May 31, 2005 -June 5, 2005
Volume 3 Issue 22

In the Capitol
Committee meetings of interest for the week of 6/6
6/9 Senate Appropriations
Agenda item of interest: SB 275 Provide for judiciary budget for fiscal year 2005-2006.

Complete Committee Meeting List

Legislation Recently Signed into Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 5/31 – 6/2
Of Interest to the Legal Community
HB 4846 Insurance; no-fault; threshold on noneconomic damages; revise. Amends secs. 3009, 3103, 3116, 3135 & 3177 of 1956 PA 218 (MCL 500.3009 et seq.).

HB 4851 Juveniles; criminal procedure; age under which court has jurisdiction; revise. Amends sec. 2, ch XIIA of 1939 PA 288 (MCL 712A.2).

HB 4860 Environmental protection; water pollution; unauthorized discharges into a municipal sewer system; exempt municipalities from liability. Amends sec. 3109 of 1994 PA 451 (MCL 324.3109).

SB 561 Torts; immunity; "Good Samaritan" law provisions relating to national ski patrol system; revise. Amends sec. 7 of 1963 PA 17 (MCL 691.1507).

In the Hall of Justice
FOCUS: Reconsideration in Apsey v Memorial Hospital
An April 19 opinion of the Court of Appeals held that plaintiffs' out-of-state medical malpractice affidavit of merit prepared in conformity to the general requirements of the Uniform Recognition of Acknowledgements Act (URAA) using a notary public, but without additional certification of the credentials of the out-of-state notary public, was invalid because it did not conform to the requirements of MCL 600.2102, which the Court held controls over the general requirements of the URAA.

On June 2, the Court of Appeals granted the plaintiff's motion for reconsideration, as well as the motions to file amicus curiae briefs by the State Bar of Michigan, the Bar’s Negligence and Elder Law Sections, the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association, the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel, Citizens for Better Care, the United Auto Workers, and the State of Michigan Department of Community Health.

Full Text of Apsey Opinion
Full Text of State Bar of Michigan Amicus Brief Full Text of Order Granting Reconsideration

At the Bar
The Board of Commissioners will meet on Friday, June 10 during the annual Bar Leadership Forum and Upper Michigan Legal Institute on Mackinac Island. For a copy of the agenda for the Board of Commissioners or the Public Policy Image and Identity Committee, please email elyon@mail.michbar.org.

Sections and Committees
The Appellate Practice Section submitted the following public policy report:
Oppose: ADM File No. 2004-46 - Proposed Amendment of Rule 7.211 of the Michigan Court Rules The proposal would amend MCR 7.211(C) by creating new subrule (9) to clarify the procedure for motions to seal Court of Appeals files and to unseal previously sealed files. The proposed rule incorporates by reference the procedures for sealing files in the trial courts set forth in MCR 8.119(F). The proposal also contains additional language unique to cases pending in the Court of Appeals.

The Criminal Jurisprudence and Practice Committee submitted the following public policy reports for consideration by the State Bar:
Oppose: ADM File No. 2003-04 - Proposed Amendment of Rule 7.205 of the Michigan Court Rules
The April 5, 2005, proposed amendment of MCR 7.205(F)(3) would reduce the time for filing a late application for leave to appeal from the current deadline of 12 months from the entry of the final judgment or order appealed from or entry of an order resolving a timely filed postconviction motion to a deadline of 6 month from the entry of such orders. The proposed amendment of MCR 7.205(F)(4) would implement a 6-month deadline that corresponds to the reduction in subrule (3). The 6-month deadline in subrule (4) would make the limitation in (F)(3) inapplicable where the defendant files a postconviction motion within 6 months of the judgment or order appealed from and filed an application for leave to appeal within 21 days of the decision on a postconviction motion or if the defendant sought the appointment of counsel within 6 months of the order, and defendant files an application for leave to appeal within 42 days of the filing of the complete transcripts or within 42 days of the order appointing counsel if the transcript was filed before entry of that order.

