Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
January 14-20, 2013
Volume 11 Issue 3

In the Capitol
FOCUS: The legislature begins its work this week. Both the House and the Senate are holding session on Wednesday and Thursday, but only the Senate will hold committee meetings this week. The House has announced a new committee structure that splits the previous Judiciary Committee into two committees–a new Criminal Justice Committee and a Judiciary Committee—but committee chairs and membership lists have yet to be released.

Committee Meetings of Interest for the Week of 1/21
1/23 Senate Judiciary
Organizational Meeting; SB 43 Increase certain district court judgeships, and reduce number of circuit court judgeships; SB 49 Allow certain firearm licensing information to be exempt from freedom of information act; SB 60 Modify definition of federally licensed firearms dealer; SB 63 Create Michigan firearms freedom act; SB 44 Remove certain exceptions for placement on the sex offender registration public registry; And any other business properly before the committee.

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

In the Hall of Justice
The Michigan Supreme Court will hold a public administrative hearing on Wednesday, January 30, 2013, in the Supreme Court courtroom located on the sixth floor of the Michigan Hall of Justice, 925 W. Ottawa Street, Lansing, Michigan 48915. The hearing will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. Persons who wish to address the Court regarding matters on the agenda should notify the Office of the Clerk of the Court in writing at P.O. Box 30052, Lansing, Michigan 48909, or by e-mail at MSC_clerk@courts.mi.gov, no later than Monday, January 28, 2013.

Agenda:
ADM File No. 2012-12–Proposed Amendment of Rule 3.925 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendments of MCR 3.925 would clarify rules and procedures for retention and destruction of various records in juvenile cases.
SBM Position: Support.

ADM File No. 2012-13–Proposed Amendment of Rule 3.976 of the Michigan Court Rules
This proposed amendment would require a court to indicate on the record the reason that no petition for termination of parental rights need be filed, thus providing a record to future auditors who review the state's foster care program that the court explicitly chose the option.
SBM Position: Support.

ADM File No. 2012-20–Proposed Amendment of Rule 3.616 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendments of MCR 3.616 would provide that the files of a young adult foster care youth are confidential, but may be accessed by the youth and by DHS. The proposal further would eliminate the requirement that the petition and order be served on the previous court in which the youth's child protection case was disposed because the case is no longer active. This order also corrects numbering of subsection (F)(2)(i)-(iv) so that the subsections are labeled with letters (a)-(c).
SBM Position: Support.

At the Bar
Judicial Vacancy—56th Circuit Court, Eaton County
Hon. Calvin E. Osterhaven is vacating his seat at 56th Circuit Court, Eaton County. State Bar members interested in applying for the judgeship should submit an application by February 13, 2013.
View Information

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan Proposes Amendments to Local Rules

The Board of Commissioners met on January 18, 2013 at which time the State Bar of Michigan adopted the following Public Policy positions:

ADM File No. 2011-25 Amendment of Rule 3.101 of the Michigan Court Rules
The amendments of MCR 3.101 are adopted to reflect recent statutory changes enacted in MCL 600.4012(1) in which the effective period for a periodic garnishment of wages, salary, and other earnings was extended from 91days to 182 days. The amendments of MCR 3.101(B) and (E) change the effective period for all periodic garnishments to 182 days. (The amendments do not limit the 182-day effective period to periodic garnishments that only involve wages, salary, and other earnings.)
SBM Position: Support.

ADM File No. 2012-18 Proposed Amendment of Rule 2.512 of the Michigan Court Rules
The Court has determined that the function of adopting, amending, and repealing model criminal jury instructions should be structured similar to that for model civil jury instructions. As part of that structural change, the Court is considering an amendment that would require trial courts to use model jury instructions in criminal cases under the same circumstances in which they are used in civil cases, i.e., if the instructions are applicable, accurately state the applicable law, and are requested by a party.
SBM Position: Support the proposed amendment but request that the Court to consider the concerns expressed by the Criminal Jury Instructions Committee.

ADM File No. 2012-19 Proposed Amendments of Rules 3.913, 3.963, 3.965, and 3.974 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed changes of MCR 3.913, 3.963, 3.965, and 3.974 are intended to incorporate the statutory changes enacted in 2012 Public Act 163.
SBM Position: Support.

State News
Snyder Taking Suggestions From Justices, Staff to Fill State Supreme Court Spot
(Detroit Free Press, 1/21/13)
See also:
Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway Charged With Fraud
(Mlive.com, 1/19/13)

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