July 4, 2005 -July 10, 2005
Volume 3 Issue 26

In the Capitol
View the House of Representatives Session Schedule (Updated on 6/23/05)

View the Senate Session Schedule (Updated 6/23/05)

Complete Committee Meeting List

Capitol Agenda
(Detroit News, 7/4/05)

Legislation Introduced 6/28–7/6
Of Interest to the Legal Community
HB 5023 Criminal procedure; sentencing; court ordered fines, costs, or assessments; clarify judge's authority. Amends 1927 PA 175 (MCL 760.1777.69) by adding sec. 1k to ch. IX.

HB 5024 Civil procedure; costs and fees; attorney contingency fees based on a sliding scale; provide for. Amends sec. 919 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.919).

SB 675 Consumer protection; unfair trade practices; certain product liability claims; limit in consumer protection act. Amends sec. 4 of 1976 PA 331 (MCL 445.904).

Of General Interest
HB 5006 Insurance; annuities; marketing and sale of annuities as a "vehicle to protect assets from medicaid asset limitation requirements"; prohibit under certain circumstances. Amends 1956 PA 218 (MCL 500.100500.8302) by adding sec. 2004.

HB 5017 Elections; absent voters; filing deadline for absent voter ballot applications; revise. Amends secs. 759 & 761 of 1954 PA 116 (MCL 168.759 & 168.761).

HB 5018 Criminal procedure; sentencing guidelines; technical amendments in sentencing guidelines; provide for. Amends sec. 11d, ch. XVII of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 777.11d). TIE BAR WITH: HB 5017

SB 657 Local government; other; county board of auditors; repeal. Repeals sec. 4a of 1913 PA 275 (MCL 47.4a).

SB 659 Single business tax; credit; officer salary limit for small business credit; increase and index. Amends sec. 36 of 1975 PA 228 (MCL 208.36).

SB 664 Businesses; profit corporations; electronic filing of documents required under business corporation act; authorize. Amends sec. 131 of 1972 PA 284 (MCL 450.1131).

SB 665 Businesses; limited liability companies; electronic filing of documents required under Michigan limited liability company act; authorize. Amends sec. 104 of 1993 PA 23 (MCL 450.4104).

SB 666 Businesses; nonprofit corporations; electronic filing of documents required under nonprofit corporation act; authorize. Amends sec. 131 of 1982 PA 162 (MCL 450.2131).

SB 667 Businesses; partnerships; electronic filing of documents required under Michigan revised uniform limited partnership act; authorize. Amends sec. 206 of 1982 PA 213 (MCL 449.1206).

SB 668 Food; processors; protection against nuisance liability; clarify. Amends sec. 3 of 1998 PA 381 (MCL 289.823).

SB 669 Food; processors; administrative complaint brought against person responsible for the processing operation; designate as exclusive remedy regarding allegation of nuisance. Amends sec. 4 of 1998 PA 381 (MCL 289.824).

In the Hall of Justice
Rule Amendments
2004-46—Amendment of Rule 7.211 of the Michigan Court Rules
The September 1, 2005 amendment of MCR 7.211(C) creates new subrule (9) to clarify the procedure for motions to seal Court of Appeals files and to unseal previously sealed files. The rule incorporates by reference the procedures for sealing files in the trial courts set forth in MCR 8.119(F). The amendment also contains additional language unique to cases pending in the Court of Appeals.
Issued: June 28, 2005
Effective:September 1, 2005

