Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
April 13-18, 2010
Volume 8 Issue 16

FOCUS FOLLOW-UP: Chief Justice Kelly announces “Solutions on Self-Help” Task Force: Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly announced the establishment of a new task force during her State of the Judiciary Address last Wednesday, April 14, 2010. The task force will be co-chaired by Lorraine Weber, the Supreme Court's Director of Access and Fairness, and Linda Rexer, executive director of the Michigan Bar Foundation. The task force's chief goal will be to develop a statewide self-help legal aid website that will help non-lawyers represent themselves as effectively as possible.
Full Text of Chief Justice Kelly's Remarks
See also: "Solutions on Self-Help" Task Force Announced by Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly; Goals Include Online Resource for Those Handling Legal Matters Without Lawyers
Michigan's Top Judge: People Need Help with Courts
(Mlive, 4/14/10)
Chief Justice: Legal Aid too Inaccessible
(Detroit Free Press, 4/15/10)
Kelly: People Need Help with Courts
(Lansing State Journal, 4/15/10)

FOCUS FOLLOW-UP: Indigent Defense Case Before the Michigan Supreme Court
Duncan v. State of Michigan, a class action suit filed on behalf of all indigent criminal defendants in three Michigan counties, went before the Michigan Supreme Court last Wednesday on appeal from the State of the June 2009 Court of Appeals ruling. The oral arguments can be viewed at the SBM Virtual Court.

FOCUS: National Crime Victims' Rights Week—April 18-24, 2010
Sponsored by the National Center for Victims of Crime and Office for Victims of Crime, and Office of Justice Programs within the U.S. Department of Justice, National Crime Victims' Rights Week reflects on victims and their families, the professionals who serve them, and the struggle for fairness, dignity, and respect for crime victims.

Current Michigan bills regarding Crime Victims' Rights include:
SB 1003 Crime victims; other; allocation of excess revenue in crime victim's rights fund; modify. Amends sec. 4 of 1989 PA 196 (MCL 780.904).
SB 1004 Crime victims; compensation; amount of awards; increase. Amends sec. 11 of 1976 PA 223 (MCL 18.361).
HB 4040 Crime victims; rights; right of victim of identity theft to file police report of that theft; provide for, and require court to order certain restitution. Amends sec. 1a, ch. IX of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 769.1a) & adds sec. 30 to ch. IV.
HB 4736 Crime victims; rights; right of victim of identity theft to file police report of that theft; provide for, and require court to order certain restitution. Amends sec. 1a, ch. IX of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 769.1a) & adds sec. 30 to ch. IV.
HB 5592 Crime victims; rights; crime victim's rights fund excess revenue provision; remove sunset. Amends sec. 4 of 1989 PA 196 (MCL 780.904).
HB 5666 Crime victims; other; allocation of excess revenue in crime victim's rights fund; modify. Amends sec. 4 of 1989 PA 196 (MCL 780.904).
HB 5667 Crime victims; compensation; amount of awards; increase. Amends sec. 11 of 1976 PA 223 (MCL 18.361).

In the Capitol
Committee Meetings of Interest for the Week of 4/19
4/20 House Appropriations: Corrections
Agenda: Discussion of FY 2011 Corrections Budget.

4/20 Senate Appropriations: Judiciary & Corrections
Agenda: FY 2010-11 Judiciary Budget: State Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly and State Court of Appeals Chief Judge William Murphy.

4/21 House Judiciary
Agenda: HB 5371 Exempt prosecuting attorneys from paying court fees; and any other business properly before this committee.
SBM Position: Support
Appellate Practice Section Position: Support
Criminal Jurisprudence & Practice Committee Position: Support

4/21 House Agriculture
Agenda Item of Interest: HB 4663 Clarify regulation of individual licensing of dealers or research facilities using dogs and cats for certain purposes.
Animal Law Section Position: Support

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 4/13–4/15
Of Interest to the Legal Community

HB 6046 Mental health; other; definition of person requiring treatment; modify.

SB 1263 Crime victims; rights; sexual assault victim's rights act; create and provide for prompt collection and testing of sexual assault evidence. Creates new act.

Of General Interest
SB 1264 Michigan business tax; credit; refundable and assignable tax credits; eliminate refundability and assignability. Amends secs. 113, 281, 409, 413, 417, 423, 429, 430, 431, 431a, 431b, 431c, 434, 435, 437, 441, 450 & 455 of 2007 PA 36 (MCL 208.1113 et seq.).

In the Hall of Justice
The Michigan Supreme Court will hold a public administrative conference on Wednesday, April 21, 2010.

At the Bar
Applications for State Bar Committee Service Due May 15

State News
Michigan Facing Big Changes in Congress
(Lansing State Journal, 4/18/10)

Senate OKs State Retirement Proposal
(Lansing State Journal, 4/15/10)

Legal Aid for Poor Scrutinized
(Detroit News, 4/15/10)

Michigan Supreme Court Considers Indigent Defense
(Lansing State Journal, 4/13/10)

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