March 6 - March 12, 2006
Volume 4 Issue 10

In the Capitol
Committee meetings of interest for the week of 3/13
3/14 House Tort Reform
Agenda: History of Tort Reform in Michigan, Presentation by former Governor John Engler

3/14 House Judiciary
Agenda: HB 5421 Clarify sentencing; penalties for certain sex offenders; HB 5422 Revise jurisdiction of parole board over prisoner convicted of violent first degree sexual conduct against an individual less than 13 years old; HB 5531 Provide for mandatory lifetime electronic monitoring of persons convicted of certain criminal sexual conduct crimes and establish penalties for tampering with electronic monitoring device; HB 5532 Provide for lifetime satellite tracking of certain sex offenders; HB 5533 Enact sentencing guidelines for crime of tampering with electronic monitoring device.

3/14 Senate Judiciary
Agenda: SB 1104 Index to inflation cost of publishing legal notices; SB 1110 Increase allowable term of probation for misdemeanor child abuse; SB 1115 Require website disclosure referencing methamphetamine sites and certain cleanup procedures; SB 1119 Provide for action against persons who publish on the internet information on production or manufacturing of methamphetamine; FOCUS: SCR 39 A concurrent resolution to request the State Bar of Michigan and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association to issue a joint report to the Legislature on the number and types of cases and the costs resulting from court-appointed attorneys for indigent criminal cases in Michigan.
The State Bar believes that the collection of accurate information is essential in assessing the current environment for the delivery of public defense services to most appropriately decide upon a recommended course of action. It is our pleasure to work jointly with the National Legal Aid and Defender Association to collect this information. The State Bar fully supports the adoption of SCR 39.

3/14 Senate Families and Human Services
Agenda item of interest: HB 4161 Repeal provision regarding presumption of custody in acknowledgment of parentage act.
Family Law Section Position: Oppose HB 4161

3/14 Senate Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs
Agenda item of interest: HB 4778 Clarify liability for injuries sustained by renters and users of rented nonmotorized watercraft.
Negligence Law Section Position: Oppose HB 4778

3/15 House Family and Children Services
Agenda: HB 5698 Require a divorce effects program before entry of judgment of divorce; HB 5699 Require premarriage program or longer waiting period as prerequisites for issuance of a marriage license; HB 5700 Provide for marriage preservation tax credit; HB 5701 Create child parenting plan;
HB 5702 Expand individuals who can accept payment and perform marriage and family counseling; HB 5703 Require recording of certain information on marriage license and certificate.
Family Law Section Positions: See Sections and Committees

3/16 House Judiciary Subcommittee: Michigans Sex Offender Registry Act
Agenda: Presentation by Alica Urbain (House Republican Policy), Matt Bolger (MSP) and KC Steckelberg (Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan) regarding Michigans sex offender registration laws and the federal requirements.

Complete Committee Meeting List

Legislation Recently Signed into Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 3/7 - 3/9
Of Interest to the Legal Community
HB 5836 Cemeteries and funerals; burial or cremation; persons entitled to make funeral and burial arrangements for a deceased; revise language in public health code to reflect changes in estates and protected individuals code. Amends secs. 2851, 2855 & 10108 of 1978 PA 368 (MCL 333.2851 et seq.) & repeals secs. 2651 - 2663 of 1978 PA 368 (MCL 333.2651 - 333.2663).

HB 5851 Torts; personal injury; asbestos and silicosis compensation fairness act; create. Amends sec. 5827 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.5827) & adds ch. 30 & sec. 5840.

SB 1122 Corrections; parole; electronic monitoring by global positioning devices of sex offenders while on parole; require. Amends sec. 36 of 1953 PA 232 (MCL 791.236) & adds sec. 7b.

SB 1123 Torts; personal injury; asbestos and silicosis compensation fairness act; create. Amends sec. 5827 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.5827) & adds ch. 30 & sec. 5840.

SB 1128 Family law; child custody; modification of child support assessment for certain military personnel; provide for. Amends 1982 PA 295 (MCL 552.601 - 552.650) by adding sec. 15a.

Of General Interest
HB 5826 Human services; medical services; certain provisions that allow sheltering assets from medicaid; revise. Amends 1939 PA 280 (MCL 400.1 - 400.119b) by adding sec. 107a.

HB 5827 Human services; medical services; estate recovery program for medicaid; implement. Amends 1939 PA 280 (MCL 400.1 - 400.119b) by adding secs. 112g, 112h, 112i & 112j. TIE BAR WITH: HB 5828'06, HB 5829'06

HB 5829 Probate; wills and estates; estate recovery program for medicaid; implement. Amends sec. 3805 of 1998 PA 386 (MCL 700.3805). TIE BAR WITH: HB 5827'06, HB 5828'06

HB 5830 Campaign finance; campaign practices; acceptance of campaign contribution from a political action committee established by organization that candidate previously was or presently is associated with; prohibit. Amends 1976 PA 388 (MCL 169.201 - 169.282) by adding sec. 55a.

HB 5841 Crimes; controlled substances; methamphetamine reporting; require of certain state agencies. Creates new act.

HB 5842 Children; protection; requirement for department of human services to assist and cooperate with law enforcement officials when child has been exposed to methamphetamine; provide for. Amends secs. 3 & 8 of 1975 PA 238 (MCL 722.623 & 722.628).

