Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
May 18-24, 2009
Volume 7 Issue 21

In the Capitol
On May 27, the Michigan House of Representatives will begin session at the revised time of 10:30 am.

Committee Meetings of Interest for the Week of 5/26
5/26 House Judiciary
Agenda: HB 4977 Use objective risk and needs assessment for participation in community corrections programs; HB 4518 Amend Michigan penal code to exclude application to juvenile offenders penalties for certain crimes of imprisonment for life without parole eligibility; HB 4594 Prohibit sentencing individual convicted as a juvenile to imprisonment for life without parole eligibility; HB 4595 Amend probate code of 1939 to prohibit sentencing juvenile to imprisonment for life without parole eligibility; HB 4596 Allow parole of certain juvenile offenders sentenced to imprisonment for life; And any other business properly before this committee.
Prisons & Corrections Section Position on HB 4518, HB 4594–HB 4596: Support

5/26 Senate Judiciary
Agenda: HB 4918 Clarify certain provisions regarding lifetime probationers; HB 4919 Clarify applicability of statute for persons sentenced to lifetime probation for certain drug crimes; HB 4920 Revise eligibility for parole for certain prisoners; HB 4921 Eliminate reference to major controlled substance offenses; SB 325 Prohibit installation or use of motor vehicle tracking device under certain circumstances and provide penalty.

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 5/19–5/22
Of Interest to the Legal Community

SB 0584 Consumer protection; unfair trade practices; application of Michigan consumer protection act to actions expressly permitted by law; clarify. Amends sec. 4 of 1976 PA 331 (MCL 445.904).

Of General Interest
HB 4978 Law enforcement; reports; law enforcement officers to indicate race of person being issued a traffic citation; require, and provide sanctions. Amends sec. 727c of 1949 PA 300 (MCL 257.727c).

In the Hall of Justice
Child Support Leadership Council Appointments Made By Michigan Supreme Court

Supreme Court, Court of Appeals Announce Furlough Schedule

Rule Amendments
2008-40—Adoption of Amendments of Juvenile Court Standards and Administrative Guidelines for the Care of Children Administrative Order No. 1985-5
These amendments expand the eligible education categories prospective employees (including administrators, supervisory personnel, county juvenile officers, probation officers, caseworkers, and personnel of court-operated child care facilities) must meet to be considered for employment. In addition, the amendments allow the state court administrator to waive the employment standards if the court provides a reasonable period within which the candidate must meet the education standards, and establish minimum accreditation requirements.
Issued: May 19, 2009
Effective: September 1, 2009

2008-41—Adoption of the Amendments of Rule 3.101 of the Michigan Court Rules
The amendments of MCR 3.101 add language to protect exempt funds from garnishment and require financial institutions to provide authority stating why certain funds are exempt.
Issued: May 19, 2009
Effective: September 1, 2009

Administrative Orders
Administrative Order No. 2009-4—File No. 2002-37
E-filing Pilot Project in the 42nd Circuit Court
Issued: May 19, 2009
Effective: May 19, 2009

Proposed Amendments
2005-32—Proposed Amendment of Rules 2.112, 2.113, 3.101, and 8.119 of the Michigan Court Rules
These proposed amendments reflect in substantial part a proposal submitted by the 46th District Court to require more specific pleading in debt collection cases than in other types of cases, and to allow a chief judge to authorize court clerks to screen pleadings in all cases and to reject them if they do not comply with the Michigan Court Rules, Michigan statutes, or the Michigan Supreme Court records standards. A party whose documents were rejected would be entitled to a prompt judicial review upon request. Further, the proposal would require that a request for a writ of garnishment include information regarding the total amount of post judgment interest and costs accrued to date, and the total amount of post judgment payments made to date.
Issued: May 20, 2009
Comment period expires: September 1, 2009
Public hearing: To be scheduled

2008-13—Proposed New Rule 1.15A of the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct
This proposal, submitted by the State Bar of Michigan, would require attorneys to maintain client trust accounts in approved financial institutions. The financial institutions would become approved by, among other requirements, agreeing to notify the Attorney Grievance Commission and the lawyer if a lawyer's trust account is overdrawn. The lawyer then would be required to submit an explanation of the overdraft to the commission within 21 days. The proposal is intended to provide an early warning of improprieties so that corrective action may be taken.
Issued: May 19, 2009
Comment period expires: September 1, 2009
Public hearing: To be scheduled

2009-13—Proposed Amendment of Rules 2.112 and 2.118 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendments of MCR 2.112 and 2.118 would set a time limit on the period for raising challenges to affidavits of merit and meritorious defense and notices of intent in medical malpractice actions. The proposal also would allow amendment when an affidavit is found to be insufficient unless such amendment would be unjustified, and would explicitly state that the amended affidavit of merit or meritorious defense relates back to the date of the affidavit's original filing.
Issued: May 20, 2009
Comment period expires: September 1, 2009
Public hearing: To be scheduled

At the Bar
Judicial Vacancy—42-2 District Court
Hon. Paul A. Cassidy is vacating his seat on the 42-2 District Court. State Bar members interested in applying for the judgeship should submit an application by June 16, 2009.
View Information

Voting Begins June 1 for SBM and JTC Elections

Sections and Committees
The Consumer Law Section submitted a Public Policy report stating it support for SB 0573 Consumer protection; unfair trade practices; application of Michigan consumer protection act to actions expressly permitted by law; clarify. Amends sec. 4 of 1976 PA 331 (MCL 445.904).

The Prisons & Corrections Section submitted Public Policy reports on the following items:
Support: HB 4518 Crimes; penalties; penalties for certain crimes of imprisonment for life without parole eligibility; amend Michigan penal code to exclude application to juvenile offenders. Amends 1931 PA 328 (MCL 750.1750.568) by adding sec. 506b.

Support: HB 4594 Criminal procedure; sentencing; sentencing individual convicted as a juvenile to imprisonment for life without parole eligibility; prohibit. Amends secs. 1 & 1b, ch. IX of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 769.1 & 769.1b).

Support: HB 4595 Criminal procedure; sentencing; sentencing individual convicted as a juvenile to imprisonment for life without parole eligibility; prohibit. Amends secs. 1 & 1b, ch. IX of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 769.1 & 769.1b).

Support: HB 4596 Criminal procedure; sentencing; sentencing individual convicted as a juvenile to imprisonment for life without parole eligibility; prohibit. Amends secs. 1 & 1b, ch. IX of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 769.1 & 769.1b).

Support: SB 0173 Criminal procedure; sentencing; sentencing individual convicted as a juvenile to imprisonment for life without parole eligibility; prohibit. Amends secs. 1 & 1b, ch. IX of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 769.1 & 769.1b).

Federal News
Obama Nominates Judge Sotomayor for Supreme Court
(The Washington Times, 5/26/09)

State News
Mental Health Court Ready
(Livingston Daily, 5/19/09)

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