starting from the child’s legal residence when the action for divorce is filed.  Read More

COA finds that trustees lack standing to sue for breach of contracts ancillary to a trust agreement

On April 25, 2012, the City of Pontiac’s emergency manager issued Executive Orders 206 and 207.  Those orders modified retiree healthcare benefits for the City’s firefighters and police, respectively.  In Board of Trustees of the City of Pontiac Police & Fire Retiree Prefunded Group Health & Insurance Trust v. City of Pontiac, No. 316680, the plaintiff board of trustees brought several claims against the City based on Executive Orders 206 and 207 for improperly reducing the healthcare benefits.  The trial court found the board’s claims meritless and granted summary disposition in favor of defendants.  The board appealed. Read More
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