Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
January 14-20, 2008
Volume 6 Issue 3

In the Capitol
Committee meetings of interest for the week of 1/21
1/22 Senate State Drug Treatment Court Advisory Committee

1/22 Senate Judiciary & Transportation
Agenda: HB 4289 Require installation of ignition interlocking device for high blood alcohol content drunk driving convictions; HB 4920 Create as separate crime for high blood alcohol content drunk driving convictions, and require certain license sanctions and ignition interlock device requirements; HB 4921 Amend license sanctions for repeat drunk driving offenders.

1/23 House Judiciary
Agenda: HB 4402 Amend Michigan penal code to exclude juvenile offenders from the application of penalties for certain crimes of imprisonment for life without parole eligibility; HB 4403 Amend probate code of 1939 to prohibit sentencing juvenile to imprisonment for life without parole eligibility; HB 4404 Prohibit sentencing individual convicted as a juvenile to imprisonment for life without parole eligibility; HB 4405 Allow parole of certain juvenile offenders sentenced to imprisonment for life.

1/24 House Judiciary: Corrections and Sex Offender Registration
Agenda: Testimony only on the Sex Offender Registry.

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 1/16 – 1/17
Of Interest to the Legal Community

HJR KK Elections; judicial; ballot designation for incumbent judges; eliminate. Amends sec. 24, art. VI of the state constitution.

HB 5608 Civil procedure; statute of limitations; civil action for damages resulting from criminal sexual conduct against a minor; extend tolling of statute of limitations. Amends secs. 5838a & 5851 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.5838a & 600.5851).

HB 5620 Cities; home rule; civil fines issued by an administrative hearings bureau in a city with a population of more than 750,000; revise. Amends sec. 4q of 1909 PA 279 (MCL 117.4q).

In the Hall of Justice
The Michigan Supreme Court will hold an administrative public hearing on Wednesday, January 23, 2008, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Supreme Court courtroom located on the sixth floor of the Michigan Hall of Justice, 925 W. Ottawa Street, Lansing, Michigan 48915.
Public Hearing Agenda

See State Bar positions:
2006-06 - Proposed Amendment of Rule 7.215 of the Michigan Court Rules
The September 18, 2007, proposed amendment of MCR 7.215 reflects revisions recommended by the Michigan Court of Appeals. The amendment would shift responsibility for making an “outcome-determinative” assessment from the entire bench to the panel deciding the case in which the conflict is raised. The amendment would also require the panel to state the disposition it would have reached had it not been required to follow the prior published decision.
SBM Position: Support

2007-27 – Amendment of Rule 5.125 of the Michigan Court Rules
The amendment of MCR 5.125 conforms the rule to language in MCL 700.5311 by clarifying that parents are interested persons entitled to notice in a petition for the appointment of a guardian of an alleged incapacitated individual, regardless of whether the alleged incapacitated individual has living adult children.
SBM Position: Support

"CSI: Courts, Speed, and Implications" Offers Look at Michigan Court System; January 25 Educational Webcast, Video to be Resources for Schools Statewide

At the Bar
Free Training in Veterans Benefits Law Set for Feb. 22 at SBM in Lansing

SBM Business Law Section Sets Alternatives to Bankruptcy Seminar

Olympic Gold Medalist to Join Italian-American Bar at Jan. 29 Dinner

FOCUS: The Board of Commissioners met on Friday, January 18, 2008 at which time the State Bar of Michigan adopted the following public policy positions:
Proposed Amendments to Rule 8002 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure
The Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules of the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Judicial Conference of the United States (the “Bankruptcy Rules Committee”) has published for comment a proposal to amend Rule 8002 to lengthen the time for appeal from 10 to 14 days in order to make the deadline a multiple of 7 days.  The Bankruptcy Rules Committee has also requested comment on a proposal to lengthen the appeal period to 30 days to promote consistency between standard civil practice and bankruptcy practice.
SBM Position: Oppose the proposed amendment and endorse the Business Law Section Position. Authorize the SBM delegate to the ABA House of Delegates to advocate position at midyear meeting held February 2008.

