Litigation

This summary also appears under Employment & Labor Law

 

Issues: Class action alleging violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)(29 USC § 201 et seq.) related to overtime compensation; Whether the Court of Claims had subject matter jurisdiction; MCL 600.6419(1)(a); Effect of 2013 PA 164 (given immediate effect as of 11/12/13); MCL 600.6404(3); Retroactive application of a statute; Mayor of Detroit v. Arms Tech., Inc.; Frank W. Lynch & Co. v. Flex Techs.

Court: Michigan Court of Appeals (Published)

Case Name: Fulicea v. State of MI

e-Journal Number: 58674

Judge(s): Per Curiam – K.F. Kelly, Sawyer, and Meter

 

Holding that the plaintiffs' claims alleging violation of the FLSA may not be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the basis they are statutory in nature, because the Court of Claims clearly possesses the power and jurisdiction to hear statutory claims under MCL 600.6419(1)(a), the court reversed the Court of Claims' order granting the defendants summary disposition and remanded for further proceedings. Plaintiffs, as employees of the defendants-State of Michigan and Department of Corrections, filed a class action complaint for violations of the FLSA, alleging that "defendants denied them overtime compensation for services they were forced to perform outside their normal work hours." Defendants successfully moved for summary disposition under MCR 2.116(C)(4), arguing that the Court of Claims lacked subject matter jurisdiction over plaintiffs' statutory claims under MCL 600.6419(1)(a). After plaintiffs filed their claim of appeal, the Legislature enacted 2013 PA 164, which amended several statutes affecting the Court of Claims, including MCL 600.6419(1)(a). "MCL 600.6419(1)(a) now provides that the Court of Claims has power and jurisdiction '[t]o hear and determine any claim or demand, statutory or contractual, liquidated or unliquidated, ex contractu or ex delicto, . . . against the state or any of its departments.'" The court noted that "'[w]hen a new law makes clear that it is retroactive, an appellate court must apply that law in reviewing judgments still on appeal that were rendered before the law was enacted, and must alter the outcome accordingly.'" In this instance, the Legislature, in MCL 600.6404(3), "clearly manifested its intent that the jurisdictional amendments be applied retroactively to pending cases." This case remained pending in the court, "in that a final decision on appeal has not been reached, and is 'within the jurisdiction of the court of claims as described in section 6419(1),' as amended by 2013 PA 164 . . . ."

 

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