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September 17, 2009

MSC Order List: September 16, 2009

On September 16, 2009, the Michigan Supreme Court denied seventeen applications for leave to appeal and granted one motion in Pierron v. Pierron, No. 138824, striking the defendant's non-record affidavit, pursuant to MCR 7.210(A)(1), because it contained information that was not part of the record on appeal. The Court also took substantive action in two criminal and two civil cases which are discussed after the jump.

The Court granted leave to appeal in People v. Mardlin, No. 139146. On appeal, the Court will address whether evidence submitted under the "doctrine of chances" can be used to establish that a fire was not started naturally or by accident, or whether more than one occurrence of a fire involving defendant's property is necessary for admission of this evidence. The Court invited the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan and the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan to submit brief amicus curiae. The Court's order granting leave to appeal can be found here.

In People v. Walker, No. 139565, in lieu of granting leave to appeal, the Court reversed the Genessee Circuit Court's July 22, 2009 order granting the defendant's motion for resentencing. The Court held that an error in scoring the judicial guidelines does not provide a basis for appellate relief. People v. Raby, 456 Mich. 487, 496 (1998). In light of this precedent, the Court ruled that the defendant's former appellate counsel had not been ineffective and therefore the defendant was not entitled to be resentenced. A copy of the Court's order can be found here.

The Court also granted leave to appeal in Smith v. Anonymous Joint Enterprise, No. 138405. On appeal, the parties will address whether the trial court "erred in determining that the plaintiff presented insufficient evidence to support a finding of actual malice for the purpose of her defamation claim." A copy of the Court's order granting leave to appeal can be found here.

Finally, the Court issued an order in Johnson v. Detroit Medical Center, No. 139533. Pursuant to MCR 7.302(H)(1), the Court remanded the case to the Court of Appeals for consideration as on leave granted. The Court also ordered that the stay of the trial court proceedings, which had been previously entered by the Court on September 1, 2009, would stay in full force and effect pending the completion of the appeal unless the appeal was not vigorously prosecuted or if other appropriate grounds appeared. A copy of the Court's September 1, 2009 order granting the stay of the trial court proceedings can be found here. The Court's September 16, 2009 order remanding the case to the Court of Appeals for consideration as on leave granted can be found here.

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