MSC holds that there is no right to a jury trial in shareholder oppression cases

In Madugula v Taub, No 146298, the Michigan Supreme Court addressed the issue of whether there is a right to a jury trial for shareholder oppression claims brought under MCL 450.1489 (“§ 489”) of the Business Corporation Act. Ultimately, the court held that because a shareholder oppression claim is equitable in nature, there is no statutory or constitutional right to a jury trial.  Instead, it must be heard by a court of equity. Accordingly, the Michigan Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals’ decision and the trial court’s judgment in favor of Madugula and remanded the case for further proceedings. Read More

MSC finds that the Michigan Business Tax Act did not repeal the Multistate Tax Compact

In International Business Machines Corp v Department of Treasury, No. 146440, the Michigan Supreme Court held that the Michigan Business Tax Act (the “BTA”), MCL 208.1101 et seq., did not repeal the Multistate Tax Compact (the “Compact”), MCL 205.581 et seq.  The Compact, enacted in 1970, was designed to facilitate equitable taxation of multi-state tax payers.  It provides a three-factor apportionment formula that taxpayers may use in place of Michigan’s other apportionment methods.  IBM applied the Compact’s apportionment method and claimed a $5,955,218 tax refund for 2008.  The Department of Treasury ruled that the BTA, enacted in 2008 (repealed in 2012), governed IBM’s income apportionment and allowed for only a $1,253,609 tax refund—a difference of $4.7 million.  The Court of Claims granted summary disposition to the Department and the Court of Appeals affirmed.   Read More

Fifth Amendment and MCL 15.393 do not preclude introduction of police officers’ false statements in subsequent prosecution for obstruction of justice

In People v. Hughes, People v. Harris, and People v. Little, Nos. 316072, 317158, and 317272, respectively, the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for reinstatement of obstruction of justice charges against all three defendants—police officers who made false statements during an internal investigation.  The Michigan Court of Appeals concluded that the defendants’ statements, made during the internal investigation and subject to reservation of their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, could not be used against them in any criminal prosecution for the specific crimes which formed the basis of the disciplinary proceeding.  However, the Fifth Amendment does not preclude use of the statements against the officers in a subsequent collateral prosecution for obstruction of justice.  Further, the Court also concluded that MCL 15.393 precludes the use of a police officer’s truthful “involuntary statement” against that officer in a criminal prosecution.  Here, the officers provided false information during the course of the internal investigation.  Accordingly, MCL 15.393 does not preclude introduction of the false statements.
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COA holds that paternity must be contested and decided by a court for a man to be an “affiliated father” under the Revocation of Paternity Act

In Glaubius v Glaubius, No 318750,  the Michigan Court of Appeals held that categorization as an “affiliated father”  under the Revocation of Paternity Act (RPA) requires that a dispute or question as to a man’s paternity was raised and in fact resolved by a court.  Under the RPA, the classification of a man into one of four “father” categories determines the requirements for revoking his paternity. Read More

COA affirms employee's claim for unemployment benefits, concluding that an airport security guard's use of a computer to aid a passenger was not disqualifying misconduct

In Hodge v. U.S. Security Associates, Inc., No. 311387, the Court was addressing a claim for unemployment insurance benefits from an employee of an airport security contractor.  The employer had a rule prohibiting employees from using client's equipment, including computers.  In this case, the employee used a client computer to look up flight information in response to a passenger's request and was subsequently terminated for breaching the employment policy.  An administrative law judge and the Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission both upheld a determination that the employee was not entitled to unemployment insurance benefits because she had deliberately disregarded the employer's policy.  On appeal, the Circuit Court  reversed finding that the employee's conduct was simply an error in judgment in trying to reconcile her duty to help passengers and the policy against computer use and, thus, did not rise to the level of misconduct necessary to disqualify the employee from receiving benefits.  The Court of Appeals upheld the lower court finding that the question of whether the acts (which were undisputed) rose to the level of misconduct was a question of law, and that the trial court did not err in concluding that the employee did not engage in misconduct under the Michigan Employment Security  Read More
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