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A Better Partnership
October 24, 2009

MSC Order List: October 23, 2009

On October 23, 2009, the Michigan Supreme Court denied six applications for leave to appeal, and remanded five cases: two to trial court, two to the Court of Appeals, and one as on leave granted. The remanded cases are discussed after the jump.

In In re Mitchell Minors, Case No. 139114, the Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals in a child custody decision for the reasons stated in the dissenting opinion in the Court of Appeals and because the trial court committed plain error in failing to (1) timely appoint counsel and (2) advise the respondent that his plea could later be used in a proceeding to terminate his parental rights. Judge Stephens' dissent in the Court of Appeals identified numerous factors that the trial court should not have taken into consideration in determining custody including the father's decision to live with extended family members instead of independently and the father's decision to accept employment at Wal-Mart instead of seeking a position related to his degree in chemical engineering. The Court remanded the case for further proceedings in the circuit court. The Order may be found here.

In People v. Lenderman, Case No. 138986, the Court vacated the Genesee Circuit Court's sentence and remanded the case to the trial court for resentencing in light of the Court's opinion in People v. McGraw. 484 Mich. 120 (2009), and the sentencing guidelines in People v. Babcock, 469 Mich. 247 (2003). Justices Corrigan and Young concurred, Justice Weaver dissented based on the dissent in McGraw. The Order may be found here. Our previous entry regarding McGraw may be found here.

The Court reversed the Court of Appeals in lieu of granting leave to appeal in Compton v. Pass, et al., Case No. 138634, stating that the Appeals Court "erred in analyzing this case under the lost-opportunity standard set forth in MCL 600.2912a(2)." The Court concluded that "the evidence is sufficient to allow a fact-finder to find that the alleged breach of the standard of care caused the plaintiff to suffer physical injury . . . that more probably than not was proximately caused by the negligence of the defendants," and that this case is thus "a claim of traditional malpractice." The case was remanded to the Court of Appeals "for consideration of the remaining issues raised by the parties but not previously addressed by that court." The Order may be found here.

In Ward v. Michigan State University, Case No. 138380, the Supreme Court vacated the Court of Appeals' judgment and remanded the case to that court for reconsideration in light of Chambers v. Wayne County Airport Authority, 483 Mich. 1081 (2009), over the strongly worded dissents of Justices Young and Markman, with Justices Corrigan and Young joining the statement of Justice Markman. Specifically, the dissenters contend that the Court is interpreting identically worded notice provisions for statutory exceptions to government immunity differently. The Order may be found here. Our earlier entries on Chambers may be found here and here.

In People v. Clark, Case No. 138247, the Court remanded to the Court of Appeals in lieu of granting leave to appeal, the issues raised in defendant's application, including "the due process issue left open by People v Breeding, 284 Mich App 471 (2009), lv den 484 Mich ___ (Docket No. 139435, order entered October 21, 2009.)" The Order may be found here. Our posting regarding Breeding may be found here.

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