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One Court of Justice Blog

May 2016
27
May 27, 2016

COA holds that insurer may rescind policy even after an accident, if it is determined that the insured made misrepresentations in obtaining the policy and insurer relied on the misrepresentations.

In  21st Century Premier Insurance Company v. Zufelt, et al.  No.  325657, the Court of Appeals held that an insurer may rescind an insured party’s policy if there are material misrepresentations made by the insured without consideration of the intent of the insured, if the insurance policy calls for such recession and the insurer relied on the misrepresentations in granting the policy.  Furthermore, a renewal of a policy, which was originally granted due to misrepresentations in the initial policy, will have no effect on ability of the insurer to rescind the policy even if the misrepresentations were cured in the renewal policy and accident occurred after the renewal policy.
 

May 2016
27
May 27, 2016

COA holds that power companies have an obligation to reasonably inspect and maintain power lines

In Estate of Catherine Skidmore v. Consumers Energy Company No. 323757, the Michigan Court of Appeals reaffirmed a Michigan Supreme Court holding that power companies have an obligation to reasonably inspect and repair wires, and that duty involves more than remedying defective conditions brought to their attention. Schultz v Consumers Power Co. 443 Mich 445; 506 NW2d 175 (1993). Moreover, the Court held that rescuers are foreseeable, and a reasonable rescue attempt will not make the rescuer comparatively negligent if they voluntarily put themselves at an increased risk of harm to save another.  Finally, the Court held that only the owner of a subject property may assert that their duty is limited by the open and obvious doctrine.

May 2016
27
May 27, 2016

COA holds that a spouse be must willfully and physical absent from her decedent spouse for at least a year before death to be disqualified from electing against the decedent's will

In Lovett v. Peterson, No. 326017, the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld a Houghton Probate Court decision that a wife who was physically separated from her husband for many years while he lived with his mistress was not “willfully absent” under the testate spousal election statute MCL 700.2801(2)(e)(i).

May 2016
27
May 27, 2016

COA holds that there can be statutory grounds for termination of parental rights because of abuse even if the parent has not been criminally convicted of that abuse

The Michigan Court of Appeals held in In re Schadler, minors, No. 327977 that parental rights may be terminated because the parent abused the child in violation of MCL 712A.19b(3) (k)(ii), even if the parent was never criminally convicted of the abuse. 

May 2016
26
May 26, 2016

Evidence of prior acts of criminal sexual conduct is not always admissible under MCL 768.27a

The Michigan Supreme Court held in People v. Uribe, No. 32112, that even though Michigan law permits the admissibility of evidence of the defendant’s past bad acts involving child sexual abuse, under certain circumstances, the admissibility of the evidence is not automatic.  There are several factors that should be considered in judging admissibility of this type of evidence, including differences between past acts and the current charged crime and the reliability of the evidence supporting the occurrence of the past acts.  Further any evidence of this type of prior bad act must still pass muster under MRE 403—it must be more probative than prejudicial. 

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