COA holds that a scooter is a “vehicle” under the Michigan Vehicle Code when operated on public roadways

In People v. Lyon, No. 310242, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that the circuit court abused its discretion in dismissing charges against the defendant for operating a vehicle on a public highway while intoxicated under MCL 257.625(1), third offense, and possessing an open container of alcohol under MCL 257.624a.  The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case, holding that the circuit court wrongly concluded that the defendant’s scooter was not a “vehicle” under the Michigan Vehicle Code (“MVC”).
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COA: Prior acts of CSC may not be excluded merely because jury may draw propensity inference

In People v. Uribe, No. 321012, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that the trial court misapplied MCL 768.27a, which allows the prosecutor to present evidence that the defendant committed other sex crimes against children in a child molestation prosecution, when it excluded evidence of the defendant’s other acts of child molestation.  In this case, the Court of Appeals held that the evidence was not probative of a “listed offense” under the statute and, further, it was more probative than prejudical under MCE 403.
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COA affirms DTE's power supply cost recovery plan

In In re Application of Detroit Edison for 2012 Cost Recovery Plan, No. 318388, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the Michigan Public Service Commission’s approval of DTE’s power supply cost recovery plan and its related Reduced Emission Fuel project. Under the Reduced Emission Fuel project, DTE planned to sell coal to affiliated companies that would add chemicals reducing sulfur dioxide, mercury, and nitrous oxide emissions, and then sell the coal back to the company. The cost of the additives was to be offset by reduced power supply cost recovery emissions allowance expense, resulting in a net cost of zero for customers.  Read More

COA: Res judicata need not bar piercing the corporate veil post-judgment

In Green v. Ziegelman, No. 318989, the Court of Appeals concluded that the doctrine of res judicata did not bar the trial court from disregarding Ziegelman Architects’ separate existence from its owner, Norman Ziegelman, and holding Ziegelman personally liable for an earlier judgment against Ziegelman Architects.  The Court also affirmed the trial court’s piercing of Ziegelman Architects’ corporate veil. Read More

COA holds that a parent’s failure and inability to protect children from abuse supports termination of that parent’s rights

In In re Gonzales & Martinez, No. 324168, the Court of Appeals held that, although the abuser of a mother’s two children was in jail and likely to be deported, the  mother still showed an inability to protect them from future abuse; therefore, her parental rights were properly terminated. Read More

COA upholds public body’s right to require down payment of fees before processing FOIA requests

In Arabo v Michigan Gaming Control Board, No. 318623, the Michigan Court of Appeals considered whether requiring a good faith deposit of one-half the assessed fee associated with fulfilling a request under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) constitutes a denial of that request.  The court held that a public body may require the payment of a portion of these fees before it begins the process of producing the requested public documents.  Such payment is a prerequisite of the request and therefore a request cannot be said to be denied where the deposit has not been paid. Read More

COA: Michigan’s No Fault Act does not allow out-of-state residents to sue in tort for economic damages outside of those provided for by personal protection benefits

In Diallo v. Estate of Wrozek, No. 319680, the Court of Appeals held that Michigan’s No Fault Act does not allow out-of-state residents to sue in tort for economic damages if those damages are not provided for through personal protection insurance benefits.  Read More

COA holds that points under OV 4 must be supported by evidence of psychological harm to victim

In People v. McChester, No 318145, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that under Offense Variable 4, for psychological injury to a victim, points may only be assessed where a preponderance of the evidence supports the proposition that the victim suffered serious psychological injury.

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MSC grants mini-oral argument on whether a court must consider all seven factors in MCL 600.2955(1) when determining an expert witness’s reliability

In Cullum v. Lopatin, No. 149955, Cullum sued Dr. Lopatin for medical malpractice after he developed avascular necrosis (AVN) in his right hip bone allegedly following Dr. Lopatin’s steroid treatment of his sinusitis. Cullum alleged that AVN is a well-known potential side effect of that treatment. Cullum submitted two affidavits of merit with his claim. One stated that Dr. Lopatin breached his standard of care; the other stated that the treatment was the probable cause of Cullum’s AVN.  As is frequently the case in medical malpractice actions, Cullum’s case boiled down to a battle of the experts.  The trial court found Cullum’s expert’s testimony to be too speculative.  The Court of Appeals found the trial court’s expert analysis lacking.  The Michigan Supreme Court granted argument on the application for leave on the following issues: (1) whether the trial court was required to consider all of the factors in MCL 600.2955(1) in light of Edry v. Adelman, 486 Mich. 634 (2010); (2) whether the trial court abused its discretion in holding that plaintiff’s expert’s opinion was inadmissible under MRE 702 because it was based on speculation; and (3) whether the Court of Appeals applied the correct standard of review. Read More

COA holds that defendant cannot be sentenced as both a general habitual offender and a SORA habitual offender

In People v. Allen, No. 318560, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that the trial court erred by sentencing the defendant under both the general habitual offender provision, MCL 769.10(1)(a), and the SORA habitual offender provision, MCL 28.729(1)(b). The defendant was convicted of failing to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration Act, MCL 28.729(1)(b) pursuant to a jury trial. The court held that since the language in the general habitual offender statute directs the court to sentence the defendant to a maximum term that is not more than one and one-half times the sentence for a first offense for that crime, the trial court erred by sentencing the defendant to one and one-half times the maximum sentence under the SORA habitual offender provision.
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