Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
December 10-16, 2007
Volume 5 Issue 50

Please note: the Public Policy Update will not be published during the holiday season. The next Update will be sent on Monday, January 7, 2008. Any interim questions can be directed to elyon@mail.michbar.org.

In the Capitol
On December 13, the Michigan House of Representatives and Senate both adjourned session until December 27, when they will adjourn sine die. Session is scheduled to reconvene in both chambers on January 9, 2008.

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 12/11 – 12/13
Of Interest to the Legal Community

HB 5568 Criminal procedure; sentencing; certain records necessary to obtain identification documents; assist convicted persons in obtaining. Amends sec. 14, ch. XI of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 771.14).

HB 5586 Family law; marriage and divorce; requirement that judgment of divorce contain provisions regarding wife's dower rights; eliminate. Amends sec. 1 of 1909 PA 259 (MCL 552.101).

HB 5587 Probate; other; dower rights; repeal. Creates new act & repeals secs. 1 - 29 of 1846 RS 66 (MCL 558.1 - 558.29) & secs. 2931 & 2933 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.2931 & 600.2933).

HB 5588 Probate; wills and estates; references to dower in estates and protected individuals code; revise to reflect abolition of dower. Amends secs. 1303, 2202 & 3807 of 1998 PA 386 (MCL 700.1303 et seq.).

SB 988 Courts; juries; discussion among jurors before trial concludes; allow under certain circumstances. Amends 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.101 - 600.9947) by adding sec. 1350a.

SB 989 Courts; juries; submission of written questions to witnesses by jurors; allow. Amends 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.101 - 600.9947) by adding sec. 2170.

SB 990 Courts; juries; jury summons; require to clearly explain conditions for exemption from jury service. Amends sec. 1332 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.1332).

SB 991 Courts; juries; various requirements regarding jurors; implement. Amends 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.101 - 600.9947) by adding sec. 1350a.

SB 992 Courts; juries; exemption from jury service for individuals who have served within the preceding 24 months; provide for. Amends sec. 1307a of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.1307a).

SB 993 Courts; juries; penalties for failure to appear or complete jury duty; provide for. Amends sec. 1332 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.1332).

SB 994 Courts; funding; filing fees; increase, and dedicate amount of increase to the juror compensation reimbursement fund. Amends secs. 1344, 2529 & 8371 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.1344 et seq.).

SB 995 Courts; juries; peremptory challenges when selecting jurors; eliminate. Amends 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.101 - 600.9947) by adding sec. 1350b & repeals secs. 12 & 13, ch. VIII & sec. 17, ch. XIV of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 768.12 et seq.).

SB 996 Civil procedure; costs and fees; separate filing fee for each defendant named in a lawsuit; require. Amends secs. 2529 & 8371 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.2529 & 600.8371.

SB 1001 Civil procedure; civil actions; sanctions for advocating a frivolous claim or defense in a civil action; allow court to impose sanctions in addition to costs and attorney fees. Amends sec. 2591 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.2591).

SB 1002 Civil procedure; costs and fees; attorney fees; require losing party to pay winning party's fees in a civil lawsuit. Amends 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.101 - 600.9947) by adding sec. 2443.

Of General Interest
HB 5557 Crime victims; rights; names and addresses of minors who have been victims of child abuse or sex crimes; exempt from disclosure under freedom of information act. Amends sec. 13 of 1976 PA 442 (MCL 15.243).

HB 5567 Civil rights; other; right of publicity; create. Creates new act.

HB 5572 Worker's compensation; definitions; definition of commission of crime for eligibility; provide for. Amends sec. 361 of 1969 PA 317 (MCL 418.361).

SB 983 Civil rights; other; right of publicity; create. Creates new act.

SB 997 Worker's compensation; definitions; definition of commission of crime for eligibility; provide for. Amends sec. 361 of 1969 PA 317 (MCL 418.361).

In the Hall of Justice
Administrative Orders
Administrative Order No. 2007-04 - File No. 2004-04
Adoption of Concurrent Jurisdiction Plan for the 28th Circuit Court, the 84th District Court, and the Probate Court of Wexford County 
Issued: December 14, 2007 

Effective: April 1, 2008 

At the Bar
Request for Proposal for Audit Services

Federal News
Independence of the Judiciary: Judicial Salaries
American Bar Association
On December 12, the Senate Judiciary Committee ordered reported HR 3753, the Federal Judicial Salary Restoration Act of 2007.

Judges Can Cut Crack Terms
(Washington Times, 12/11/07)

State News
Register Today to Vote on Jan. 15
(Detroit News, 12/17/07)

State House Committee Sees Jury Reform as Positive
(Detroit Free Press, 12/12/07)

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