Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
April 30–May 6, 2012
Volume 10 Issue 18

In the Capitol
Committee Meetings of Interest for the Week of 5/7
5/8 House Families, Children, and Seniors
Agenda Items of Interest: SB 454 Allow testimony of a vulnerable adult to be presented by videotape or closed-circuit television; SB 457 Allow county medical examiner to establish an elder death review team; SB 462 Modify reporting requirements for abuse or neglect in nursing homes; SB 464 Require development of investigative protocols and abuse and neglect interview protocols for vulnerable adults by certain local agencies; SB 468 Prohibit magistrate from refusing to accept complaint requirement to file a criminal complaint in cases alleging vulnerable adult abuse because signed upon information and belief by individual other than the victim.
SBM Position on SB 454: Support
Elder Law & Disability Rights Section Position on SB 457: Support
Elder Law & Disability Rights Section Position on SB 462: Support
Elder Law & Disability Rights Section Position on SB 464: Support
Elder Law & Disability Rights Section Position on SB 468: Support

5/8 Senate Judiciary
Agenda: SB 1092 Provide judgment liens for foreclosure; SB 978 Allow trust decanting; SB 979 Modify personal property trust perpetuities act to account for decanted trusts; SB 980 Revise powers of appointment; SB 1109 Modify sentencing of certain habitual offenders; For Testimony Only: SB 1056 Expand criminal identification and records to include biometric data; SB 1082 Classify synthetic cannabinoids as schedule 1 controlled substances and prohibit sales and offer to sell certain products represented to contain controlled substances or having the effects of controlled substances; And any other business properly before the committee.
SBM Position on SB 1109: The State Bar of Michigan opposes mandatory minimum sentences.
Probate & Estate Planning Section Position on SB 978-SB 980: Support in Principle

5/9 House Agriculture
Agenda Items of Interest: For action by the Committee: HB 4866 Limit civil liability in farm markets for personal injury and property damage; HB 4867 Limit liability of persons under equine activity liability act to willful or wanton acts under certain circumstances.
Negligence Law Section Position on HB 4866-HB 4867: Oppose

5/10 House Judiciary
Agenda: HB 5128 Create business court; HB 5124 Establish concurrent jurisdiction in certain courts; HB 5159 Provide veterans treatment court for the state drug treatment court advisory committee to monitor; HB 5162 Create veterans treatment court; HB 5466 Prohibit certain indemnification provisions in construction-related service contracts with public agencies.
SBM Position on HB 5159 and HB 5162: Support
Business Law Section Position on HB 5128: Support Substitute

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 05/01–05/03
View all bills introduced 05/01-05/03
Of Interest to the Legal Community
HB 5592 Civil procedure; garnishment; effective period for writ of wage garnishment; extend. Amends sec. 4012 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.4012).

SB 1109 Criminal procedure; sentencing; sentencing of certain habitual offenders; modify. Amends sec. 12, ch. IX of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 769.12).

SB 1110 Torts; medical malpractice; emergency treatment rendered in a hospital; limit liability for. Amends 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.101600.9947) by adding sec. 2912i.

SB 1115 Torts; medical malpractice; procedures for entry of damage awards; modify and clarify. Amends secs. 1483, 2959, 6306 & 6307 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.1483 et seq.) & adds sec. 6306a.

SB 1116 Torts; medical malpractice; physician judgment rule; enact. Amends sec. 2912a of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.2912a).

SB 1117 Torts; medical malpractice; persons to whom medical malpractice provisions of the revised judicature act apply; include nonlicensed health care providers. Amends secs. 2169 & 2912 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.2169 & 600.2912).

SB 1118 Torts; medical malpractice; statute of limitations; revise period of limitations for survival actions and disallow prejudgment interest on attorney fees and costs. Amends secs. 2912e, 5852 & 6013 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.2912e et seq.).

Of General Interest
HB 5587 Insurance; no-fault; eligibility for personal injury protection; prohibit for individuals injured during the commission of a felony. Amends sec. 3113 of 1956 PA 218 (MCL 500.3113).

HB 5588 Insurance; no-fault; eligibility for personal injury protection; prohibit for individuals operating a motor vehicle under the influence. Amends sec. 3113 of 1956 PA 218 (MCL 500.3113).

HB 5589 Insurance; no-fault; PIP coverage for certain persons; eliminate. Amends sec. 3113 of 1956 PA 218 (MCL 500.3113).

In the Hall of Justice
Law Day Events, Resources Offered by Michigan Supreme Court

Daniel C. Brubaker Named Chief Commissioner of the Michigan Supreme Court

The Michigan Supreme Court will hold a public administrative hearing on Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 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, May 14, 2012.

