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A Better Partnership

December 2014

Dec 2014
02
December 02, 2014

MSC holds that disagreement with the sentencing guidelines range is not a substantial and compelling reason for an upward departure

In People v. Preece, No. 150292, the Michigan Supreme Court remanded to the trial court for resentencing in lieu of granting leave to appeal. The defendant was convicted of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, in violation of MCL 750.520c1a, and violated the terms of his probation. The Michigan Supreme Court held that the trial court’s disagreement with the guidelines range for the defendant’s offense was not a substantial and compelling reason for an upward departure, and remanded for resentencing in accordance with its order.

Dec 2014
02
December 02, 2014

MSC to consider whether conspiracy to submit election petitions with fraudulent signatures constitutes conspiracy to commit a legal act in an illegal manner

The Michigan Supreme Cout granted leave to appeal in People v. Seewald, No. 150146. The defendant, a campaign worker, was charged with conspiracy to commit a legal act in an illegal manner, MCL 157a(d), stemming from his signing of nominating petitions for former Congressman Thaddeus McCotter’s failed 2012 reelection campaign, in violation of MCL 169.544c. He and another campaign worker signed petitions that should have been signed by the person who actually circulated the petitions and submitted them to the Secretary of State. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion to quash the bindover on the conspiracy charges, noting that the defendants acted illegally by signing the nominating petitions, and therefore did not conspire to commit a legal act in an illegal manner. The prosecution appealed, and the Court of Appeals affirmed. The Michigan Supreme Court granted the application for leave to appeal, and invited the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan and the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan to file briefs amicus curiae.

Dec 2014
02
December 02, 2014

MSC grants mini-oral argument on whether failure to investigate use of expert testimony constitutes ineffective assistance of counsel

The Michigan Supreme Court granted mini-oral argument on the defendant’s application for leave to appeal in People v. Ackley, No. 149479. The court directed the parties to file supplemental briefs on whether the defendant was denied the effective assistance of counsel because his trial counsel failed to investigate the possibility of using expert testimony on behalf of the defendant.

Dec 2014
01
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.

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