 

 


Oppose new sections (f) and (n): ADM File No. 2004-53 - Proposed Amendment of Rules 9.124 of the Michigan Court Rules The proposed amendments of MCR 9.124(B)(1) would expand the information a petitioner for reinstatement is required to include in or attach to the petitioner’s personal history affidavit. The proposed amendment of subrule (b) would add a requirement that the petitioner, at the grievance administrator’s request, provide authorization for the grievance administrator to obtain a copy of the petitioner’s personnel file regarding any employment held since the time of disqualification. The proposed amendment of subrule (f) would require a petitioner to attach copies of petitioner’s tax returns from the date of disqualification to the date of the petition for reinstatement. The proposed amendment of subrule (l) would add a requirement that a petitioner provide copies of any civil complainants and judgments or orders with respect to any outstanding civil judgments against the petitioner. According to the proposed amendment of subrule (m), a petitioner would be required to provide copies of criminal complaints and judgments of conviction or dismissals for any criminal case in which the petitioner was a defendant or a witness. Subrule (n) would require a petitioner to state on his personal affidavit whether since the date of disqualification the petitioner received treatment for mental or emotional disabilities or substance abuse or gambling addiction. If the petitioner received such treatment, the petitioner would be required to provide a statement from the service providers that contained a diagnosis of the condition and prognosis for recovery.
The proposed amendment of 9.124 (C) simply codifies what already occurs in hearings on petitions for reinstatement and appeals from decisions following those hearings.

Oppose certain sections: HB 4431 Crimes; homicide; definition of first degree murder; expand to include murder committed in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of aggravated stalking, the violation of a personal protection order, and the violation of a condition of release on bond or on parole. Amends sec. 316 of 1931 PA 328 (MCL 750.316).

Oppose: HB 4503 Crimes; vehicle offenses; definition of reckless driving that causes the death of another; include driving while fatigued. Amends sec. 324 of 1931 PA 328 (MCL 750.324).

Oppose: HB 4652 Crimes; criminal sexual conduct; age of consent for certain criminal sexual conduct violations; increase to age 18. Amends secs. 520b, 520c, 520d & 520e of 1931 PA 328 (MCL 750.520b et seq.).

Support: HB 4654 Crimes; other; duty to retreat before using deadly force in self-defense or defense of another; eliminate under certain circumstances. Amends 1927 PA 175 (MCL 760.1 - 777.69) by adding sec. 21c to ch. VIII.

Oppose: SB 289 Criminal procedure; statute of limitations; statute of limitations for certain criminal sexual conduct offenses; eliminate. Amends sec. 24, ch. VII of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 767.24).

Oppose: SB 416 Crimes; other; sale or rental of ultra-violent video games to individuals under 17 years of age; prohibit and provide penalties. Creates new act.

The Judicial Conference submitted the following public policy report:
Oppose: HB 4160 Civil procedure; civil actions; limitation on recovery amount allowed in small claims suits; revise. Amends sec. 8401 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.8401).

The Grievance Committee recommended the following position to the State Bar: Support: ADM File No. 2004-53 - Proposed Amendment of Rules 9.124 of the Michigan Court Rules The proposed amendments of MCR 9.124(B)(1) would expand the information a petitioner for reinstatement is required to include in or attach to the petitioner’s personal history affidavit. The proposed amendment of subrule (b) would add a requirement that the petitioner, at the grievance administrator’s request, provide authorization for the grievance administrator to obtain a copy of the petitioner’s personnel file regarding any employment held since the time of disqualification. The proposed amendment of subrule (f) would require a petitioner to attach copies of petitioner’s tax returns from the date of disqualification to the date of the petition for reinstatement. The proposed amendment of subrule (l) would add a requirement that a petitioner provide copies of any civil complainants and judgments or orders with respect to any outstanding civil judgments against the petitioner. According to the proposed amendment of subrule (m), a petitioner would be required to provide copies of criminal complaints and judgments of conviction or dismissals for any criminal case in which the petitioner was a defendant or a witness. Subrule (n) would require a petitioner to state on his personal affidavit whether since the date of disqualification the petitioner received treatment for mental or emotional disabilities or substance abuse or gambling addiction. If the petitioner received such treatment, the petitioner would be required to provide a statement from the service providers that contained a diagnosis of the condition and prognosis for recovery.
The proposed amendment of 9.124 (C) simply codifies what already occurs in hearings on petitions for reinstatement and appeals from decisions following those hearings.

For a copy of a report, please email elyon@mail.michbar.org.

Federal News
Prisoners' Religious Rights Law Upheld
(Washington Post, 6/1/05)

State News
Crisis Management - State Budget 2006
(Lansing State Journal, 6/5/05)

Links of Interest
Public Policy Resource Center
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