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A Better Partnership

August 2013

Aug 2013
August 29, 2013

COA holds that defendant may have been "substitute teacher" while on summer vacation

In People v Lewis, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that a defendant, who was a long term substitute teacher in a school district, may have been a "substitute teacher" for the purpose of Michigan's criminal sexual assault statute, even though the assault occurred during summer vacation.  The court reasoned that the statute unambiguously imposed liability when the actor is a "substitute teacher," and does not contain any temporal requirement.  Accordingly, the Court of Appeals concluded the trial court erred by dismissing the charges against the defendant on the basis that the assault occurred during summer vacation, and remanded for further proceedings.

Aug 2013
August 25, 2013

COA clarifies plaintiffs’ burden in unfunded mandate cases

In Adair v. Michigan Department of Education, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that a plaintiff alleging insufficient appropriation for a state-mandated task must make a showing that the Legislature used flawed methodology to calculate the appropriation.

Aug 2013
August 23, 2013

COA holds that clergy-parishioner privilege extends to statements made regarding third parties

In People v Prominski, the Court of Appeals considered whether a clergy member had an obligation to report suspected child abuse.  There, a parishioner told her pastor that she was concerned that her husband might be sexually abusing her daughters, and sought his advice regarding the situation.  Although a mandatory reporter, the pastor did not report the suspected abuse.  He was charged with failure to report child abuse

Aug 2013
August 16, 2013

COA holds that an attorney for a receiver is an aggrieved party who may appeal district court's low fee award

In Abel v. Grossman Investments Co., the Michigan Court of Appeals held that an attorney brought into a case by a receiver may appeal a decision regarding his fee.  The attorney in this case case sought fees that far exceeded the judgment he was trying to help the receiver collect.  The district court awarded him much less than he wanted, and he appealed to the circuit court.  The circuit court dismissed because the attorney was not a party

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