Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
September 8-14, 2008
Volume 6 Issue 37

In the Capitol
Committee Meetings of Interest for the Week of 9/15/08
9/16 House Labor
Agenda Item of Interest: HB 6387 Revise persons to whom agency information may be disclosed.

9/16 House Senior Health, Security, and Retirement
Agenda Item of Interest: HB 5499 Define rights of the incapacitated.
Judicial Conference Position: Oppose

9/16 Senate Judiciary
Agenda: Presentation on the Prison Education Structure and Programs, Department of Corrections; SB 1385 Prohibit and provide penalties for misuse or removal of DNA identification profiling records; SB 1386 Expand disclosure and use of DNA profiles; SB 1387 Require individual to provide an adequate sample concerning DNA identification profiling samples; SB 1388 Provide for good faith provision in obtaining and retaining DNA samples in violation of act; SB 1389 Create good faith exception for arrests and warrants based on DNA evidence that was obtained in violation of DNA identification profiling system act.

9/16 Senate Commerce and Tourism
Agenda Items of Interest: SB 1445 Authorize formation of low-profit limited liability company; SB 1446 Revise naming requirements for limited liability companies.

9/17 House Judiciary
Agenda: HB 5332 Provide for paperless insurance verification system; HB 5333 Create paperless insurance verification system, and provide for access by law enforcement officers; HB 6249 Clarify authority for attorney general to investigate certain federal restraint of trade violations; HB 6250 Revise authority for attorney general to investigate violations, and clarify prohibition against charging grossly excessive prices.

9/18 House Judiciary
Agenda: HB 6305 Revise jail diversion program for certain individuals with mental illness or disability.

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 9/9–9/11
Of Interest to the Legal Community
HB 6445 Criminal procedure; expunction; set-aside of convictions; allow set-aside of traffic offenses.

HB 6455 Traffic control; driver license; driver responsibility law; allow to reinstate driving privileges of individuals on installment plan under certain circumstances.

SB 1456 Civil procedure; remedies; wrongful imprisonment; provide compensation for.

Of General Interest
SB 1464 Vehicles; registration; distribution of revenue from collection of certain registration transfer fees; extend certain sunsets.

SB 1465 Vehicles; title; distribution of fee collected to expedite title application process; extend certain sunsets.

SB 1488 Campaign finance; committees; reporting requirements for ballot question committee; modify. Amends sec. 34 of 1976 PA 388 (MCL 169.234).

In the Hall of Justice
Michigan Court of Appeals to Hear Oral Arguments in Marquette on Sept. 9; Appeals Court also to Preside in Petoskey on Sept. 11

The Michigan Supreme Court will hold an administrative public hearing on Wednesday, September 24, 2008, 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 MSC_clerk@courts.mi.gov, no later than Monday, SeSupportptember 22, 2008.

Agenda Items of Interest:
2006-09 Proposed Adoption of the Amendment of Rule 7.202 of the Michigan Court Rules.
This proposed amendment would clarify that motions for summary disposition that involve claims of governmental immunity based on MCR 2.116(C)(7) and (C)(10) that are denied are appealable by right in the Court of Appeals. This proposed language is designed to address the jurisdictional issue that arose in the cases of Newton v Michigan State Police, 263 Mich App 251 (2004) and Walsh v Taylor, 263 Mich App 618 (2004).

SBM Position: View Position

Civil Procedure & Courts Committee Position: Support and Amend

2006-16 Proposed Adoption of the 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

2007-24 Proposed Adoption of the Amendments of Rules 2.301, 2.302, 2.401, and 2.506 of the Michigan Court Rules.
This proposal, submitted by the State Bar of Michigan, would amend Michigan's discovery rules concerning electronically stored information, and would make the rules consistent with the federal rules.

SBM Position: Read position

2007-28 Proposed Adoption of the Amendment of Rule 3.901 of the Michigan Court Rules and Adoption of New Rule 3.930 of the Michigan Court Rules.
The proposal would allow the court to return or destroy exhibits within 56 days of the completion of the trial or hearing. In addition, the admission of an exhibit into evidence would not change the confidential nature of that exhibit, and the court would be required to maintain confidential exhibits in accordance with MCR 3.903(A)(3).

SBM Position: Support

2007-30 Proposed Adoption of the 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.

Civil Procedure and Courts Committee Position: The committee supported the concept of the proposals, but suggested a number of modifications.

2007-31 Proposed Adoption of the 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

Civil Procedure and Courts Committee Position: Support

2008-19 Retention of the Amendment of Rule 3.928 of the Michigan Court Rules.
This amendment changes the current maximum penalty from 30 days in jail for contempt of court to 93 days in jail for contempt of court to conform to MCL 600.1715.

SBM Position: Support

2008-20 Proposed Adoption of the Amendment of Rule 6 of the Rules for the Board of Law Examiners.
The proposed order increases the fees for application for the bar examination from $300 to $340, and for reexamination from $200 to $240. The proposed increase in fees would allow for the implementation of the change in policy regarding grading Michigan bar examinations that is reflected in the attached notice.

SBM Position: Support

At the Bar
State Bar to Honor 2008 Award Winners at Annual Meeting

Volunteers Needed for Cultural Awareness Project

"Tips and Tools for a Successful Practice" Slated for November 5

Berrien County Bench and Bar Commemorate Constitution Day and Educate Students on the Importance of the Jury Process

The State Bar of Michigan's Public Policy, Image, and Identity Committee and Board of Commissioners will meet on September 17. The State Bar of Michigan's Representative Assembly will meet on September 18. For more information, please contact pcunningham@mail.michbar.org.

Federal News
States Restore Voting Rights for Ex-Convicts (New York Times, 9/13/08)

State News
State Crime Council Down to Final Days
(Detroit Free Press, 9/15/08)

High Court Bars Rewrite of Constitution From Ballot
(Lansing State Journal, 9/9/08)

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