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A Better Partnership

September 2016

Sep 2016
September 30, 2016

COA: Fetus is not a “child” for purposes of the first-degree child abuse statute

A mother’s prenatal use of illegal drugs does not constitute child abuse under Michigan’s first-degree child abuse statute. In People v. Jones, No. 332018, the Court of Appeals held that a fetus is not a “child” for purposes of the statute. Consequently, a mother who delivered a baby that tested positive for methamphetamine was not guilty of first-degree child abuse. 

Sep 2016
September 26, 2016

COA: Court-appointed appellate counsel entitled to reasonable compensation for work done even when COA denies application for lack of merit

A trial court cannot refuse to award fees to court-appointed attorneys even when an appeal is denied for lack of merit. In People v. Boudrie, No. 327707, the Court of Appeals held that because the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses require the appointment of counsel for defendants convicted on their pleas who seek review, reasonable compensation must be paid to counsel even when the appellate court denies leave to appeal for lack of merit.

Sep 2016
September 26, 2016

COA clarifies that repossessed property is excluded for “bad debt” tax credit

In Ally Financial Inc v State Treasurer, No. 327815, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary disposition holding that Ally is not entitled to a “bad debt” tax credit under MCL 205.4I because the election forms signed by the lenders apply only to “accounts currently existing or created in the future” and are not applicable to the already written off loans. The Court of Appeals also affirmed that repossessed property is excluded as ‘bad debt’ tax and clarified the interpretation of bad debt to mean what the plain language of the contract states. Further, the Court found that the Department could require plaintiffs to submit specific RD-108 forms as proof those taxes had, in fact, been paid.

Sep 2016
September 23, 2016

COA holds that insured party does not need legal interest in insured property to be indemnified

In A.B. Petro Mart, Inc. v. Prime One Insurance, No. 327481, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that under the insurable-interest doctrine, an insured party is not required to have a legal interest in or financial responsibility for any damages to the insured property in order to be indemnified under an aleatory indemnity contract.

Sep 2016
September 22, 2016

COA states that where insurance policy contains an “all risk” provision, a loss is not covered if it comes within any specific policy exclusion

In Michigan Battery Equipment, Inc. v. Emcasco Insurance Company, No. 326945, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that an insured’s policy did not cover damage caused by wet rot because it was a risk specifically excluded under the policy. Due to prolonged water infiltration through deteriorated rubber grommets in the roof, the roof trusses of Michigan Battery Equipment’s warehouse rotted. Snow and ice accumulation caused the rotted trusses to split, crack, and fall down a few feet. Emcasco denied Michigan Battery’s insurance claim. 

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