Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
July 23–29, 2012
Volume 10 Issue 30

In the Capitol
Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

Legislation Introduced 7/18-7/19
View all bills introduced 7/18-7/19
Of Interest to the Legal Community
HB 5786 Torts; product liability; cap on damages; eliminate if injury or death resulted from use of a taser. Amends sec. 2946a of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.2946a).

SB 1202 Education; attendance; local truancy policies; require adoption and implementation by schools and prosecutors. Amends sec. 1599 of 1976 PA 451 (MCL 380.1599) & adds sec. 1590.

SB 1203 Juveniles; truancy; family division of the circuit court to notify secretary of state of truancy disposition; provide for. Amends 1939 PA 288 (MCL 710.21–712A.32) by adding sec. 2f to ch. XIIA.

SB 1204 Traffic control; driver license; certain school attendance requirements to maintain driver license; establish. Amends secs. 303 & 319 of 1949 PA 300 (MCL 257.303 & 257.319).

SB 1215 Probate; guardians and conservators; court-appointed guardianship of minors; replace references to family independence agency with department of human services and allow the court to assess costs of a court-ordered investigation against the parties. Amends secs. 5204, 5207, 5208, 5209 & 5213 of 1998 PA 386 (MCL 700.5204 et seq.).

SB 1216 Juveniles; other; court-appointed guardianship of minors in EPIC cases; eliminate. Amends secs. 18 & 18g, ch. XIIA of 1939 PA 288 (MCL 712A.18 & 712A.18g).

SB 1217 Juveniles; other; cross-reference to probate code; revise. Amends sec. 5 of 1996 PA 263 (MCL 400.1305).

SB 1218 Juveniles; other; youth rehabilitation services act; revise reference to juvenile code. Amends sec. 7 of 1974 PA 150 (MCL 803.307).

Of General Interest
HB 5779 Family law; marriage and divorce; provision regarding name change upon divorce; revise to make gender neutral. Amends title & sec. 1 of 1905 PA 299 (MCL 552.391).

HB 5790 Courts; funding; forensic laboratory funding act; reestablish, and increase assessment. Creates new act.

HB 5791 Courts; funding; judicial system fund; amend allocation funds to reflect reenactment of forensic laboratory funding act. Amends sec. 181 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.181).

HB 5792 Crime victims; rights; victim notification of paroled prisoner escape, commutation, death, or parole board hearing; require. Amends secs. 19, 20 & 21 of 1985 PA 87 (MCL 780.769 et seq.).

SB 1211 Crime victims; rights; victim notification of paroled prisoner escape, commutation, death, or parole board hearing; require. Amends secs. 19, 20 & 21 of 1985 PA 87 (MCL 780.769 et seq.).

SB 1213 Crimes; penalties; crime of soliciting sex act from a minor who is at least 16 years of age; increase penalties. Amends secs. 448 & 451 of 1931 PA 328 (MCL 750.448 & 750.451).

SB 1214 Corrections; parole; standard of review for parole board release decisions; modify, and allow for attorney general intervention. Amends sec. 34 of 1953 PA 232 (MCL 791.234).

SB 1219 Elections; voters; declaration of United States citizenship when voting or applying for an absent voter ballot; require. Amends secs. 523 & 759 of 1954 PA 116 (MCL 168.523 & 168.759) & adds sec. 766a.

SB 1220 Torts; governmental immunity; liability for sewer system backups; require amount of economic damages to be determined by a hearing officer. Amends sec. 19 of 1964 PA 170 (MCL 691.1419).

SB 1221 Criminal procedure; sentencing guidelines; sentencing guidelines for crime of soliciting a minor 16 years of age or older to commit prostitution; provide to reflect increased penalty. Amends sec. 16w, ch. XVII of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 777.16w).

In the Hall of Justice
Nominations Open for Child Welfare Awards; Foster Care Review Board to Recognize Service to Abused and Neglected Children

Petition to Overturn Emergency Manager Law at Issue in Case Michigan Supreme Court Heard July 25

At the Bar
Judicial Vacancy—46th Circuit Court: Crawford, Kalkaska, & Otsego Counties
Hon. Dennis Murphy is vacating his seat at 46th Circuit Court: Crawford, Kalkaska, & Otsego Counties. State Bar members interested in applying for the judgeship should submit an application by August 22, 2012.
View Information

FOCUS: The Board of Commissioners met on July 27, 2012 at which time the State Bar of Michigan adopted the following Public Policy positions:
2010-34—Proposed Amendment of Rule 6.419 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).
SBM Position: Support Alternative B.

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.
SBM Position: Oppose.

2011-06 Proposed Amendment of Rule 2.603 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendment of MCR 2.603 would clarify that a court clerk could enter a default judgment if the requested damages are less than the amount claimed in the original complaint, to reflect payments that may have been made or otherwise credited.
SBM Position: Support.

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.
SBM Position: Support the proposed amendments with two amendments: (1) Replace "The claim is barred" in MCR 2.116(C)(7) with "Entry of judgment, dismissal of the action, or other relief is appropriate…"; and (2) Use "to litigate in a different forum" when referring to forum selection agreements.

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.
SBM Position: Support.

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.
SBM Position: Support MCR 1.111 (A)(2)(a) through (c) and MCR 1.111 (A)(5). Support Alternative B of MCR 1.111 (B) and MCR 1.111(F)(4) with a recommended amendment to (F)(4). Substitute Language for MCR 1.111(G). Create MCR 1.111(H). Support the creation of a Foreign Language Board of Review with a broader role. Support and amend MCR 8.127(D).

2012-10 Proposed Amendment of Rule 3.979 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendment of MCR 3.979 implements the judicial action requirements of 2011 PA 225 and 2011 PA 229 by: (1) acknowledging court jurisdiction over guardianships for which the Department of Human Services will continue providing subsidies after the wards reach age 18; and (2) requiring that the supervising courts conduct annual review hearings and make appropriate findings. Adoption of the proposed amendment will enable Michigan to receive federal Title IV-E funding for the post-18 guardianship program.
SBM Position: Support.

HB 5191 (LeBlanc) Courts; judges; magistrates; require to be licensed attorneys. Amends sec. 8507 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.8507).
SBM Position: Support.
(Position adopted by roll call vote. Commissioners voting in favor of the position: Allen, Barnes, Brake, Buchanan, Buiteweg, Costello, Courtade, Einhorn, Erhart, Gobbo, Grieco, Haroutunian, Johnson, McGinnis, M., Nolan, Perkins, Pero, Riordan, Rockwell, Rombach, Siriani, Strong Marks, Thomas, Ulrich, Warnez, Fershtman. Commissioners voting against the position: Sullivan. Commissioners excused: Cunningham, McGinnis, D., Olsman, Robinson.

Federal News
Scalia: Supreme Court Disagreements Not Personal
(US News, 7/26/12)

State News
25-Year-Old Murder Conviction of Two Detroit Brothers Tossed Out
(Detroit Free Press, 7/27/12)

Michigan Supreme Court Tackles Font Sizes, Printing Details in Emergency Manager Law
(Lansing State Journal, 7/25/12)

Macomb Proposal Would Let Jurors Check in For Duty From Area Businesses
(Detroit News, 7/25/12)

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