Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
September 10–16, 2012
Volume 10 Issue 37

In the Capitol
The Michigan House of Representatives and Senate will not hold session on September 18, in observance of Rosh Hashanah.
House Session Schedule
Senate Session Schedule

Committee Meetings of Interest for the Week of 9/17
9/19 Senate Judiciary
SB 1043 Revise process server fees, and allow fees for certain additional services; And any other business properly before the committee.

9/19 House Judiciary
SB 809 Clarify eligibility for sobriety court; HB 5076 Clarify challenging an approved budget; HB 5804 Implement statewide standards and accountability measures of trial level indigent criminal defense services.

9/19 House Families, Children, and Seniors
Agenda Items of Interest: SB 1001 Provide for fee for collecting and processing child support withholdings; Testimony Only: SB 246 Revise juvenile competency standards; SB 247 Clarify juvenile competency and culpability; HB 4555 Clarify juvenile competency and culpability; HB 4556 Revise juvenile competency standards.
Family Law Section Position: Oppose
SBM Position on SB 246, SB 247, HB 4555, and HB 4556: Support SB 0246, SB 0247, HB 4555, and HB 4556 but respectfully requests an amendment be made regarding the qualifications of who performs a competency evaluation.
Criminal Law Section Position on SB 246 and SB 247: Support and Recommend Amendments.
Criminal Jurisprudence & Practice Committee Position SB 246, SB 247, HB 4555, and HB 4556: Adopt the Criminal Law Section Position.
Justice Policy Initiative Position on SB 246, SB 247, HB 4555, and HB 4556: Adopt the Criminal Law Section Position.

Complete Committee Meeting List

New Public Acts

In the Hall of Justice
Proposed Court Rules Defining "Court Records," Governing Public Access on Agenda for Supreme Court Public Hearing

National Jury Innovation Award Honors Michigan Supreme Court, Trial Court Judges for Michigan Jury Reform Project

Constitution Day is September 17; Supreme Court Learning Center Offers Webcasts, Other Educational Resources

The Michigan Supreme Court will hold a public administrative hearing on Thursday, September 27, 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, no later than Tuesday, September 25, 2012.

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 amendment but oppose as published.

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 with Recommended Amendments

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
Appellate Practice Section Position: Support
Prisons & Corrections Section Position: Support

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

At the Bar
The State Bar of Michigan's Public Policy, Image, and Identity Committee and Board of Commissioners will meet Wednesday, September 19. For more information, please contact

Sections and Committees
The Family Law Section submitted a Public Policy position on HB 5682 Family law; other; definition of eligible domestic relations order; modify. Amends sec. 2 of 1991 PA 46 (MCL 38.1702

State News
Groups Turn to Court to Block Voter Citizenship Question
(Detroit News, 9/17/12)

Plan to Overhaul Michigan's Public Defense System Hits Schuette Roadblock
(NPR, 9/13/12)

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