Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
January 13, 2014
Volume 12 Issue 2

Please Note: Next week’s Public Policy Update will be published on January 21. The State Bar will be closed on January 20 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

In the Capitol
Governor Snyder will deliver his fourth State of the State address on Thursday, January 16 before a joint session of the legislature at 7 p.m.

Committee meetings of interest for the week of 1/13
1/14 Senate Judiciary, 2:30 PM, Farnum Building Room 110
HB5069 Provide exception for liability for damages if landlord enters premises if occupant is squatting;
HB5070 Provide for definition of squatter, and provide penalties for squatting on certain premises;
HB5071 Enact sentencing guidelines for crime of squatting;
HB4808 Eliminate mandatory life imprisonment for certain crimes to reflect United States supreme court decision in Miller v Alabama;
HB4715 Prohibit possession of ammunition by certain individuals;
HB4716 Update reference in sentencing guidelines;
HB4717 Update reference in 1927 PA 372;
HB4895 Increase penalty for concealment of a stolen vehicle with prior convictions;
HB4896 Enact crime of receiving and concealing a motor vehicle, second or subsequent offense;
And any other business properly before the committee.

1/14 House Oversight, 2:30 PM, House Office Building Room 326
HB 5193 Allow closed-door sessions of public meetings for trial or settlement strategy only if matter being discussed is currently being litigated;
HB 5194 Limit defenses for accountability for penalties for violating open meetings act.

1/15 House Appropriations, 9 AM, State Capitol Building Room 352
Agenda: Presentation by the House Fiscal Agency on the Revenue Estimating Conference.

1/15 House Criminal Justice, 10:30 AM, House Office Building Room 327
HB 4209 Increase penalties crime of soliciting sex act from a minor who is at least 16 years of age;
HB 4210 Amend sentencing guidelines for crime of soliciting a minor 16 years of age or older to commit prostitution to reflect increased penalty;
HB 5108 Allow resale of event tickets at higher or lower prices.

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 1/8 – 1/9
View all bills introduced 1/8-1/9
Of Interest to the Legal Community
HB 5208 Juveniles; truancy; family division of the circuit court to notify secretary of state of truancy disposition; require. Amends 1939 PA 288 (MCL 710.21 - 712B.41) by adding sec. 2f to ch. XIIA.

HB 5213 Law enforcement; investigations; minor confidential informant; require parental consent for children under the age of 18. Creates new act.

Of General Interest
HB 5207 Controlled substances; other; prosecution of individual for certain controlled substance violations; prohibit if individual is seeking medical attention for himself, herself, or another person. Amends secs. 7403 & 7404 of 1978 PA 368 (MCL 333.7403 & 333.7404).

HB 5212 Criminal procedure; forfeiture; procedures for forfeiting property involved in certain drug violations; modify. Amends 1978 PA 368 (MCL 333.1101 - 333.25211) by adding secs. 7521a & 7521b.

HB 5216 Corrections; parole; issuance by department of corrections of certificate of employability to certain prisoners; allow. Amends 1953 PA 232 (MCL 791.201 - 791.285) by adding sec. 34d.

HB 5217 Labor; other; limited liability for employers that employ individuals issued a certificate of employability; provide for. Amends 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.101 - 600.9947) by adding sec. 2956a.

HB 5218 Occupations; individual licensing and regulation; prerequisite of "good moral character"; eliminate for occupational licensing purposes. Amends sec. 2 of 1974 PA 381 (MCL 338.42).

SB 0733 Torts; governmental immunity; liability for injuries to a pedestrian on road right-of-way; modify. Amends sec. 2 of 1964 PA 170 (MCL 691.1402) & adds sec. 2b.

In the Hall of Justice
Foreign language interpreters needed for courts; Supreme Court seeks to ensure those who can’t speak English have meaningful access to justice system

The Michigan Supreme Court will hold an administrative public hearing on Wednesday, January 22, 2014, 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

To reserve a place on the agenda, please notify the Office of the Clerk of the Court in writing at P.O. Box 30052, Lansing, Michigan 48909, or by e-mail at, no later than Monday, January 20, 2014.

2012-23 – Proposed Amendment of Rule 8.109 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendment of MCR 8.109 would provide explicit authority for courts to use audio and video recording equipment to make a record of court proceedings and that trial courts using recording equipment would be required to follow the standards relevant to recording of proceedings that are published by the State Court Administrative Office.
SBM Position: Support.

2012-26 – Proposed Amendment of Rule 8.111 of the Michigan Court Rules
This proposal would clarify that the reassignment requirement applies regardless whether the court is acting in the capacity of a trial court or as an appellate court, such as a circuit court considering an appeal of a district court or probate court determination.
SBM Position: Support.

2013-24 – Proposed Rescission of Administrative Order No. 2011-3 and Proposed Adoption of Administrative Order No. 2013-___
Proposed Administrative Order 2013-___ would rescind Administrative Order No. 2011-3 and update the guidelines found in that order. The updates would revise the guidelines to make them more reflective of disposition rates based on statewide court data and to accommodate the fact that there may be delay in any case type that would make 100 percent disposition nearly impossible. However, the 100 percent disposition expectation would remain in place for PPO cases.
SBM Position: Support.

2013-28 - Proposed Amendment of Rule 2.510 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendments of MCR 2.510 would allow courts to authorize prospective jurors to complete and return questionnaires electronically, and would allow courts to create and maintain them electronically (i.e., in any medium authorized by court rules pursuant to MCR 1.109). The proposed change also would delete language in MCR 2.501(D) to clarify that the chief judge is responsible for initiation of the court’s policies for summoning prospective jurors.
SBM Position: Support with Amendment.

At the Bar
Nominations Open for Major State Bar Awards; Deadline is April 18

The January 2014 issue of the Michigan Bar Journal is now available online.

Sections and Committees
The Judicial Section submitted public policy position reports on the following items:
See comments: HB 5154 Criminal procedure; preliminary examination; certain rules and procedures for conducting a preliminary examination; revise. Amends secs. 4, 7, 11a, 11b & 13, ch. VI of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 766.4 et seq.).

See comments: HB 5155 Courts; district court; probable cause conferences in felony and misdemeanor cases; clarify district court's jurisdiction. Amends secs. 8311 & 8511 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.8311 & 600.8511) & repeals sec. 2167 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.2167).

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