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A Better Partnership

February 2015

Feb 2015
February 10, 2015

MSC clarifies standard of review for unemployment-benefit determinations

In lieu of granting leave to appeal and without hearing oral argument, the Michigan Supreme Court in Hodge v. U.S. Security Associates, Inc., No. 149984, reversed the Court of Appeals and held that an administrative law judge applied the proper legal standard in determining that an employee was not entitled to unemployment benefits.

Feb 2015
February 09, 2015

MSC to consider whether police officers’ false statements can be used against them in prosecutions for obstruction of justice

In the consolidated appeal of People v Harris, Nos. 149872, 149873, 150042, the Michigan Supreme Court granted applications to appeal the Court of Appeals’ July 15, 2014 opinion. Three police officers lied during an excessive force investigation and were charged with obstruction of justice. The trial court held that the officers’ false statements were barred in the prosecution for obstruction of justice under the Fifth Amendment and MCL 15.393. However, the Court of Appeals overturned the lower court’s decision and reinstated the charges.  On appeal the court will consider: 1) whether the Disclosures by Law Enforcement Act, MCL 15.391, et seq. bars the use of false statements by a police officer in prosecution for obstruction for justice; and, 2) whether the defendants’ signed waivers bar the use of false statements in criminal prosecution under their state and federal rights against self-incrimination. PAAM and CDAM are invited to file briefs amicus curiae.

Feb 2015
February 09, 2015

MSC orders resentencing after determining the conspiracy offense to be a crime against public safety not against a person

In People v Bennett, No. 149264, the Michigan Supreme Court vacated the Oakland County Circuit Court sentence and remanded the case for resentencing. The defendant was convicted of conspiracy. Under MCL 777.18 and People v Bonilla-Machado, 489 Mich 412 (2011), the conspiracy offense is considered a crime against public safety not a crime against a person. Thus, the defendant was wrongly assessed 25 points for offense variable (OV) 13. The Michigan Supreme Court orders the trial court to resentence defendant within the guidelines, or alternatively allow defendant to withdraw his guilty plea.

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