May 21 - 28, 2007
Volume 5 Issue 21

FOCUS: Michigan Fiscal Crisis Update
In an effort to meet the June 1 deadline imposed by Governor Granholm to resolve the current year budget deficit for the purpose of avoiding cuts to school funding and Medicaid and a possible government shut-down, the Michigan House of Representatives and Senate held a rare session day on Friday, May 25. An agreement was reached to settle the current $800 million deficit through a combination of spending cuts and expected general fund savings gained through restricted money and reforms. This agreement has the effect of increasing the estimated budget deficit projected for the 2007-2008 budget.

See related news:
Little Joy Over Budget Deal
(Detroit Free Press, 5/29/07)

Budget Deal Seen as One-Time Fix for State's Cash Woes
(Lansing State Journal, 5/28/07)

State Budget Deal Rules Out Tax Hikes - For Now
(Lansing State Journal, 5/26/07)

Lawmakers Waiting to Break Mich. Budget Stalemate
(Lansing State Journal, 5/25/07)

House Sends Revised Business Tax Plan to Senate
(Detroit Free Press, 5/24/07)

Judge says Budget Delays, Court Cuts will Hurt Many
(Kalamazoo Gazette, 5/23/07)

Dems Back Plan for Graduated Income Tax
(Detroit News, 5/23/07)

In the Capitol
Committee meetings of interest for the week of 5/28
5/29 Senate Judiciary: Prison Reform and Public Safety

Agenda: Any business to come properly before the committee.

5/29 Senate Judiciary
Agenda: Any business to come properly before the committee.

5/29 House Regulatory Reform
Agenda item of interest: SB 25 Define qualified interpreter for deaf or deaf-blind individual and provide in certain circumstances.
SBM Position: The State Bar supports in principle the bill introduced in the House in identical form, HB 4208. The State Bar does not at this time have a formal position on SB 25. 

5/29 Senate Families and Human Services
Agenda: SB 476 Allow court to gather additional evidence court review of arbitrator's decision on child custody; SB 477 Require courts to resolve child custody disputes that have been arbitrated in accordance with domestic relations arbitration provisions of the RJA.
Family Law Section Positions: Support SB 476 with recommended amendments, Support SB 477 

Complete Committee Meeting List 

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 5/22 – 5/25
Of Interest to the Legal Community

HB 4831 Torts; product liability; "sophisticated user" defense; exempt chemical manufacturer under certain circumstances.

SB 522 Family law; friend of the court; informational pamphlet; allow to be provided electronically. Amends sec. 5 of 1982 PA 294 (MCL 552.505).

SB 524 Retirement; judges; retirement allowance for judges; increase. Amends 1992 PA 234 (MCL 38.2101 - 38.2670) by adding secs. 513 & 514.

SB 532 Torts; product liability; "sophisticated user" defense; exempt chemical manufacturer under certain circumstances. Amends sec. 2947 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.2947).

SB 541 Corrections; parole; parole procedure for parolable life sentence prisoners; clarify.

SB 543 Children; protection; appeal process; provide for.

SB 552 Torts; personal injury; asbestos and silicosis compensation fairness act; create.

SB 553 Family law; child support; system for payment of support over the internet; require office of child support to establish.

Of General Interest
HB 4835 Civil procedure; other; exemptions from property subject to assignment for the benefit of creditors; revise, and index for inflation. 

HB 4845 Law enforcement; fingerprinting; fingerprinting and criminal record check fees; increase.

At The Bar
Vote in the 2007 State Bar of Michigan Elections

Sections and Committees
The Real Property Law Section submitted the following public policy reports:
Oppose: HB 4249 Property; other; adverse possession of certain property; prohibit if property taxes are paid by title owner. Amends sec. 5867 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.5867) & adds sec. 5867a.

Oppose: HB 4515 Consumer protection; privacy; social security numbers in documents submitted to register of deeds for recordation; require redaction in certified copies unless prohibited by law. Amends sec. 1 of 1836 PA 25 (MCL 565.581).

Oppose: HB 4516 Consumer protection; privacy; social security numbers in documents submitted to register of deeds for recordation; require redaction by person submitting document unless prohibited by law. Amends sec. 1 of 1937 PA 103 (MCL 565.201).

Oppose: HB 4517 Consumer protection; privacy; social security numbers in documents submitted to register of deeds for recordation; require redaction by register of deeds unless prohibited by law. Amends sec. 1 of 1867 PA 20 (MCL 565.491).

Oppose: HB 4518 Consumer protection; privacy; social security numbers in judgments submitted to register of deeds for recordation; require redaction unless prohibited by law. Amends sec. 1 of 1873 PA 5 (MCL 565.401).

