Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
December 19, 2011–January 8, 2012
Volume 10 Issue 1

In the Capitol
House Session Schedule for 2012
Senate Session Schedule for 2012

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts
Public Act 255 eliminates the following fees for violations committed on or after October 1, 2012:

The $150 fee per year for two consecutive years under MCL 257.601 for

  • operating a motor vehicle with an expired operator's or chauffer's license
  • operating without a valid license,
  • having more than one valid driver's license
  • failing to surrender licenses from other states under Section 301 of the Vehicle Code.
  • The $200 fee for two consecutive years for a violation under MCL 257.328 for
    • failing to have mandatory motor vehicle insurance coverage (civil infraction)
    • failing to produce proof of insurance (civil infraction)
    • knowingly providing false evidence of insurance (misdemeanor)

The new act does not eliminate any other driver responsibility fees, including the $1,000 fee per year for two consecutive years for a variety of serious offenses, and the $500 fee per year for two consecutive years for a variety of alcohol-related and controlled substance violations and reckless driving and for misdemeanor violations of the Insurance Code for failure to have required insurance coverage.
View a redline and strikeout version of the bill that was enrolled.

At the Bar
Judicial Vacancy—54th Circuit Court, Tuscola County
Hon. Patrick R. Joslyn is vacating his seat at 54th Circuit Court, Tuscola County. State Bar members interested in applying for the judgeship should submit an application by January 23, 2012.
View Information

The January 2012 issue of the Michigan Bar Journal is available online at www.michbar.org/journal.

Sections and Committees
The Criminal Law Section submitted Public Policy positions on the following items:
Oppose the Legislation as Written but Support the Concept of Expanding the Upper Age Requirement : HB 5214 Criminal procedure; youthful trainees; eligibility criteria for youthful trainee program; modify. Amends sec. 11, ch. II of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 762.11 ).

Oppose the Legislation as Written but Support the Concept of Expanding the Upper Age Requirement : SB 880 Criminal procedure; youthful trainees; eligibility criteria for youthful trainee program; modify. Amends sec. 11, ch. II of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 762.11 ).

The Negligence Law Section submitted a Public Policy position on HB 4936 Insurance; no-fault; coverage and benefits; make miscellaneous changes. Amends secs. 3101, 3104, 3107, 3113, 3114, 3115, 3135, 3157, 3163 & 3172 of 1956 PA 218 (MCL 500.3101 et seq.) & adds secs. 1245, 3107c & 3178.

State News
Michigan May See $1B Surplus This Year
(Detroit News, 1/4/2012)

In the Hall of Justice
Detroit 911 Operators' Responses to Boy's Calls at Issue in Appeal to be Argued Before Supreme Court This Week

Appointments to Committee on Model Civil Jury Instructions Announced by Michigan Supreme Court

Rule Amendments
2010-12 Amendment of Rule 606 of the Michigan Rules of Evidence
The amendment of MRE 606 makes Michigan's rule more consistent with FRE 606, and clarifies the types of information a juror may testify to if an inquiry is made into a verdict or indictment.
Issued: December 22, 2011
Effective: January 1, 2012

2005-05, 2006-20 Amendment of Rules 2.403, 2.404, 2.410, 2.411, 2.412, and 3.216 of the Michigan Court Rules
The amendments of MCR 2.403, 2.404, 2.410, 2.411, and 2.412 revise court rules relating to mediation and case evaluation largely as recommended by the Dispute Resolution Rules Committee convened by the State Court Administrative Office. The amendment of MCR 3.216 reflects amendments to provisions that appear in MCR 2.411 that also appear in MCR 3.216.
Issued: December 21, 2011
Effective: May 1, 2012

Proposed Amendments
2006-04 Proposed Amendment of Rule 3.204 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendment would remove the requirement to file a new action as a supplemental complaint, which would allow trial courts to consolidate cases in a way that is more compatible with trial court case management systems.
Issued: December 21, 2011
Comment period expiration: April 1, 2012

2006-47 Proposed Amendment of Rules 1.109, 2.107, 2.113, 2.114, 2.518, 3.001, 3.101, 3.218, 3.800, 3.901, 3.903, 3.930, 4.001, 5.101, 5.113, 5.731, 6.007, 8.108, and 8.119 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendments of these rules would update the rules making them less "paper" focused and reflecting the use of electronic technology in the way courts process court records.
Issued: December 21, 2011
Comment period expiration: April 1, 2012

2010-31 Proposed Amendment of Rule 5 of the Rules for the Board of Law Examiners
This proposed amendment would eliminate the requirement that an applicant for admission by motion be required to express an intention to maintain an office in the state. Michigan is among a minority of states that requires that assertion, and maintaining this provision has resulted in at least one state rejecting the petition for admission of a Michigan lawyer because Michigan retains this type of requirement.
Issued: December 21, 2011
Comment period expiration: April 1, 2012

2010-32 Proposed Amendment of Rule 3.210 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendments of MCR 3.210 were submitted to this Court by the Michigan Judges Association after conclusion of its work and input from its Domestic Relations Committee. The proposal would govern the entry of default and default judgment in domestic relations cases and would cover and clarify related procedural issues. While this proposal adds provisions that may be found in Chapter 2 of the Michigan Court Rules, these proposed amendments of MCR 3.210 attempt to clarify procedures to be used in domestic relations cases. The proposed amendment of MCR 3.210 also would allow parties to reach agreement on issues related to property division, custody, parenting time, and support, and enter a consent judgment on those issues if the court approves it.
Issued: December 21, 2011
Comment period expiration: April 1, 2012

2010-33 Proposed Adoption of New Rule 3.220 of the Michigan Court Rules
Proposed new MCR 3.220 would require the trial court judge to set a deadline for arbitration proceedings and approve any extensions of those time periods. Further, the proposed rule would allow arbitrators to issue interim awards during the arbitration proceeding.
Issued: December 21, 2011
Comment period expiration: April 1, 2012

Other Actions
2011-01 Supreme Court Appointments to the Committee on Model Civil Jury Instructions
Issued: December 21, 2011
Effective: Beginning January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2014

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