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A Better Partnership
April 02, 2009

MSC Order List: April 1, 2009

On April 1, 2009, the Michigan Supreme Court denied seven applications for leave and held two criminal cases, People v. Bell and People v. Struckey, in abeyance pending the Court's decision in People v. Idziak, Case No. 137301. The Court also took substantive action in one civil and four criminal cases. These cases are discussed after the jump.

In Frohriep v. Flanagan, in lieu of granting leave to appeal, the Court reversed part of the Court of Appeals' judgment and remanded the case back to the Ingham County Circuit Court. Frohriep had been held in abeyance pending the Court's resolution of Odom v. Wayne County, Case No. 133433. In Frohriep, the Court agreed that the Court of Appeals correctly decided that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. However, in light of the Odom decision, the Court reversed the Court of Appeals' decision that the defendant failed to state a claim for the remaining intentional torts. The Court noted that in light of Odom, the Court of Appeals erred in concluding that the burden of proof with regard to qualified governmental immunity application to the defendants Hughes and Ciloski rested with the plaintiffs. Rather, the Court noted that the burden of proof correctly laid with the defendants. A copy of the order can be found here.

In People v. George, in lieu of granting leave to appeal, the Court remanded the case to the Court of Appeals for consideration as on leave granted. Chief Justice Kelly, and Justices Cavanagh and Hathaway dissented. A copy of the order can be found here.

In People v Hernandez, the Court vacated the sentence of the Saginaw Circuit Court, and in lieu of granting leave to appeal, remanded the case to the trial court for resentencing. Hernandez concerned the application of adult criminal sentences to juvenile offenders. Under MCL 769.1(3), the trial court is required to conduct a hearing at the juvenile defendant's sentencing to determine if the juvenile should be committed to an institution or agency described in the youth rehabilitation services act, or whether an adult sentence should be imposed. The prosecutor and defendant may agree to waive the hearing; but if the hearing is waived, the court may only place the defendant on probation or commit the defendant to an institution or agency described in the youth rehabilitation services act-the court is barred from imposing an adult sentence. MCL 769.1(4). In Hernandez, the hearing required by MCL 769.1(3) was waived, but an adult sentence was imposed, in violation of MCL 769.1(4). A copy of the order can be found here.

In People v. Webber, in lieu of granting leave to appeal, the Court remanded the case to the Isabella County Circuit Court. At sentencing, the defendant requested that a number of corrections be made to the presentence investigation report. The sentencing court ruled that several of the changes would be made. However, the copy of the report in the trial court record did not reflect those changes. The Court remanded the case to the Isabella County Circuit Court and ordered a corrected copy of the report to be prepared and transmitted to the Michigan Department of Corrections in accordance with MCR 6.425. In all other respects, the Court denied the defendant's leave to appeal. A copy of the order can be found here.

Finally, in People v. Holder, the Court granted a motion by the Michigan Department of Corrections ("MDOC") for immediate consideration and for leave to participate in oral argument. The Court directed the MDOC to be prepared to discuss: (1) what standards or guidelines the MDOC utilizes in sending letters to trial courts requesting amended judgments of sentence; (2) if the MDOC does have standards for such letters, if the standards were followed in this case; and (3) whether it is the MDOC's policy to send out letters after a prisoner has been discharged on parole and, if so, if there is any policy limiting the time after a defendant is discharged that such letters are sent to trial courts. A copy of the order can be found here.

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