COA rejects constitutional challenge to the transfer of the Court of Claims jurisdiction from the Ingham County Circuit Court to the Court of Appeals

The Court of Claims hears certain claims brought against the State.  In 2013, the Michigan Legislature transferred the jurisdiction of that Court from the Ingham County Circuit Court to the Court of Appeals.  In Okrie v State of Michigan, No. 913550, the Court of Appeals considered the original action petition challenging the constitutionality of that statute.  Although the Court of Appeals raised questions about the wisdom of this transfer of jurisdiction, it ultimately concluded that this facial challenge to the statute must fail because the Court of Claims is a legislatively created court, and assigning the Court of Claims cases to Court of Appeals judges does not require those judges to hold incompatible offices, and such judges are capable of being impartial decision makers even though other judges from the Court of Appeals would conduct the direct appellate review of Court of Claims decisions. Read More

COA Chief Judge Murphy throws hat in the ring for MSC nomination

Michigan Court of Appeals Chief Judge William Murphy has announced that he will seek the Democratic party's nomination to one of the three Michigan Supreme Court seats available in this November's election. Read More

COA upholds constitutional validity of staute allowing a PPO based on a single prior sexual assault

The Court of Appeals, in IME v. DBS, upheld the constitutionality of MCL 600.2950a(2)(a), which allows a court to issue a PPO based on a single prior sexual assault.  The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s issuance of the PPO.
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COA holds that school districts can lose state aid based on retroactive audits

In Galien Township School District v. Department of Education, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that the Michigan Department of Education has the power to retroactively audit a school district’s prior data.  If that prior data resulted in an improper allocation of state aid, the Department can also reduce the district’s state aid allocations. Read More

COA holds that activities in an underground non-ferrous metallic mineral mine fall within the scope of the mining permit and do not require a separate discharge permit

The rules governing groundwater discharge permits, particularly for underground mines, just became clearer thanks to the Court of Appeals’ recent decision in National Wildlife Federation v. Department of Environmental Quality, No. 308366.  Adopting a practical view of the groundwater discharge permit procedures under Part 31 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, the Court affirmed the DEQ’s decision to grant a groundwater discharge permit to the Kennecott Eagle Minerals Company in connection with Kennecott’s underground nickel and copper mine in Marquette County.  In doing so, the Court held that Kennecott’s plans to recirculate utility water within the mine, to backfill excavated areas with development rock, and to re-flood the mine upon the completion of operations, were exempt from the permitting requirements of Part 31.  Such activities are instead regulated under Part 632, which governs non-ferrous metallic mineral mining.  See our previous post for discussion of the opinion affirming DEQ’s decision to grant Kennecott a Part 632 mining permit. Read More
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