November 14, 2005 - November 20, 2005
Volume 3 Issue 45

In the Capitol
The Michigan House of Representatives is tentatively adjourned until Tuesday, November 22. Its next regularly scheduled session is Tuesday, November 29.
View Michigan House of Representatives Session Schedule

The Michigan Senate is tentatively adjourned until Tuesday, November 29.
View Michigan Senate Session Schedule

Complete Committee Meeting List

Legislation Recently Signed into Public Acts

In the Hall of Justice
"Michigan Courts" Website Debuts Today; Improved Organization, Google-Powered Search Engine Are Features

Rule Amendments
2004-54 - Amendments of Rules 5.144, 5.203, 5.207, 5.302. 5.307, 5.404, and 5.409 of the Michigan Court Rules
The amendments of MCR 5.144, 5.203, 5.207, 5.302, 5.307, 5.404, and 5.409, effective immediately, were developed as a result of the state court administrative office’s statewide conservatorship case review prompted by the Performance Audit of Selected Probate Court Conservatorship Cases by the Michigan Office of the Auditor General and the State Bar of Michigan Probate and Estate Planning Section’s Uniformity of Practice Committee’s survey of probate court practices. The amendment of MCR 5.144(A)(2) eliminate the ability to close a conservatorship estate because of suspension of a fiduciary unless there are insufficient funds available to hire a special fiduciary, or after notice and hearing and a finding of good cause. The amendment of MCR 5.203(D) adds the financial institution and guardian ad litem to the list required to receive notice when a fiduciary is suspended. The amendment of MCR 5.207(A) allows for better court oversight when real property is sold. The amendment of MCR 5.302(A) requires that a copy of a death certificate be attached to the petition or application when commencing a decedent estate. In the event that the death certificate is not available, the petitioner may provide alternative documentation. The amendment of MCR 5.307(A) allows for the deduction of secured loans when calculating the inventory fee due. The amendment of MCR 5.404(A) creates a new subsection that requires the use of a SCAO approved social history form when one is required to be filed with a petition for guardianship of a minor. The amendment of MCR 5.409(B)(2) requires that joint property belonging to the protected person be listed on the inventory along with the type of ownership. The amendment of MCR 5.409(C)(1) clarifies that the fiduciary must serve the account on the interested persons and file the proof of service with the court. The amendment of MCR 5.409(C)(4) provides the process for filing a proof of restricted account and annual verification of funds on deposit with the court. The amendment of MCR 5.409(C)(5) adds the requirement to present a financial institution statement to the court when filing the annual account. The amendment of MCR 5.409(C)(6) requires the court to either review or allow the account annually and to hold a hearing on the accounts at least once every three years.
Issued:November 15, 2005
Effective:November 15, 2005

2005-01 - Appointment of Chief Judges of Michigan Courts
Issued: November 15, 2005

At The Bar
The Board of Commissioners met on Friday, November 18, 2005. The following public policy positions were adopted by the State Bar of Michigan:

HB 4654 (Casperson)Original content same as HB 5142
Crimes; other; duty to retreat before using deadly force in self-defense or defense of another; eliminate under certain circumstances. Amends 1927 PA 175 (MCL 760.1 - 777.69) by adding sec. 21c to ch. VIII.
HB 5142 (Casperson)Original content same as HB 4654
Crimes; other; criminal forcibly entering or intruding into home or vehicle; allow person to use deadly force in self-defense. Amends 1927 PA 175 (MCL 760.1 - 777.69) by adding sec. 21c to ch. VIII.
HB 5143 (Jones) Original content same as HB 5153
Crimes; other; right to self-defense and defense of others; clarify and provide for criminal and civil immunity under certain circumstances. Creates new act.
HB 5153 (Mortimer) Original content same as HB 5143
Crimes; definitions; flight requirement; eliminate. Creates new act.
SBM POSITION: Consistent with a long-standing position of the State Bar, a position of active opposition was adopted for those provisions in these bills that would eliminate judicial discretion concerning the payment of fees and costs at the conclusion of trial.

HB 5132 (Baxter) Libraries; state; requirement for certain public documents to be provided to state libraries; eliminate when documents are available on the internet. Amends sec. 9 of 1982 PA 540 (MCL 397.19).
SBM POSITION: Consistent with the State Bar’s position adopted in the 2003-04 legislative session on HB 5390'03, the State Bar adopted a position of "oppose in principle."

SB 815 (Cropsey) Original content same as HB 4732. Civil procedure; evictions; property managers and other nonlawyers to represent businesses in certain eviction proceedings; allow. Amends 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.101 - 600.9947) by adding sec. 5707.
SBM POSITION: The State Bar of Michigan adopted a position of active opposition, which mirrors the position adopted on HB 4732 in July 2005.

Proposed New Interpretation 302-10, as distributed by the Council of the Section of Legal Education, American Bar Association: Each law school is encouraged to be creative in developing substantial opportunities for student participation in pro bono activities. Pro bono opportunities should involve the rendering of meaningful service to persons or organizations of limited means. While law school pro bono programs should generally involve law-related services, pro bono programs that involve meaningful services that are not law-related also may be included within the law school’s overall program of pro bono opportunities. Law-related pro bono opportunities need not be structured to accomplish any of the professional skills training required by Standard 302(a)(4). While most existing law school pro bono programs include only activities for which students do not receive academic credit, Standard 302(b)(2) does not preclude the inclusion of credit-granting activities within a law school’s overall program of pro bono opportunities.
SBM POSITION: The State Bar authorizes the Pro Bono Initiative of the Committee on Justice Initiatives to submit comments to the ABA on a proposal to broadly interpret the language requiring law school clinic programs so that it includes services that are not law related. The comments are generally supportive of the concept, but urge that law related activities be addressed more strongly.

State News
Tax Issue May Stall Economic Proposals
(Detroit News, 11/20/05)

Granholm, Delegation to Seek Solutions for Auto Industry
(Lansing State Journal, 11/16/05)

Links of Interest
Public Policy Resource Center
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