HB 5843 Children; protection; referral of cases involving child exposure to methamphetamine production to the prosecuting attorney; require. Amends sec. 8b of 1975 PA 238 (MCL 722.628b).

HB 5844 Children; protection; reporting requirements for child suspected of having been exposed to or having had contact with methamphetamine production; establish. Amends sec. 3 of 1975 PA 238 (MCL 722.623).

In the Hall of Justice
Anne M. Boomer Named Interim Administrative Counsel of Michigan Supreme Court

Proposed Amendments
2004-44 - Proposed Amendment of Rules 3.977 and 7.210 of the Michigan Court Rules
The amendment of MCR 3.977 would allow and attorney to order only those transcripts necessary for an appeal from order terminating parental rights. The amendment of MCR 7.210 would exempt appeals from orders terminating parental rights from the general requirement that the appellant order the full transcript of trial court testimony and other proceedings.
Issued: March 7, 2006
Comment period expires: July 1, 2006
Public Hearing: To be scheduled

2004-26 - Proposed Amendment of Rule 8.110 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendment of MCR 8.110(B)(1) would change the requirement that recommendations for chief judge be submitted no later than October 1 of each odd-numbered year to September 1.
Issued: March 7, 2006
Comment period expires: July 1, 2006
Public Hearing: To be scheduled

Other Actions
2006-01 - Appointment of Chief Judge of the Genesee County Probate Court
Issued: March 7, 2006  

2006-01 - Appointment of Chief Judge of the Lenawee County Probate Court
Issued: March 7, 2006

At the Bar
FOCUS: Comment submitted by SBM member Paul Frumkin on March 9, 2006 regarding minimum insurance. “…The time has come to re-examine statutory minimums on dramshop and auto insurance, which are $50,000 and $20,000, respectively, and which have not been increased since 1974. …” Read Entire Comment
Do you agree or disagree with this member comment? Submit Your Response

Judicial Vacancy - 10th Circuit Court
Hon. Leopold P. Borrello is vacating his seat on 10 th Circuit Court. Any State Bar members interested in applying for the judgeship should submit an application by March 20, 2006.

Lawyers and Veterinarians Come Together for Symposium

Equal Access Initiative Distributes Compact Disc to Help Young People Navigate the Legal System

Sections and Committees
The Judicial Conference submitted a revised position regarding the package of bills on preliminary exams.

The Family Law Section submitted the following public policy reports:
Support, Recommend amendments: HB 5495 Family law; marriage and divorce; affidavit filed with complaint for divorce stating all issues of the divorce have been resolved by both parties; allow. Amends sec. 6 of 1846 RS 84 (MCL 552.6). TIE BAR WITH: HB 5496'05
HB 5496 Family law; marriage and divorce; 6-month waiting period before finalizing a divorce; provide exemption if both parties have resolved all issues before filing for divorce. Amends sec. 9f of 1846 RS 84 (MCL 552.9f). TIE BAR WITH: HB 5495'05

Oppose as drafted: HB 5698 Family law; marriage and divorce; divorce; require a divorce effects program before entry of judgment of divorce. Amends 1846 RS 84 (MCL 552.1 - 552.45) by adding sec. 5.

Support with amendment: HB 5699 Family law; marriage and divorce; prerequisites for issuance of a marriage license; require premarriage program or longer waiting period. Amends title & secs. 2, 3 & 3a of 1887 PA 128 (MCL 551.102 et seq.) & adds secs. 2a & 2b. TIE BAR WITH: HB 5700'06HB 5702'06, HB 5703'06

Oppose, Support creating a parenting plan form: HB 5701 Family law; child custody; child parenting plan; create. Amends title & secs. 1, 2, 4 & 11 of 1970 PA 91 (MCL 722.21 et seq.) & adds secs. 5a, 5b, 5c, 5d, 5e & 5f. TIE BAR WITH: HB 5698'06
SB 1045 Family law; child custody; child parenting plan; create. Amends title & secs. 1, 2, 4 & 11 of 1970 PA 91 (MCL 722.21 et seq.) & adds secs. 5a, 5b, 5c, 5d, 5e & 5f.

Oppose: HB 5703 Family law; marriage and divorce; recording of certain information on marriage license and certificate; require. Amends sec. 4 of 1887 PA 128 (MCL 551.104). TIE BAR WITH: HB 5699'06, HB 5700'06, HB 5702'06

Federal News
Senators Vote to Forgo Lobbyist-Bought Meals
(Washington Post, 3/9/06)

State News
Macomb County Looking at Adding Circuit Judge
(Free Press, 3/13/06)

Senate OKs Minimum Wage Hike
(Lansing State Journal, 3/10/06)

List of Ballot Initiatives Could be Longest Since '78
(Lansing State Journal, 3/10/06)

House Panel Votes to End SBT in '07
(Lansing State Journal, 3/10/06)
See Related:
Republicans Preparing to Tackle Single Business Tax
(Lansing State Journal, 3/9/06)

GOP Takes Aim at Business Tax
(Detroit News, 3/9/06)

End of Road for Junkets?
(Detroit News, 3/9/06)

Chamber Pushes to Protect Drug Makers
(Lansing State Journal, 3/8/06)

Cunningham Won't Take State Post
(Lansing State Journal, 3/6/06)

Michigan's Income Tax Still Hits Poor
(Lansing State Journal, 3/6/06)

State Legislature Ranked as 6th Costliest
(Lansing State Journal, 3/6/06)

Links of Interest
Public Policy Resource Center
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