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A Better Partnership

August 2016

Aug 2016
05
August 05, 2016

Trial Courts must provide spoken instructions to juries

The Michigan Court of Appeals held that trial courts are required to provide juries with spoken instructions of the elements of a charged crime.  In People v. Traver, No. 325883, the defendant appealed his convictions for assault with a dangerous weapon (felonious assault) and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony (felony-firearm).  Defendant contended that although the trial court provided the jurors with written instructions reciting the elements of the charged offenses, it failed to read aloud the elements of the two counts on which he was found guilty.  Defendant further complained that the instructions as given were defective.  The Court of Appeals agreed, and reversed defendant’s convictions and remanded for a new trial.
 

Aug 2016
04
August 04, 2016

COA: Three year limitations period governs plaintiff's discrimination claims

In Major v. Village of Newberry, No. 322368, the Court of Appeals held that a three-year limitation period is applicable to recover damages for injury to a person, despite a shorter limitations period being set forth by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Michigan’s Department of Civil Rights (MDCR).  Furthermore, the court held that evidence of direct statements and affidavits are sufficient for age and sex discrimination claims to survive summary disposition.

Aug 2016
04
August 04, 2016

COA – Boat seller is no longer an "owner" after delivery of title to a purchaser

In Williams v. Kennedy, No. 325267, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that the seller of a boat does not qualify as an “owner” during the period after the seller delivered the certificate of title to the purchaser but before transfer of title has been registered with the Secretary of State.

Aug 2016
04
August 04, 2016

COA: Michigan's civil forfeiture scheme is unconstitutional as applied to a claimant could not afford to post bond to challenge forfeiture

In In re Forfeiture of 2000 GMC Denali and Contents, No. 328547, the Court of Appeals held a claimant’s due process rights were violated where she was unable to contest the government’s seizing and resulting forfeiture of her property because she could not afford to post the bond required by civil forfeiture statute.  While the Court held that the statute was not unconstitutional on its face, as applied to the claimant, the civil forfeiture scheme operated to deprive her of a significant property interest without first affording her the opportunity for a hearing.

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