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A Better Partnership
December 01, 2014

COA holds that Court of Claims’ jurisdiction over statutory claims reaches already-pending cases

In Fulicea v. Michigan Department of Corrections, No. 317283, the Court of Appeals held that the plain language of the statute extending the Court of Claims’ jurisdiction over statutory claims, 2013 PA 164, states that such jurisdiction reaches cases already pending at the statute’s enactment.

The plaintiffs brought a class action under the Fair Labor Standards Act, alleging that the defendants denied them overtime pay for services they were forced to perform outside of their normal work hours. The defendants moved for summary disposition, arguing that the Court of Claims lacked jurisdiction over statutory claims. Under the then-current—June 2013—version of the Court of Claims jurisdiction statute, the defendants were right. The Court of Claims accordingly granted summary disposition.
 
Then the rules changed. The legislature expanded the Court of Claims’ jurisdiction to include statutory claims, effective November 12, 2013. Under 2013 PA 164, the Court of Claims’ jurisdiction over statutory claims applied to “pending and later filed” cases. Because this case was still pending before the Court of Appeals, the Court of Appeals reversed summary disposition for defendants and remanded the case back to the Court of Claims.

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