MSC grants oral argument to consider whether the Court of Claims has authority to determine compensation rate

In Michigan Association of Governmental Employees v. Michigan, No. 147511, the Michigan Supreme Court granted oral argument on the application to consider whether the plaintiff’s breach of contract claim is cognizable in the Court of Claims.  The parties disagreed on a percent increase for the compensation agreement for fiscal years 2009-2011.  The Court of Claims granted summary disposition in favor of defendants with regard to plaintiff’s claims of unjust enrichment and equal protection, but granted summary disposition, in part, in favor of plaintiff with regard to the breach of contract claim.  The plaintiff did not appeal the ruling regarding the unjust enrichment and equal protection claims.  The Court of Appeals affirmed. Read More

MSC to determine whether statute operates as statute of repose or statute of limitations

In Frank v. Linkner, No. 151888, the Michigan Supreme Court granted leave to appeal to consider when the plaintiffs’ cause of action accrued and whether MCL 450.4515(1)(e) constitutes a statute of repose, a statute of limitations, or both.  MCL 450.4515(1)(e) sets forth the time period a member may bring an oppression claim for damages, which is either three years after the cause of action accrues, or two years after its discovery, whichever comes first.  The trial court determined the plaintiffs’ action was time barred because MCL 450.4515(1)(e) acted as a three-year statute of repose.  The Court of Appeals concluded the statute was not a statute of repose, but a statute of limitations.  The Michigan Supreme Court granted leave to appeal on two issues: (1) whether MCL 4515(1)(e) is a statute of repose, a statute of limitations, or both; and (2) when the plaintiffs’ cause of action accrued. Read More

MSC grants oral argument to consider scope of district court funding and revenue sharing

In City of Huntington Woods v. City of Oak Park, No. 152035, the Michigan Supreme Court granted oral argument on the application to consider whether all cities in a judicial district are required to fund the district court and whether the cities are entitled to revenue sharing of court-imposed fees.  The trial court granted partial summary disposition for the defendants, finding that both parties were obligated to fund the district court and that the court funds were not subject to distribution under MCL 600.8379.  The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that cities served by a district court located elsewhere must financially support that district court, and that the cities are not entitled to share in court revenues collected for purposes other than prosecution (i.e. fees are not “fines and costs” that must be shared). Read More

MSC grants MOA to consider what creates a question of fact as to gross negligence

The Michigan Supreme Court granted oral argument on the application in Estate of McLain v City of Lansing Fire Department, No. 151421, to consider whether an intern’s progress notes, without supporting testimony, created a genuine issue of fact on the issue of gross negligence. Read More

MSC grants MOA to consider whether relation-back doctrine applies to the addition of necessary parties

The Michigan Supreme Court granted mini-oral argument in Graham v Foster, No. 152058, to consider whether, pursuant to the relation-back doctrine, a necessary-party defendant may be added to a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired. Read More

MSC grants MOA to assess vehicle's "transportational" function when parked

In Kemp v Farm Bureau General Insurance Company of Michigan, No. 151719, the Michigan Supreme Court granted oral argument on the application to consider the scope of the Michigan No-Fault Act in situations involving a parked car.  The plaintiff injured himself when he fell on his driveway while gathering personal effects from his parked car. Read More

Whistleblower Protection Act will not protect a worker fired for reporting suspected future violations (but public policy might)

Employees looking for job security under the Whistleblowers’ Protection Act (WPA) will have to look elsewhere if they report a suspected future violation but have no reason to suspect an existing or past violation has occurred, according to the Michigan Supreme Court in Pace v. Edel-Harrelson, No. 151374.  According to the court, such reports fail to qualify as “protected activity” under the WPA.  It remanded to the Court of Appeals, however, for consideration of the plaintiff’s claim that the discharge violated public policy, explaining that because the WPA does not apply, it does not preempt the public policy claim.  To read our previous post about the Court of Appeals decision, click here. Read More

COA: Michigan Indian Family Preservation Act Not Unconstitutionally Vague

The Michigan Court of Appeals held, in In re E.M. England, No. 327240, that the Michigan Indian Family Preservation Act (MIFPA) is not unconstitutionally vague.  MIFPA requires a trial court to conclude that active efforts have been made to provide remedial services and rehabilitative programs designed to prevent the breakup of an Indian family prior to terminating parental rights of an Indian child.  The Court further held that that the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) met the heightened standard required to terminate the Respondent’s parental rights, and affirmed the trial court’s termination of parental rights.
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COA – Municipality allowed to treat water service arrearages as a lien and place them on municipality’s tax rolls

By reading three statutes, which all relate to the collection of monies for water services, together as a one law, the Court of Appeals held that a municipality could place water service arrearages on the municipality’s tax rolls in NL Ventures VI Farmington, LLC v. City of Livonia, No. 323144.  The trial court erred in reading MCL 141.101, et seq., MCL 123.161 et seq., and Livonia Ordinances, § 13.08.010, et seq. as separate, unrelated statutes.  Because these statutes “provide mechanisms for the collection for water services that have been rendered but where payment . . . has fallen into arrears,” they had to be read as one law.  Accordingly, the City of Livonia (the “City”) was permitted to place the water service arrearages of NL Ventures VI Farmington, LLC (“NL Ventures”) on the municipality’s tax rolls.  Further, the Court concluded that NL Venture’s claims against the City for tortious interference and civil conspiracy were shielded by governmental immunity because the City was engaged in a governmental function in collecting water charges. Read More

MSC directs COA to consider viability of post-judgment interest on offer-of-judgment sanctions

The Michigan Supreme Court in Lech v Huntmore Estates Condo Association, No. 151943, vacated the portion of the Court of Appeals’ opinion holding that statutory judgment interest under MCL 600.6013 does not apply to an award of offer of judgment sanctions, and remanded the case for reconsideration. Read More
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