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A Better Partnership
May 30, 2009

MSC Order List: May 29, 2009

On Friday, May 29, 2009, the Michigan Supreme Court granted leave in the four cases below, ordered oral argument on the application for leave in one case, and denied leave to appeal in three cases. The Court also peremptorily reversed the Court of Appeals and reinstated the circuit court's decisions in two cases, and remanded one case to the Court of Appeals as on leave granted to address a sentencing issues.

People v. Flick, No. 138258 and People v. Lazarus, No. 138261: The Court granted leave to appeal to determine whether intentionally viewing child pornography on the Internet is knowing possession of child sexual abuse material under MCL ' 750.145c(4); and whether the presence of temporary Internet files on the defendant's computer hard drive is knowing possession of child pornography or evidence of knowing possession of child pornography in the past. The Court invited amicus briefs from the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan and the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan. The Court also held People v. Reiss, No. 137321, in abeyance pending the resolution of Flick and Lazarus.

People v. Redd, No. 138161: The Court granted leave to consider three issues. First, the Court will consider whether the Court of Appeals correctly concluded that the trial court abused its discretion by granting the defendant a new trial. Second, the Court will address whether the trial court properly admitted a police detective's repeated testimony regarding the defendant's failure to deny certain allegations—and his departure—from a police interview. Third, the Court will consider whether the Court of Appeals correctly concluded that the defendant waived any error when he expressed satisfaction with the jury instructions.

Briggs Tax Service v. Detroit Public Schools, Nos. 138168, 138179, 138182: The Court granted leave to address whether the taxpayer and the assessor made a mutual mistake such that a three-year statute of limitation applies to the petitioner's claims.

Smith v. Ansara Restaurant Group Inc., No. 137164: The Court granted oral argument on the application for leave to appeal and directed the parties to submit supplemental briefing addressing “whether and how defendant breached its duty of reasonable care, whether that breach was a proximate cause of the injuries to Morgan Smith, and the significance of the presence of Morgan’s parents and their actions in assessing plaintiff’s negligence claim.”

The Court peremptorily reversed the Court of Appeals' decision in Wilcoxson-Bey v. Providence Hospital & Medical Centers, Inc., No. 138033 and reinstated the circuit court's decision. More specifically, the Court concluded that there was sufficient evidence in the record to create an issue of fact regarding causation because record evidence showed that fetal monitoring is effective in identifying cord compression and fetal distress—precursors to cord occlusion and possible miscarriage.

The Court also peremptorily reversed the Court of Appeals in Wolverine Commerce, L.L.C. v. Pittsfield Charter Township, Nos. 138314-5, for failing to give sufficient deference to the findings of the trial court under the clearly erroneous standard. The Court reinstated the circuit court's decision. The Court also clarified the self-imposed hardship rule which prohibits a plaintiff from recovering on a takings claim if the property owner subdivided or physically altered his or her land to render it unfit for its zoned use.

Finally, the Michigan Supreme Court remanded People v. Cook, No. 137691, to the Court of Appeals as on leave granted to resolve a sentencing guidelines dispute. Justices Weaver and Young dissented and would not have taken any action.

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