Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
September 7-13, 2009
Volume 7 Issue 37

In the Capitol
Committee Meetings of Interest for the Week of 9/14
9/16 House Judiciary
Agenda: HB 4913 Require informal settlement conference if requested by petitioner; HB 5005 Prohibit operation of a snowmobile by certain individuals under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance; HB 5006 Revise sentencing guidelines for operating snowmobile under influence of alcoholic liquor to include operating with any amount of schedule 1 controlled substances in operator's body; HB 5007 Prohibit operation of an off-road vehicle by certain individuals under the influence of or visibly impaired by alcohol or a controlled substance; HB 5008 Revise sentencing guidelines for operating ORV under influence of alcoholic liquor to include operating with any amount of schedule 1 controlled substances in operator's body.

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 9/10–9/11
Of Interest to the Legal Community

HB 5318 Criminal procedure; other; penalties, fines, or costs; allow to be collected in same manner as civil money judgment. Amends sec. 4805 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.4805).

SB 0787 Courts; judges; number of judgeships in certain circuits; reduce temporarily. Amends secs. 507, 511, 517, 519, 521, 531, 532, 549 & 550 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.507 et seq.) & adds sec. 550b.

SB 0791 Property; other; uniform real property electronic recording act; create. Creates new act.

Of General Interest
HJR DD Legislature; legislators; part-time legislature, reduction of legislators' salaries, reduced compensation for absences from legislative session, and limit on legislative budget; provide for. Amends secs. 12 & 13, art. IV & adds sec. 55 to art. IV & sec. 43 to art. IX of the state constitution.

HJR EE Legislature; legislators; part-time legislature, term limits extension, and budget presentation to the governor by a certain date; provide for. Amends secs. 13, 31 & 54, art. IV of the state constitution.

HB 5323 Retirement; investments; protection of assets for investments of pension plans; enhance. Amends secs. 13, 15, 17, 19, 19a, 20c, 20d & 20j of 1965 PA 314 (MCL 38.1133 et seq.).

HB 5327 Property tax; personal property; definition of new personal property; modify qualifications. Amends sec. 9f of 1893 PA 206 (MCL 211.9f).

HB 5345 Public employees and officers; compensation and benefits; uniform health coverage plan; create and implement.

HB 5352 Income tax; rate; general amendments; provide for.

HB 5353 Use tax; rate; general amendments; provide for.

HB 5354 Sales tax; rate; general amendments; provide for.

HB 5355 Taxation; tobacco; tax on certain tobacco products; modify.

SB 0794 Courts; other; sobriety court interlock pilot project: create. Amends 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.101600.9947) by adding sec. 1084.

SB 0795 Crimes; drunk driving; repeat drunk driving offenders; establish license sanctions for DWI/sobriety court participants. Amends secs. 303, 322, 625n, 732a & 904d of 1949 PA 300 (MCL 257.303 et seq.).

SB 0798 Income tax; rate; rate provision; increase. Amends sec. 51 of 1967 PA 281 (MCL 206.51).

In the Hall of Justice
Rule Amendments
2005-32—Amendment of Rules 2.112 and 3.101 of the Michigan Court Rules
The amendments of MCR 2.112 impose specific pleading requirements for a case that is a consumer debt action under the Michigan collection practices act, which will provide defendants with relevant information regarding the alleged debt. The amendments of MCR 3.101 require those who seek a garnishment to provide specific information regarding the interest and costs related to the judgment.
Issued: September 9, 2009
Effective: January 1, 2010

2009-08—Amendment of Rule 3.936 of the Michigan Court Rules
The amendment of MCR 3.936 eliminates the reference to the return of juvenile fingerprints, and instead, requires the destruction of fingerprints, which more closely follows the statutory authority in MCL 28.243.
Issued: September 9, 2009
Effective: January 1, 2010

At the Bar
Three Bar Associations to Host Membership Round-ups in September

The State Bar of Michigan's Public Policy, Image, and Identity Committee and the Board of Commissioners will meet on September 16, 2009. For more information, please contact

The Annual Meeting takes place September 16-18 at the Hyatt Regency Dearborn. The following are special panel discussions taking place that may be of interest:

Thursday, September 17, 3:00–5:00 p.m.
The Constitutional Right to Defense
During the State Bar of Michigan's Annual Meeting, Representative Bob Constan will lead a discussion on the current reform efforts in Michigan. Rep. Constan will be joined by a panel of legislative leaders, stakeholders, and experts who will discuss the fundamental Constitutional right to counsel in criminal proceedings during an open discussion about the current reform efforts being contemplated in Michigan and nationally. Panelists include:
Tracey Weaver Brame (invited), assistant professor, Thomas M. Cooley Law School and board member, Michigan Campaign for Justice
Frank Eaman, one of the counsel for the plaintiffs in Duncan v. Michigan and co-chair of the State Bar's Criminal Issues Initiative
Fred T. Friedman, chief public defender of Minnesota's Sixth District, former part-time public defender in private practice, and professor at the University of Minnesota
John Shea, criminal defense attorney
Dawn Van Hoek, deputy director, State Appellate Defender Office

Friday, September 18, 10 a.m.–12 p.m.
Criminal Law Section Annual Program: Specialty Courts
This year's annual program is offered on the heels of the Section's policy conference in June, where the issue of specialty courts, specifically those addressing the needs of the mentally ill, was discussed. Together with the assistance of the following distinguished panelists, the discussion will continue on the future of specialty courts in Michigan:
Patrick Bowler, retired judge, 61st District Court, Grand Rapids
Julie Creal, chief judge, 15th District Court, Ann Arbor
David Hoort, judge, 8th Circuit Court, Ionia
Marilyn Kelly, chief justice, Michigan Supreme Court, Detroit
David Leyton, Genesee County prosecuting attorney, Flint
James Neuhard, director, State Appellate Defender Office, Detroit
Criminal Law Section council members and Annual Program co-chairs, Erika Julien and Stephen Gobbo, will moderate the panel.

Federal News
A Legal Battle: Online Attitude vs. Rules of the Bar
(New York Times, 9/12/09)

Justices Are Pressed for a Broad Ruling in Campaign Case
(New York Times, 9/9/09)

State News
Teen Lifers a Burden for State's Prisons
(Detroit News, 9/14/09)

Granholm: No State Shutdown Expected
(Detroit News, 9/12/09)
See related:
Dillon: No Shutdown Imminent
(Lansing State Journal, 9/11/09)

Business Group Backs Sales Tax on Services
(Detroit News, 9/11/09)

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