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One Court of Justice Blog

Nov 2016
17
November 17, 2016

Sixth Amendment is not violated where court relies on judicial fact-finding to impose consecutive sentencing, says COA

The Sixth Amendment, in conjunction with the Due Process Clause, requires that each element of a crime be proved to the jury beyond a reasonable doubt, but that requirement does not apply to the consecutive sentencing statute, according to People v Deleon, No. 329031.  MCL 750.520b(3) allows a term of imprisonment imposed for first-degree criminal sexual conduct to be “served consecutively to any term of imprisonment imposed for any other criminal offense arising from the same transaction.”  In Deleon, the trial judge found that the defendant’s criminal sexual conduct convictions (CSC I and CSC II) both arose from the same transaction and therefore imposed consecutive sentencing.  The court of appeals held that this did not violate the Sixth Amendment right to trial by jury.

Nov 2016
14
November 14, 2016

COA holds that no signature is required in a will if clear and convincing evidence establishes decedent intended the document to constitute his or her will

In Re Attia Estate, No. 327925, the Court of Appeals held the probate court erred by concluding that an unsigned will cannot be admitted to probate as a matter of law. The sole issue presented on appeal was whether a decedent must sign a will in order for that will to be admitted to probate.

Nov 2016
07
November 07, 2016

What an en-tangled web we weave: MSC grants MOAA to consider the scope of the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine

In Winkler v Marist Fathers of Detroit, Inc, No. 152889, the Michigan Supreme Court granted mini-oral argument on whether a court entangles itself in religious doctrine by examining a parochial school’s basis for denying admission.  Bettina Winkler had sought admission to Notre Dame Preparatory High School after receiving repeated assurances that she would be guaranteed admission to the high school if she enrolled in Notre Dame Marist Academy for seventh and eighth grade.  Despite these assurances, however, Notre Dame Preparatory High School did not grant Winkler admission.  Only two months later, Winkler was diagnosed with learning disabilities. She subsequently filed a lawsuit alleging discrimination under the Persons With Disabilities Civil Rights Act (“PWDCRA”), claiming that Notre Dame relied upon her learning disability as a justification for denying her admission to the high school.
 

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