Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
September 21-27, 2009
Volume 7 Issue 39

FOCUS:The FY 2010 department budgets for Corrections and Judiciary were voted out of conference committee last week. The Department of Corrections will see a cut of $87.5 million in general fund spending, a 4.5% reduction. The conference committee report for Corrections will be received in the House on September 29. The Judiciary budget will rely on the federal Byrne Grant funding to continue the state's mental health court pilot project and $1.4 million will be transferred from the juror compensation fund to the general fund. The Judiciary budget was adopted by the House of Representatives on a vote of 107-1 and will now be considered by the Senate.
HB 4437 Department of Corrections Budget for Fiscal Year 2009-2010
SB 0249 Judiciary Budget for Fiscal Year 2009-2010

In the Capitol
The Michigan House of Representatives and Senate are currently scheduled to be in session on Tuesday, September 29 through Thursday, October 1. Both Chambers are scheduled to meet at 10:00 a.m. each day.
House Session Schedule
Senate Session Schedule

Committee Meetings of Interest for the Week of 9/28
9/29 Senate Judiciary
Agenda: Presentation of Michigan Parolees, Michigan Department of Corrections.

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 9/21–9/25
Of Interest to the Legal Community

HB 5452 Torts; liability; openness and obviousness of conditions on property; make an issue of comparative negligence. Amends 1846 RS 66 (MCL 554.131554.139) & adds sec. 40.

HB 5458 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.

HB 5468 Communications; technology; validity of judgment or order created with an electronic record or signature; clarify.

HB 5477 Courts; juries; names and addresses of taxpayers; allow to be given to jury boards for purposes of selecting juror pools.

HB 5478 Courts; juries; jury pool selection process; revise.

SB 0850 Courts; circuit court; requirements for adding circuit judgeships; adjust. Amends sec. 550 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.550).

SB 0851 Courts; circuit court; number of circuit judgeships; adjust. Amends sec. 507 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.507).

SB 0858 Torts; medical malpractice; emergency treatment rendered in a hospital; limit liability for. Amends 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.101600.9947) & adds sec. 2912i.

In the Hall of Justice
The Michigan Supreme Court will be holding a Public Administrative Conference on October 8, 2009.

Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth A. Weaver to Move Office to Traverse City State Building to Save Costs to State

Administrative Orders
2009-09–A Court Shall Submit a Local Administrative Order to SCAO When Appointing Magistrates and Referees
Administrative Order No. 2009-6 requires 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 provide the State Court Administrative Office necessary information about who these individuals are and what functions they perform in the trial court. It is the magistrate's or referee's responsibility to update his or her contact information.
Issued: September 9, 2009
Effective January 1, 2010

Proposed Amendments
2008-21–Proposed Amendment of Rule 3.932 of the Michigan Court Rules
Alternative A would eliminate the consent calendar provisions of MCR 3.932. Alternative B would require a prosecutor's consent to the use of the consent calendar and would prohibit the court from placing a case for an assaultive crime as defined in the Juvenile Diversion Act on the consent calendar.
Issued: September 9, 2009
Comment period expires: January 1, 2010
Public hearing: To be scheduled

2008-43–Proposed Amendments of Rules 3.800, 3.802, 3.901, 3.903, 3.920, 3.921, 3.931, 3.935, 3.961, 3.963, 3.965, 3.974, 3.975, 3.976, 3.977, 3.980, 5.125, 5.402, and 5.404 and Proposed New Rules 3.002, 3.807, 3.905, 3.967, and 5.109 of the Michigan Court Rules
These proposed amendments were recommended by the Indian Child Welfare Act subcommittee in an effort to incorporate the specific provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act into the relevant rules that relate to adoption and guardianships. The proposal incorporates provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act into specific provisions within various rules relating to child protective proceedings and juvenile status offenses. The proposal is designed to make the rules reflect a more integrated approach to addressing issues specific to Indian children.

MCR 3.002(1)(c) defines "preadoptive placement" to mean the "temporary placement of an Indian child in a foster home or institution after the termination of parental rights, but before or in lieu of adoptive placement, and . . . ." The phrase "in lieu of adoptive placement" is not intended to mean that it is permissible to leave a child in foster care indefinitely, in violation of MCL 712A.19b(6) or (7) or 45 CFR 1355.20, 45 CFR 1356.21, or 45 CFR 1356.50. Rather, it addresses situations where the parental rights to a child have been terminated and there is no permanency plan for adoption of the child. One example is when the child has been placed with a juvenile guardian and the guardianship is subsequently revoked. In this situation, jurisdiction over the child pursuant to MCL 712A.2(b) will be reinstated and the child is placed in foster care.

The proposed amendment of MCR 3.905(C)(1) states that a court shall consider guidelines established by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) in determining whether good cause not to transfer exists (Guidelines for State Courts; Indian Child Custody Proceedings, 44 Fed Reg No 228, 67590-67592, C.2-C.4. [November 26, 1979]). Some examples of good cause are that the Indian tribe does not have a tribal court or that the Indian child is over 12 years old and objects to the transfer. For additional examples of good cause and relevant case law, see the BIA guidelines cited above and A Practical Guide to the Indian Child Welfare Act. (Native American Rights Fund, A Practical Guide to the Indian Child Welfare Act [Boulder, CO: Native American Rights Fund, 2007], 7.15 and 7.16, p 60.)
Issued: September 15, 2009
Comment period expires: January 1, 2010
Public hearing: To be scheduled

Other Actions
2009-01–Supreme Court Appointments of Commissioners-at-Large of the State Bar of Michigan
Issued: September 9, 2009

2009-01–Supreme Court Appointment to the Attorney Grievance Commission
Issued: September 9, 2009

At the Bar
October is Pro Bono Month

Free Attorney Pro Bono Training

Sections and Committees
The Real Property Law Section submitted a Public Policy position on HB 4503 Property; other; affidavits to correct errors or omissions relating to previously recorded documents; allow. Amends 1915 PA 123 (MCL 565.451a565.453) by adding sec. 1d.

State News
Revenue Sharing Likely to Take Hit
(Lansing State Journal, 9/28/09)
See Related:
Work Continues to Hash Out Budget
(Detroit Free Press, 9/27/09)
Possibility of Tax Hike Backlash Brewing
(Lansing State Journal, 9/27/09)
Concerns Mounting as Budget Deadline Approaches
(Lansing State Journal, 9/27/09)

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