Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
August 30–September 6, 2010
Volume 8 Issue 36

In the Capitol
The Michigan House of Representatives will be in session at 10 a.m. on September 8. The Senate is in session September 7 at noon and September 8 at 10 a.m. Neither Chamber will be in session on September 9 in observance of Rosh Hashanah.
House Schedule
Senate Schedule

Committee Meetings of Interest for the Week of 9/7
9/7 Senate Judiciary
Agenda: Discussion on the circumstances surrounding the incidents involving parolee Jack Jacqmain; HB 6038 Provide for penalties for possession, use, or sale of a chemically altered compound used for explicit purpose of getting high; HB 6226 Prohibit or use of certain substances that mimic effects of marihuana and provide penalties. Please note different time and location.

9/7 Senate Families and Human Services
Agenda Item of Interest: HB 4118 Expand procedure for placement of children in a foster home to give special consideration to relatives.
Family Law Section Position: Support

9/8 House Judiciary
Agenda: HB 6389 Require copies of presentence reports to be provided to certain individuals under certain circumstances; HB 6390 Revise confidentiality requirements for certain reports made by probation officers; SB 1354 Clarify requirement for prosecutor approval of admission into a drug treatment court; and any other business properly before this committee. Please note different time and location.

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

In the Hall of Justice
Proposal to Allow Court Clerks to Reject Deficient Case Filings on Michigan Supreme Court Public Hearing Agenda on Sept. 15; Public Administrative Conference to Follow

The Michigan Supreme Court will hold a public administrative hearing on Wednesday, September 15, 2010, at the Michigan Hall of Justice, 925 W. Ottawa Street, Lansing, Michigan 48915, beginning at 9:30 a.m. To reserve a place on the agenda, please 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, September 13, 2010.

A public administrative conference will follow.

Public Administrative Hearing Agenda: Items of Interest
2005-32—Proposed Amendments of Rules 2.101, 2.102, 2.113, 2.603, 3.101, and 8.119 of the Michigan Court Rules
This proposal, recommended by a workgroup authorized by the Supreme Court, would establish specific rules for court clerks to screen documents that are submitted to a court for filing and return those documents that do not conform to certain minimum filing requirements.
SBM Position: Oppose
Civil Procedure & Courts Committee Position: Oppose
Consumer Law Section Position: Oppose
Justice Policy Initiatives Position: Oppose

2009-19—Proposed Amendments of Rules 6.425, 6.502, 7.204, and 7.205 of the Michigan Court Rules
The amendments proposed in this order would impose time limits for the filing of motions for relief from judgment in criminal cases and would shorten time limits for late appeals in both civil and criminal actions. In proposed amendments of MCR 7.204 and MCR 7.205, alternative provisions are offered, under which, upon a showing of excusable neglect, the Court of Appeals or a trial court may grant an extension of time for filing a late appeal.
SBM Position: Oppose
Appellate Practice Section Position: Oppose
Criminal Law Section Position: Oppose

2009-25—Proposed Amendment of Rule 8.120 of the Michigan Court Rules
Under this proposal, a law student or recent law graduate who is a member of a legal aid clinic would be eligible to appear on behalf of a client in the Court of Appeals. The appearance would require the same protections that now exist, i.e., supervision by a licensed attorney who signs all pleadings, and approval by a majority of the judges of the assigned panel.
SBM Position: Support and Amend

2009-30—Proposed Amendment of Rule 1.108 of the Michigan Court Rules
The proposed amendment of MCR 1.108 would allow a computed period of time to be extended to the next day the court is open when the last day in the period is a day that the court was closed by court order.
SBM Position: Support

2010-08—(Proposed Administrative Order No. 2010-X)—Proposal to Rescind Administrative Order No. 2003-7 and Adopt Administrative Order No. 2010-X (Caseflow Management Guidelines)
This proposal would update the guidelines contained in Administrative Order 2003-7. The following list summarizes the changes that would be made by the proposed order.
1. Add to the beginning of the order language about good cause for delays and remove related language from specific case categories.
2. Move to the beginning of the order language about matters submitted to judge (this language currently exists at the end of the order).
3. Eliminate all interim guidelines, leaving only initial and final guidelines.
4. Decrease time for adjudicating 90% of mental illness petitions from 14 to 7 days. This time frame would apply to probate and circuit courts.
5. Eliminate guidelines for miscellaneous cases in probate court.
6. Decrease the percentage for preliminary examinations within 14 days from 100% to 80%. Add a 100% guideline for conclusion within 28 days. Extend the goals to include both commencement and conclusion of the examination.
7. Increase the time for adjudicating 90% of divorce cases without children from 91 to 182 days.
8. Increase the time for adjudicating 90% of divorce cases with children from 245 to 301 days.
9. Eliminate guidelines for responding interstate registration cases.
10. Increase the time for adjudicating name change from 91 to 126 days.
SBM Position: Support and Amend
Criminal Jurisprudence & Practice Committee Position: Support
Family Law Section Position: Support and Amend

2010-09—Proposed Amendments of Rules 3.973, 3.975, and 3.976 of the Michigan Court Rules
This proposal was recommended by a committee of the Michigan Probate Judges Association in consultation with the Foster Care Review Board. It would require a court to maintain a local foster care review board report in the court's confidential social file, and ensure that all parties have had the opportunity to review the report before the court enters a dispositional order, dispositional review order, or permanency planning order. Courts also could include recommendations from the report in their orders under the proposed language.
SBM Position: Support

At the Bar
Judicial Vacancy—Court of Appeals 4th District
Hon. Alton T. Davis is vacating his seat on the Michigan Court of Appeals. State Bar members interested in applying for the judgeship should submit an application by September 22, 2010.
View Information

SBM to Honor 2010 Award Winners Sept. 29

SBM Rep. Assembly to Honor Award Winners at its Sept. 30 Meeting

SBM Annual Meeting will be Sept. 29-Oct. 1 in Grand Rapids

SBM Urges Members to Sign Diversity Pledge; Sept. 30 Reception Will Highlight Diversity

Federal News
Polarization of Supreme Court is Reflected in Justices' Clerks
(New York Times, 9/7/10)

State News
Michigan Supreme Court Ruling Bars Tea Party Candidates from November Ballot
(Detroit Free Press, 9/3/10)

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