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A Better Partnership
April 11, 2009

MSC Order List: April 10, 2009

On April 10, 2009, the Michigan Supreme Court vacated the Court of Appeals decision affirming the denial of a prisoner's petition for superintending control over the Department of Corrections in Kinney v. Department of Corrections and ordered direct review by the Ingham County Circuit Court. Kinney, a prisoner at the Barraga Correctional Facility, kicked a corrections officer while attempting to escape. A Department of Corrections hearing officer found Kinney guilty of assault and battery. Kinney applied for direct review of the hearing officer's decision to the circuit court. Prison records show that although he timely delivered his application to prison officials and it was placed in the mail the next day, the circuit court did not receive it for nearly a month. Because the application was not received before the deadline (even though mailed well in advance of the deadline), the circuit court ordered Kinney to resubmit his application. But again it took more than a month before the court received it and again the application was untimely. The circuit court dismissed the petition. Three years later, Kinney sought superintending control in the Ionia Circuit court which was denied. The Court found the mail delays to be outrageous and ordered the Ingham County Circuit Court (the court where the application for direct review was filed) to grant direct review. Chief Justice Kelly concurred to advocate for the adoption of the prison-mailbox rule which the Court has scheduled for consideration in the coming months. Justices Corrigan and Young dissented, preferring to remand the case to the trial court and to order the Department of Corrections to show cause for the delays in transmitting Kinney's legal mail to the courts. The Court's order is here.

The Court also denied leave to appeal in four cases, remanded People v. Nouri, No. 388016, for consideration by the Court of Appeals as on leave granted, and granted the appellee's motion for an extension to the briefing schedule in part in Seyburn, Kahn, Ginn, Bess, Deitch & Serlin, P.C. v. Bakashi.

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