2005-36 - Proposed Amendment of Rules 2.119, 7.204, and 7.205 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendments of MCR 7.204 and MCR 7.205 would clarify that a party who seeks to appeal to the Court of Appeals has 21 days after the entry of an order deciding a motion for new trial, a motion for rehearing or reconsideration, or a motion for other relief from the order or judgment appealed to file a claim of appeal or an application for leave to appeal, if the motion is filed within the initial 21-day appeal period. For consistency, the time limit for filing a motion for rehearing or reconsideration under MCR 2.119(F)(1) would be increased from 14 to 21 days, and the phrase “or within further time the trial court may have allowed during that 21-day period” was stricken from MCR 7.204(A)(1)(b) and MCR 7.205(F)(3)(b).
SBM Position: Support.

2007-09 - Proposed Amendment of 2.306 of the Michigan Court Rules
This proposal would require objections to be concise, nonargumentative, and nonsuggestive, and would allow a court to impose sanctions against an attorney who fails to comply with the requirement. The proposed changes are similar to language contained in FR Civ P 30(d)(1).
SBM Position: Authorize the Civil Procedure and Courts Committee to advocate its position.

2007-21 - Proposed Amendment of 2.510 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendment of MCR 2.510 would require that, in a district-court district comprised of a city located in two or more counties, jurors must be selected for district court attendance regardless of the county in which the juror resides or the county where the cause of action arose, pursuant to MCL 600.1324.
SBM Position: Support.

2007-27 - Amendment of Rule 5.125 of the Michigan Court Rules
The amendment of MCR 5.125 conforms the rule to language in MCL 700.5311 by clarifying that parents are interested persons entitled to notice in a petition for the appointment of a guardian of an alleged incapacitated individual, regardless of whether the alleged incapacitated individual has living adult children.
SBM Position: Support.

HB 4723 (Green) Torts; malpractice; qualifications to testify as expert witness in medical malpractice case; revise. Amends sec. 2169 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.2169).
HB 4724 (Green) Occupations; physicians; practice of medicine to include testimony on the appropriate standard of practice or care in an action alleging medical malpractice; provide for and create limited expert witness license. Amends secs. 16221, 16226, 16245, 17001 & 17501 of 1978 PA 368 (MCL 333.16221 et seq.) & adds sec. 16182a.
SBM Position: Oppose.

HB 4753 (Cushingberry) Civil procedure; remedies; correction of inaccurate item in consumer credit reports; establish procedures for civil action in state court. Amends 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.101 - 600.9947) by adding sec. 8309.
SBM Position: Support.

HB 4755 (Cushingberry) Courts; juries; names and addresses of taxpayers; allow to be given to jury boards for purposes of selecting juror pools. Amends sec. 28 of 1941 PA 122 (MCL 205.28).
HB 4859 (Cushingberry) Courts; juries; jury pool selection process; revise. Amends secs. 1304, 1312 & 1321 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.1304 et seq.) & adds secs. 1301c, 1310a & 1310b.
HB 4931 (Lemmons) Courts; juries; lists of persons available for creating juror pools; expand. Amends sec. 1304 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.1304) & adds secs. 1310a, 1310b, 1310c & 1310d.
HB 4932 (Lemmons) Courts; juries; names and addresses of persons receiving unemployment benefits; allow to be disclosed to jury boards for selecting jury pools. Amends 1936 (Ex Sess) PA 1 (MCL 421.1 - 421.75) by adding sec. 54d.
HB 4933 (Lemmons) Courts; juries; names of persons receiving public assistance; allow to be disclosed to jury boards for selecting jury pools. Amends sec. 64 of 1939 PA 280 (MCL 400.64).
HB 4934 (Lemmons) Courts; juries; names and addresses of taxpayers; allow to be disclosed to jury boards for selecting jury pools. Amends sec. 28 of 1941 PA 122 (MCL 205.28).
SBM Position: Support the concept of juror pool expansion.  Oppose the bills as currently drafted. 

HB 4951 (Johnson) Crimes; homicide; delayed right to appeal for persons convicted of felony murder before November 25, 1980; provide if malice not proved. Amends 1927 PA 175 (MCL 760.1 - 777.69) by adding sec. 13 to ch. X.
SBM Position: Oppose.

