November 26-December 2, 2007
Volume 5 Issue 48

Update: ABA Action to Support Lawyers in Pakistan
The American Bar Association President William H. Neukom is asking fellow lawyers to join him in signing a petition that will be presented to Pakistan’s Ambassador in Washington, D.C. on December 13.
A Message to Pakistan From America's Lawyers – Sign the Petition

FOCUS: Service Tax Repeal
The service tax was repealed approximately 15 hours after it took effect. Governor Granholm signed HB 5408 on Saturday night, creating PA 145 of 2007.  The final compromise was a full repeal of the service tax passed last September with full replacement revenue. PA 145 institutes a surcharge of 21.99% to the Michigan Business Tax with a cap on liability of $6 million. There is a potential sunset of January 1, 2017, if legislative review at that time determines growth in personal income for three fiscal years. There are other economic triggers that could allow for an earlier sunset.

The House also passed SB 845, which would provides amnesty to businesses that did not collect the sales tax while it was in effect on Saturday and requires refunds to customers who did pay the tax. The Senate is expected to concur in the House version during session on Tuesday.

See related:
Michigan Lawmakers Pull Plug on 6 Percent Service Tax
(Lansing State Journal, 12/2/07)

Businesses Favor New Tax Plan
(Detroit News, 12/3/07)

In the Capitol
Committee meetings of interest for the week of 12/3

12/4 Senate Judiciary
Agenda: SB 346 Prohibit fleeing the scene of dog or wolf-dog cross bite incident or failing to provide assistance to bitten individual and provide penalties; SB 485 Provide for technical amendments to Chapter IX (Judgment and Sentence) of the Code of Criminal Procedure; SB 524 Increase retirement allowance for judges; SB 786 Revise limitation on recovery amount allowed in small claims suits.
SBM Position on SB 786: Support in principle a modest increase based on inflation, calculated prospectively from the date the legislation takes effect, with an annual inflationary increase to be rounded and published once a year.

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 11/26 – 12/1
Of Interest to the Legal Community

HB 5499 Probate; guardians and conservators; rights of the incapacitated; define.

SB 927 Property; other; recording of deeds and other documents by register of deeds; revise. Amends secs. 24, 25, 27, 28 & 43 of 1846 RS 65 (MCL 565.24 et seq.); adds sec. 24a & repeals sec. 26 of 1846 RS 65 (MCL 565.26).

Of General Interest
HJR HH Legislature; legislators; reforms to term limits, 1-year moratorium on lobbying for certain state officials, and reduced compensation for state legislators with unexcused absences; provide for. Amends secs. 12 & 54, art. IV & adds sec. 55 to art. IV of the state constitution.

HB 5464 Family law; parental rights; rights of putative father; require document notarization before termination. Amends sec. 37, ch. X of 1939 PA 288 (MCL 710.37).

HB 5471 Probate; wills and estates; estate administration fee; allow deduction for amount of mortgage on real property. Amends sec. 871 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.871).

HB 5475 Aeronautics; other; airline passengers bill of rights; create. Creates new act.

HB 5480 Insurance; other; private right of action against excessive rates; allow. Amends secs. 2109, 2115, 2403 & 2603 of 1956 PA 218 (MCL 500.2109 et seq.).

HB 5501 Crimes; perjury; committing perjury in committee or subcommittee of the state legislature; prohibit, and provide a penalty.

HB 5502 Criminal procedure; sentencing guidelines; sentencing guidelines for committing perjury in committee or subcommittee of the state legislature; enact.

SB 922 Disabilities; other; fees for licensing interpreters; create fund. Amends 1982 PA 204 (MCL 393.501 - 393.509) by adding sec. 8f.

In the Hall of Justice
Rule Amendments
2003-59 – Amendment of Rules 2.112 and 7.206 of the Michigan Court Rules
The amendments establish special pleading requirements in actions alleging a violation of the Headlee Amendment, Const 1963, art 9, §§ 25-34. The amendments require that a complaint or answer state the factual basis for an alleged violation or defense with particularity. Additionally, documentary evidence supportive of a claim or defense must be attached to the pleading as an exhibit.
Issued: November 27, 2007
Effective: January 1, 2008

At the Bar
Bar Associations Host Skate Party to Help Kids of Incarcerated Parents

Sections and Committees
The Appellate Practice Section submitted an amicus brief on Rick Beavers v. Barton Malow Company, et al. 

The Business Law Section submitted a public policy report stating its support for the following bills:
HB 5356 Businesses; business corporations; definitions of "professional service" and "services in a learned profession"; include, and revise certain conversion procedures. Amends secs. 108, 109, 123, 201, 211, 217, 241, 251, 545a, 564a, 564b, 762, 1002 & 1060 of 1972 PA 284 (MCL 450.1108 et seq.); adds secs. 745 & 746 & repeals ch. 7B of 1972 PA 284 (MCL 450.1790 - 450.1799).
HB 5357 Businesses; professional corporations; definition of "professional services"; revise and include definition of "services in a learned profession". Amends secs. 2, 3, 4 & 13 of 1962 PA 192 (MCL 450.222 et seq.).
HB 5358 Businesses; limited liability companies; definition of "professional service"; revise. Amends sec. 902 of 1993 PA 23 (MCL 450.4902).

The Family Law Section submitted the following public policy positions:
Support with Recommended Amendments: HB 5050 (Stakoe) Family law; friend of the court; bank accounts of self-employed child support payers; require payers to disclose and allow friend of court to obtain information regarding. Amends sec. 5a of 1982 PA 295 (MCL 552.605a) & adds sec. 27a.

Support: HB 5464 (Calley) Family law; parental rights; rights of putative father; require document notarization before termination. Amends sec. 37, ch. X of 1939 PA 288 (MCL 710.37).

Oppose: SB 645 (Cherry) Family law; child support; use of substitute service for complaint under family support act; allow. Amends sec. 1 of 1966 PA 138 (MCL 552.451).

State News
Mobile Law Office Rolls in Help for Area Veterans
(Flint Journal, 11/30/07)

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