Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
June 9–15, 2008
Volume 6 Issue 24

FOCUS: Public Defense Services in Michigan
As reported last week, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) report will be released on June 17 at 10:00 am during a press conference at the State Bar of Michigan. The report will be available on the NLADA website and the State Bar's website.

Special presentations on the report will be provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 17 and the House Judiciary Committee on June 18. The report will also be the subject of the keynote speech during the Michigan Public Defense Task's Annual Conference "Reforming Public Defense, Serving Our Communities." You can register for the free conference at

In the Capitol
Committee Meetings of Interest for the Week of 6/16
6/17 House Banking and Finance Services
Agenda Items of Interest: HB 5299 Revise claims and defenses in civil actions; HB 5301 Prescribe civil sanctions and penalties; HB 5302 General applicability of the consumer mortgage protection act.

6/17 Senate Judiciary
Agenda: HB 4065 Prohibit fleeing the scene of dog or wolf-dog cross bite incident or failing to provide assistance to bitten individual and provide penalties: HB 4330 Provide requirement of GPS monitoring device for individuals convicted of aggravated stalking for parole; HB 4453 Provide for GPS monitoring of defendants charged with domestic violence crimes and released on bail; HB 4611 Clarify standards for training and qualification for certain former law enforcement officers to carry firearms for the purposes of federal law allowing the carrying of concealed weapons: HB 4612 Include provide false information on application for certificate to carry firearms by a retired law enforcement officer in guidelines.
Presentation: Evaluation of Trial-level Indigent Defense Systems in Michigan

6/18 House Judiciary
Agenda: HB 6099 Expand remedies for identity theft protection act; HB 6102 Require certain disclosures of personal identifying information in databases to consumers when data is transferred; HB 6103 Require certain disclosures of personal identifying information included in business and public records to consumers; HB 6105 Establish maximum retention period of personal identifying information.
Special Presentation: A Race to the Bottom: Evaluation of Trial-Level Indigent Defense Systems in Michigan, presented by David J. Carroll, Director of Research & Evaluation, National Legal Aid & Defender Association

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 6/10–6/12
Of Interest to the Legal Community

HB 6231
Liens; other; lien on property filed with a register of deeds under the uniform commercial code; require notice to owner. Amends sec. 9501 of 1962 PA 174 (MCL 440.9501).

Of General Interest
HB 6232 Family law; marriage and divorce; records of a nonpublic marriage; allow disclosure under additional circumstances. Amends sec. 3 of 1897 PA 180 (MCL 551.203).

HB 6233 Human services; medical services; foster parents to authorize nonemergency medical procedures for foster children; allow. Amends sec. 14a of 1973 PA 116 (MCL 722.124a).

In the Hall of Justice
Other Actions
2008-01—Appointment of Acting Chief Judge of the Macomb County Probate Court

At the Bar
50-Year Golden Celebration

FOCUS: The Board of Commissioners met on Friday, June 13, 2008 at which time the State Bar of Michigan adopted the following Public Policy positions. All positions were adopted by a unanimous vote.

2006-16—Proposed Amendment of Rules 6.302 and 6.310 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendments of MCR 6.302 and MCR 6.310 would make the rules consistent with the federal rules, which preclude judicial involvement in negotiating plea agreements and limit the ability of defendants to withdraw guilty pleas.
SBM Position: Oppose

2007-30—Proposed Amendment of Rules 2.107 and 2.117 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendments would allow a court to enter an order authorizing electronic service of notices and documents unless the party or attorney files written notice with the court that he or she for good cause elects not to receive service electronically. Good cause is defined to include the fact that a party or attorney does not have ready access to a facsimile machine or e-mail communication. Electronic service would include service by facsimile or e-mail.
SBM Position:Support the Civil Procedure and Courts Committee recommendation, with an additional amendment stating that any uniform standard adopted for Michigan should have not have a presumption of electronic service for pro se litigants.

2007-31—Proposed Amendment of Rule 4.201 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendment of MCR 4.201(G)(1)(b) would clarify that service of process for purposes of a money claim is sufficient if completed pursuant to MCR 2.105; otherwise, if the defendant does not appear or file an answer to the complaint, a money claim must be dismissed without prejudice, or adjourned until service of process is complete.
SBM Position: Support

S. 702 State Court Interpreter Grant Program Act

Directs the Administrator of the Office of Justice Programs of the Department of Justice to: (1) make grants to state courts to develop and implement programs to assist individuals with limited English proficiency to access and understand state court proceedings in which they are a party; and (2) allocate specified funds to establish a court interpreter technical assistance program to assist state courts receiving grants under this Act. Authorizes the use of grant awards by state courts to: (1) assess regional language demands; (2) develop a court interpreter program; (3) develop, institute, and administer language certification examinations; (4) recruit, train, and certify qualified court interpreters; and (5) pay for salaries, transportation, and technology necessary to implement the court interpreter program.

SBM Position:Support

Sections and Committees
TheFamily Law Section submitted Public Policy positions on the following items:

Oppose: HB 5993 Family law; paternity; claim to revoke acknowledgment of paternity; allow a man identified as the father by DNA testing to file, and require prosecuting attorney to file claim. Amends sec. 11 of 1996 PA 305 (MCL 722.1011).

Support: HB 6189 Family law; other; eligible domestic relations order; remove requirement that social security number be included in order. Amends sec. 2 of 1991 PA 46 (MCL 38.1702).

Federal News
Facing 'Crisis,' Public Defenders May Refuse Cases
(ABC News, 6/13/08)

State News
Ballot Proposal Would Rewrite Constitution
(Lansing State Journal, 6/16/08)

Prison Costs May Hit $2.6M in '12
(The Detroit News, 6/13/08)

More Mich. Kids Land in Poverty, Prison, Survey Finds
(Detroit Free Press, 6/12/08)
See Also:
Highlights of This Year's Kids Count Report
(AP Michigan News, 6/12/08)

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