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One Court of Justice Blog

Apr 2017
15
April 15, 2017

Statute means what it says: any movement of victim to a place of greater danger supports OV 8 score.

Judicial additions to a plainly defined word are impermissible, said the Michigan Supreme Court. In People v. Barrera, No. 151282, the court held that the trial court had correctly decided the scoring of Offense Variables (OVs) for a crime of sexual assault. Rejecting prior holdings that expanded the requirements in the relevant criminal statute, the court found that the statute means what it says—any movement, or “asportation,” that involves moving the victim to a place of greater danger results in OV 8 being scored at 15 points. The statute does not provide an “incidental movement” exception, and courts are not at liberty to add one.
 

Apr 2017
12
April 12, 2017

A statute of limitations defense belongs only to the party raising it and cannot be resolved before that party is added to an action

A court may not preemptively decide whether a statute of limitations defense is available to a necessary party before he or she has been made a party to the litigation, held the Michigan Supreme Court in Graham v. Foster, No. 152058.  Additionally, the Court also held that a person timely made a party to an action may not claim on his or her own behalf that the action is time-barred on the basis of the plaintiff’s failure to add a necessary party before the limitations period expired.
 

Apr 2017
12
April 12, 2017

COA: Contract with the state does not create a legal duty, does not make the contractor a public officer

Signing a contract with the Wayne County Building Authority does not make an independent contractor a public officer, said the Michigan Court of Appeals. In People v. Parlovecchio, No. 333590, the prosecution claimed that the defendant—an independent building contractor—could be indicted as “a public employee or person holding public trust under MCL 750.478.” The Court of Appeals disagreed. Analyzing the relevant statute, the court found that the criminal statute applies only to public officers and to those who owe a “duty created by law” to a state actor.
 

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