Proposed Amendments
2004-54—Proposed Amendments of Rules 5.144, 5.203, 5.207, 5.302, 5.307, 5.404, and 5.409 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendments result from the State Court Administrative Office's statewide conservatorship case review prompted by the Performance Audit of Selected Probate Court Conservatorship Cases by the Michigan Office of the Auditor General, and the State Bar of Michigan Probate and Estate Planning Section's Uniformity of Practice Committee's survey of probate court practices. The amendment of MCR 5.144(A)(2) eliminates the ability to close a conservatorship estate because of suspension of a fiduciary unless there are insufficient funds available to hire a special fiduciary, only after notice, hearing, and a showing of good cause. The amendment of MCR 5.203(D) adds the financial institution and guardian ad litem to the list required to receive notice when a fiduciary is suspended. The amendment of MCR 5.207(A) allows for better court oversight when real property is sold. [Alternative A—The amendment of 5.302(A) prohibits a court from requiring documentation to commence an estate that is not legally required.] [Alternative B—The amendment of 5.302(A) requires that a certified copy of a death certificate be attached to the petition or application when commencing a decedent estate and requiring additional documentation is prohibited.] The amendment of MCR 5.307(A) allows for the deduction of secured loans when calculating the inventory fee due. The amendment of MCR 5.409(C)(1) clarifies that the fiduciary must serve the account on the interested persons and file the proof of service with the court. The amendment of MCR 5.404(A) creates a new subsection that requires the use of an SCAO approved social history form when one is required to be filed with a petition for guardianship of a minor. The amendment of MCR 5.409(B)(2) requires the valuation of the portion of joint property listed on the inventory that belongs to the protected individual. The amendment of MCR 5.409(C)(4) provides the process for filing a proof of restricted account and annual verification of funds on deposit with the court. The amendment of MCR 5.409(C)(5) adds the requirement to attach a financial institution statement to the annual account. The amendment of MCR 5.409(C)(6) requires the court to either review or allow the account annually and to allow the accounts at least once every three years.
Issued: June 28, 2005
Comment period expires: October 1, 2005
Public Hearing: To be scheduled

Other Actions
2005-01—Supreme Court Appointments to the Attorney Grievance Commission
On order of the Court, pursuant to Rule 9.108 of the Michigan Court Rules, Noelle A. Clark is reappointed as a lay member, and Kent J. Vana and Karen Woodside are appointed as lawyer members of the Attorney Grievance Commission for terms ending September 30, 2008.
Issued: July 7, 2005

At the Bar
State Bar 2005 Commissioner Election Results

SBM Announces Results of Judicial Tenure Commission, Young Lawyers' Section, and Representative Assembly Elections

Statewide Seminar on Domestic Violence Set for August 25th

30th Michigan Legal Milestone Highlights 1847 Kentucky Raid and Role of the Underground Railroad

Sections and Committees
The Civil Procedure and Courts Committee submitted the following public policy reports to the State Bar, recommending State Bar action and/or State Bar authorization to the Committee to advocate its positions:
Support: HB 4133 Civil procedure; service of process; prohibition of process service on Sunday and election day; repeal. Repeals sec. 1831 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.1831).

Recommend revised language: SB 541 Torts; civil procedure; revised structured settlement protection act; enact. Creates new act & repeals 2000 PA 330 (MCL 691.1191691.1197).

Oppose alternatives A and B: 2004-60—Proposed Amendment of Rule 9.205 of the Michigan Court Rules This order invites comments on two alternative proposed amendments of MCR 9.205(B). Both would allow the Judicial Tenure Commission to recommend and this Court to order that a disciplined judge pay the costs, fees, and expenses incurred by the commission in prosecuting the complaint of judicial misconduct. Alternative B is narrower in that it only allows costs to be assessed where the judge is engaged in conduct involving fraud, deceit, intentional misrepresentation, or misleading statements to the commission, the commission's investigators, the master, or the Supreme Court. Cf. In re Noecker, 472 Mich 1 (2005).

Oppose: 2004-56—Proposed Amendment of Rule 3.925 of the Michigan Court Rules The April 5, 2005, proposed amendment of MCR 3.925(E)(2)(c) would require that records and files of all juvenile offenses be destroyed when the person becomes 30 years old, instead of the current language, which requires that the records and files of certain adjudicated juvenile offenses by retained permanently.

Recommend adoption of amendment with subrule (C)(2) with proposed revised language: 2005-16—Proposed Amendment of Rule 4.101 of the Michigan Court Rules The proposed amendment of MCR 4.101 would require certain procedures to be implemented by courts to allow the waiver of a police officer's attendance at civil infraction informal hearings, and would establish procedure if the police officer fails to appear for a hearing.

Oppose: 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.
Read the State Bar of Michigan's position on ADM File No. 2004-53

Oppose: 2004-32—Proposed Amendment of Rules 9.223 and 9.224 of the Michigan Court Rules The proposed amendment of MCR 9.223 would eliminate the requirement that the Judicial Tenure Commissioner file an appendix with its recommendation for discipline against a judge. The proposed amendment of MCR 9.224(A) would require the respondent judge to file an appendix if the respondent files a petition to reject or modify the commission's decision. The proposed amendment of 9.224(B) would allow the Judicial Tenure Commission to file a supplemental appendix with its brief in response to a respondent judge's petition.

Federal News
House Eyes Two Plans For 527s
(Washington Times, 7/4/05)

Links of Interest
Public Policy Resource Center
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