Agenda:
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.
SBM Position: Support with Recommended Amendment

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.
SBM Position: Support the goal of the proposed amendments but oppose as written. Request further time to recommend corrections to and clarifications of the proposed amendments. Recommend that the substantive changes concerning garnishment be removed from the package of amendments, for separate consideration.
Appellate Practice Section Position: Note Conflict with MCR 2.518

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.
SBM Position: Support the proposed amendment and request an effective date of January 1, 2012 to allow the legislature to act on a statutory change consistent with the proposed amendment. Support legislation to amend the statute to conform to the court rule.

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.
SBM Position: Oppose
Family Law Section Position: Support

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.
SBM Position: Oppose
Family Law Section Position: Oppose

2011-30 Proposed Amendment of Rules 5.801, 7.102, 7.103, 7.108, and Rule 7.109 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendments were submitted to this Court by the State Bar of Michigan Probate and Estate Planning Section in conjunction with the Michigan Judges Association, Michigan Probate Judges Association, and the Michigan Court of Appeals. The proposed changes would direct that all appeals from probate court be considered by the Court of Appeals instead of some orders being appealed to the Court of Appeals and other orders being appealed to the circuit court.
Appellate Practice Section Position: Support and Amend
Probate & Estate Planning Section Position: Request an Extension of the Comment Period

2012-05 Adoption of Rule 3.616 of the Michigan Court Rules
New MCR 3.616 implements the judicial action requirements of 2011 PA 225, the Young Adult Voluntary Foster Care Act, MCL 400.641 et seq.
This Court adopted the new rule to become effective April 1, 2012, to coincide with implementation of the Department of Human Services' new program to provide continuing voluntary foster care for youth between the ages of 18 and 21, which will begin operating on April 1, 2012. Having this new court rule in place will enable Michigan to receive federal Title IV-E funding for that program.
By this same order, the Court is inviting public comment to allow interested persons an opportunity to comment and to provide an opportunity to be heard at a future public hearing. This will allow the Court to consider amending the rule in response to any comments that it receives.
SBM Position: Support

Proposed Amendments
2010-34—Proposed Amendment of Rule 6.519 of the Michigan Court Rules
Alternative A would revise MCR 6.419 to be similar to the federal corollary of this rule (FR Crim P 29[b]). Under this language, the trial court would be entitled to reserve judgment on a motion for directed verdict. Alternative B would allow a trial court to reconsider its decision to grant a directed verdict. This language was proposed based on the United States Supreme Court decision of Smith v Massachusetts, 543 US 462 (2005).
Issued: May 2, 2012
Comment period expiration: September 1, 2012
Public hearing: To be scheduled

2011-03—Proposed Amendment of Rule 9.113 of the Michigan Court Rules
This proposed amendment would clarify that the grievance administrator is required to disclose an answer in a Request for Investigation to the complainant, but may decline to disclose supporting documents if there is good cause not to do so.
Issued: May 2, 2012
Comment period expiration: September 1, 2012
Public hearing: To be scheduled

2011-08—Proposed Amendment of Rule 2.116 of the Michigan Court Rules
Inclusion of the revised proposed clarifying language in MCR 2.116(C)(7) would clarify the procedure for bringing a motion for summary disposition on the grounds of a forum selection clause.
Issued: May 2, 2012
Comment period expiration: September 1, 2012
Public hearing: To be scheduled

2011-10—Proposed Amendment of Rule 7.118 of the Michigan Court Rules
The concept for this proposal was submitted by the State Bar of Michigan Prisons & Corrections Section. The section asserts that if a prosecutor or victim files an appeal of a decision of the Michigan Parole Board to grant parole, the appellee (the prisoner) should be entitled to be represented by counsel if the prisoner is indigent. The proposed amendments would require a prisoner to request representation within 14 days of notice of the appeal, and establish other procedural steps.
Issued: May 2, 2012
Comment period expiration: September 1, 2012
Public hearing: To be scheduled

2012-03—Proposed Adoption of Rule 1.111 and Rule 8.127 of the Michigan Court Rules
This proposal includes two separate proposed rules that relate to foreign language interpreters. The first proposed rule, MCR 1.111, would establish the procedure for appointment of interpreters, and establish the standards under which such appointment would occur. The proposed rule includes alternative language for subrules (B) and (F)(4).
The second proposed rule, MCR 8.127, would create a board to oversee certification of interpreters and other interpreter-related functions, and provide a procedure for imposing discipline upon interpreters who commit misconduct. The board's structure and responsibilities are similar to those of the Court Reporting and Recording Board of Review described in MCR 8.108.
Issued: May 2, 2012
Comment period expiration: September 1, 2012
Public hearing: To be scheduled

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

Sections and Committees
The Probate & Estate Planning Section submitted a Public Policy position on the following item:
Support in Principle: HB 5427 Civil procedure; execution; property exempt from garnishment and execution; modify. Amends sec. 6023 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.6023) & repeals secs. 5451 & 6023a of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.5451 & 600.6023a).

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