Oppose: HB 4519 Consumer protection; privacy; social security numbers in affidavits submitted to register of deeds for recordation; require redaction unless prohibited by law. Amends sec. 2 of 1915 PA 123 (MCL 565.452).

Oppose: SB 62 Property; conveyances; termination of tenancy by the entireties; allow in cases of spousal abandonment. Amends secs. 1 & 2 of 1927 PA 210 (MCL 557.101 & 557.102).

In the Hall of Justice
Rule Amendments

2006-45 - Amendment of Rule 5.307 of the Michigan Court Rules
The amendment of MCR 5.307 eliminates the requirement to reduce the value of property by the amount of secured loans for purposes of determining the inventory fee. This amendment conforms the court rule to the requirement for setting the inventory fee in § 871 of the Revised Judicature Act, MCL 600.871, as expressed in Wolfe-Haddad Estate v Oakland Co., 272 Mich App 323 (2006).
Issued: May 22, 2007
Effective: September 1, 2007

2006-40 - Amendment of Rule 2.222 of the Michigan Court Rules
This amendment was adopted to address the situation in which a party moves for change of venue and an order is entered changing venue but the movant fails to pay the filing fee in the transferee court. In such a situation, the original court loses jurisdiction upon entry of the order transferring venue, but the transferee court does not gain jurisdiction until the appropriate filing fee has been paid. The amendment requires that the moving party submit a negotiable instrument in the amount of the filing fee for the transferee court before or at the time the order changing venue is entered, thereby ensuring that there will not be a jurisdictional gap.
Issued: May 22, 2007
Effective: September 1, 2007

2006-39 - Amendment of Rule 1.10 of the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct
Amendments to Rule 1.10 regarding Imputed Disqualifications originally ordered November 14, 2006, are retained with additional amendments.
Issued: May 22, 2007
Effective: May 22, 2007

2006-35 - Amendment of Rule 6.445 of the Michigan Court Rules
The amendment of the rule creates uniformity between MCR 6.302, which deals with the requirements for pleas of guilty and nolo contendere to criminal offenses, and MCR 6.445, which deals with the requirements for pleas of guilty to probation-revocation violations.
Issued: May 22, 2007
Effective: September 1, 2007

2006-33 - Amendment of Rule 2.116 of the Michigan Court Rules
The amendments of MCR 2.116 clarify that motions for summary disposition based on governmental immunity or lack of subject-matter jurisdiction may be filed even if the time set for filing dispositive motions in a scheduling order has expired. Defects in subject-matter jurisdiction cannot be waived and may be raised at any time. People v Erwin, 212 Mich App 55, 64 (1995); People v Richards, 205 Mich App 438, 444 (1994). Likewise, governmental immunity may be raised at any time. See Mack v Detroit, 467 Mich 186, 197 n 13 (2002).
The amendments also clarify that it is within the court’s discretion to consider a motion based on the grounds set forth in MCR 2.116(C)(8), (9), or (10), if the motion is filed after the period for dispositive motions established in a scheduling order has expired. This clarification reflects the holding in People v Grove, 455 Mich 439 (1997), that was within the trial court’s discretion to decline to accept a plea agreement offered after the date set forth in the scheduling order for accepting such an agreement had passed.
Issued: May 22, 2007
Effective: September 1, 2007

2006-29 - Amendment of Rule 3.411 of the Michigan Court Rules
This amendment clarifies that MCR 3.411(H), under which a judgment determining an interest in land is effective only as to the parties to the action, does not apply to an action in which title was determined under the principle of adverse possession. Under longstanding Michigan case law, interests in land acquired by adverse possession are effective against all the world, not just those individuals who are parties to the action. See, for example, Lawson v Bishop, 212 Mich 691 (1920), and Gorte v Dep’t of Transportation, 202 Mich App 161 (1993).
Issued: May 22, 2007
Effective: September 1, 2007

2006-03 - Amendment of Rule 6.106 of the Michigan Court Rules
This amendment clarifies that bail agents are liable only for the appearance of a defendant, and not for compliance with conditions imposed on a defendant by the court as part of a conditional release pursuant to MCR 6.106. The amendment also clarifies that a court may continue the revocation order and enter judgment against a defendant for failure to comply with the conditions of release or failure to satisfy the court that compliance with those conditions was impossible, regardless of whether the defendant failed to appear.
Issued: May 22, 2007
Effective: September 1, 2007

State News
Bills Aim to Help Hearing Impaired
(Detroit News, 5/25/07)

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