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One Court of Justice Blog

Jan 2018
January 28, 2018

MSC: When does a trial court lose jurisdiction to resentence a defendant?

The Michigan Supreme Court will hold oral argument in People v. Washington (Case No. 156648) to decide whether to grant leave to appeal.  The parties have been ordered to file supplemental briefing addressing whether the trial court had jurisdiction to resentence Washington while his leave to appeal was pending, and if a jurisdiction defect existed, whether defendant was entitled to raise that defect in his later motion for relief from judgment.  

Dec 2017
December 28, 2017

When a misdemeanor is not a misdemeanor

The Michigan Supreme Court will hear oral argument on an application for leave to appeal concerning the effect of a two-year “misdemeanor” conviction.  People v. Washington, Case No. 156283, concerns the question of whether a two-year misdemeanor conviction for maintaining a drug house may serve as the predicate felony conviction for the charge of possessing a firearm during commission of a felony pursuant to MCL 750.227b.  If the Court grants the application, this case has the potential to have significant ramifications for individuals with so-called “high court misdemeanor” convictions.

Nov 2017
November 15, 2017

MSC to consider scope of rape-shield statute

The Michigan Supreme Court will consider whether, in a criminal sexual conduct case, evidence of a victim’s pregnancy, lack of prior sexual activity, and abortion is barred by the rape-shield statute as “[e]vidence of specific instances of the victim’s sexual conduct, opinion evidence of the victim’s sexual conduct, [or] reputation evidence of the victim’s sexual conduct...” MCL 750.520j(1). The parties in People v. Sharpe, Case Nos. 155747-8, also have been asked to address whether, if the evidence is covered by the rape-shield statute, it is nonetheless admissible under one of the statute’s exceptions.  Further, if the evidence is not barred by the rape-shield statute, the parties have been asked to address whether the evidence is admissible under MRE 402 and MRE 403.  The Court of Appeals previously held that the evidence is not necessarily barred by MRE 404(a) or Michigan’s rape-shield statute.  Our blog post discussing the Court of Appeal’s opinion can be found here.

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