Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
August 17-23, 2009
Volume 7 Issue 34

In the Capitol
Both the Michigan House of Representatives and Senate will be in session on Wednesday, August 26. The Senate has also tentatively scheduled session for Thursday, August 27.
House Session Schedule
Senate Session Schedule

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 8/18—8/19
Of Interest to the Legal Community
HB 5273 Courts; other; sobriety court interlock pilot project: create. Amends 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.101600.9947) by adding sec. 1084.

SB 0734 Civil procedure; personal protection orders; minors; allow to apply for a PPO without a next friend. Amends secs. 2950 & 2950a of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.2950 & 600.2950a).

SB 0745 Courts; supreme court; supreme court election districts; create. Amends secs. 391 & 399 of 1954 PA 116 (MCL 168.391 & 168.399) & adds secs. 396a & 396b.

Of General Interest
HB 5263 Property tax; delinquent taxes; eligibility requirements to withhold property from the petition for foreclosure; revise. Amends sec. 78h of 1893 PA 206 (MCL 211.78h).

HB 5264 Property tax; delinquent taxes; notice requirements for show cause hearing and foreclosure hearing; revise. Amends sec. 78i of 1893 PA 206 (MCL 211.78i).

HB 5265 Property tax; delinquent taxes; notice of judgment foreclosing property; revise. Amends sec. 78k of 1893 PA 206 (MCL 211.78k).

HB 5267 Civil procedure; foreclosure; amount required to redeem foreclosed property; allow certain registers of deeds to calculate. Amends secs. 3240 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.3240).

In the Hall of Justice
The Michigan Supreme Court will hold a public administrative hearing on Wednesday, September 2, 2009, at the Michigan Hall of Justice, 925 W. Ottawa St., Lansing, Michigan 48915. The hearing will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. and adjourn no later than 11:30 a.m. 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 MSC_clerk@courts.mi.gov, no later than Monday, August 31, 2009.

Agenda:
2005-32—Proposed Amendment of Rules 2.112, 2.113, 3.101, and 8.119 of the Michigan Court Rules
These proposed amendments reflect in substantial part a proposal submitted by the 46th District Court to require more specific pleading in debt collection cases than in other types of cases, and to allow a chief judge to authorize court clerks to screen pleadings in all cases and to reject them if they do not comply with the Michigan Court Rules, Michigan statutes, or the Michigan Supreme Court records standards. A party whose documents were rejected would be entitled to a prompt judicial review upon request. Further, the proposal would require that a request for a writ of garnishment include information regarding the total amount of post judgment interest and costs accrued to date, and the total amount of post judgment payments made to date.

2008-13—Proposed New Rule 1.15A of the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct
This proposal, submitted by the State Bar of Michigan, would require attorneys to maintain client trust accounts in approved financial institutions. The financial institutions would become approved by, among other requirements, agreeing to notify the Attorney Grievance Commission and the lawyer if a lawyer's trust account is overdrawn. The lawyer then would be required to submit an explanation of the overdraft to the commission within 21 days. The proposal is intended to provide an early warning of improprieties so that corrective action may be taken.
SBM Proposal

2009-04—Proposals Regarding Procedure for Disqualification of Supreme Court Justices
These three proposals would establish specific rules for disqualification of Supreme Court justices. The proposals vary considerably with regard to the procedure for disqualification, the grounds for determining whether disqualification is warranted, and the ability to review another justice's decision to recuse.
SBM Position
Appellate Practice Section Proposal

2009-08—Proposed Amendment of Rule 3.936 of the Michigan Court Rules
This proposal would eliminate the procedure by which a juvenile could ask for the return of fingerprints, and instead would require the destruction of fingerprints, which more closely follows the statutory authority in MCL 28.243.

2009-09—Proposal to Require a Court to Submit a Local Administrative Order to SCAO When Appointing Magistrates and Referees
This proposed administrative order would require a court to submit a local administrative order to the State Court Administrative Office regarding the identity of magistrates and referees, as well as a description of the scope of the authority of magistrates and referees. These requirements would provide the State Court Administrative Office necessary information about who these individuals are and what functions they perform in the trial court. It would be the magistrate's or referee's responsibility to update his or her contact information.
SBM Position: Support

2009-13—Proposed Amendment of Rules 2.112 and 2.118 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendments of MCR 2.112 and 2.118 would set a time limit on the period for raising challenges to affidavits of merit and meritorious defense and notices of intent in medical malpractice actions. The proposal also would allow amendment when an affidavit is found to be insufficient unless such amendment would be unjustified, and would explicitly state that the amended affidavit of merit or meritorious defense relates back to the date of the affidavit's original filing.

State News
Groups Rally Hoping to Avoid State Budget Ax
(Lansing State Journal, 8/24/09)

Mich. High Court to Reconsider Auto Injury Suits
(Detroit News, 8/21/09)

Hoekstra Calls Gitmo Detainees Dangerous for State
(Lansing State Journal, 8/19/09)

NPR: Want to Know What's Wrong with the Nation's Public Defender System? Just Look at Detroit
(Mlive.com, 8/18/09)

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