HB 4953 (Palmer) Environmental protection; other; reimbursement of costs and attorney fees for actions under NREPA; provide for. Amends 1994 PA 451 (MCL 324.101 - 324.90106) by adding sec. 1111.
HB 5037 (Agema) Environmental protection; other; legal actions by department of environmental quality; require department to pay defendant's legal fees if unsuccessful. Amends 1994 PA 451 (MCL 324.101 - 324.90106) by adding sec. 1106.
SBM Position: Oppose.

HB 5050 (Stakoe) Family law; friend of the court; bank accounts of self-employed child support payers; require payers to disclose and allow friend of court to obtain information regarding. Amends sec. 5a of 1982 PA 295 (MCL 552.605a) & adds sec. 27a.
SBM Position: Support; Endorse amendments recommended by the Family Law Section.

HB 5060 (Condino) Civil procedure; evidence; provisions in the RJA regarding affidavit of person residing in another state or country; eliminate. Repeals sec. 2102 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.2102).
SBM Position: Support.

HB 5186 (Jones, Rick) Probate; guardians and conservators; appointment of conservator; require court to consider if person under a guardianship has liquid assets of more than certain limit. Amends sec. 5305 of 1998 PA 386 (MCL 700.5305) & adds sec. 5319.
HB 5187 (Coulouris) Probate; guardians and conservators; power of conservator to mortgage or place lien on protected individual's home; require prior court approval. Amends secs. 5422 & 5423 of 1998 PA 386 (MCL 700.5422 & 700.5423).
HB 5188 (Steil) Probate; guardians and conservators; bond; require if protected individual has liquid assets over certain limit. Amends sec. 5410 of 1998 PA 386 (MCL 700.5410).
SBM Position: Support HB 5186 as substituted in H1, HB 5187 and HB 5188.

HB 5213 (Coulouris) Criminal procedure; expunction; record expungement for certain offenders; provide for. Amends sec. 1 of 1965 PA 213 (MCL 780.621) & repeals sec. 4 of 1965 PA 213 (MCL 780.624).
HB 5419 (Lemmons) Criminal procedure; expunction; expunction of certain felony convictions 5 years after date of conviction; allow. Amends sec. 1 of 1965 PA 213 (MCL 780.621).
SBM Position: Support. Support amendments to ensure length of time required to expunge a felony is not increased.

HB 5324 (Calley) Family law; personal protection orders; personal protection order to be made mutual; require. Amends secs. 2950 & 2950a of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.2950 & 600.2950a).
SBM Position: Oppose.

SB 645 (Cherry) Family law; child support; use of substitute service for complaint under family support act; allow. Amends sec. 1 of 1966 PA 138 (MCL 552.451).
SBM Position: Oppose.

Sections and Committees
The Criminal Law Section submitted a public policy report for the following bills:
HB 4931 Courts; juries; lists of persons available for creating juror pools; expand. Amends sec. 1304 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.1304) & adds secs. 1310a, 1310b, 1310c & 1310d.
HB 4932 Courts; juries; names and addresses of persons receiving unemployment benefits; allow to be disclosed to jury boards for selecting jury pools. Amends 1936 (Ex Sess) PA 1 (MCL 421.1 - 421.75) by adding sec. 54d.
HB 4933 Courts; juries; names of persons receiving public assistance; allow to be disclosed to jury boards for selecting jury pools. Amends sec. 64 of 1939 PA 280 (MCL 400.64).

HB 4934 Courts; juries; names and addresses of taxpayers; allow to be disclosed to jury boards for selecting jury pools. Amends sec. 28 of 1941 PA 122 (MCL 205.28).
HB 4755 Courts; juries; names and addresses of taxpayers; allow to be given to jury boards for purposes of selecting juror pools. Amends sec. 28 of 1941 PA 122 (MCL 205.28).
HB 4859 Courts; juries; jury pool selection process; revise. Amends secs. 1304, 1312 & 1321 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.1304 et seq.) & adds secs. 1301c, 1310a & 1310b.

State News
New Drivers Must Prove Legal Status
(Detroit News, 1/22/08)

State Keeps Tight Holds on Its Spending, Report Says
(Lansing State Journal, 1/18/08)

Senate OKs Tax Credit to Cover Compliance with Services Levy
(Lansing State Journal, 1/18/08)

 

Links of Interest
Public Policy Resource Center | Michigan Supreme Court | Michigan Legislature | MCL Search Engines