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Providing summaries of opinions as they are released from the Michigan Supreme Court, Michigan Court of Appeals (published & unpublished), and selected U.S. Sixth Circuit. Over 60,000 cases summarized to date.

 

 

Case Summary


Cases appear under the following practice areas:

  • Civil Rights (2)

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Litigation

    e-Journal #: 77062
    Case: DeFilippis v. Redford Police Dep't
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Boonstra, Ronayne Krause, and Cameron
    Issues:

    Appeal from a decision of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR); MCL 37.2602(c); The court’s jurisdiction; Applicability of MCR 7.203(A)(1)(a); Whether the MDCR acted as a tribunal; Whether plaintiff’s appeal was timely filed; MCL 37.2606; MI Admin Code, R 37.18; Due process; Judicial bias; Motion for disqualification; MCR 2.003(D)(1)(a); In re MKK; Redford Police Department (RPD)

    Summary:

    While the court rejected defendant-MDCR’s claim that it lacked jurisdiction to hear plaintiff’s appeal, it held that he was not entitled to relief from the circuit court’s dismissal of his appeal from the MDCR’s decision and denial of his motion for reconsideration. Dismissal was proper based on his failure to comply with an earlier court order. Further, given his failure to comply with that order, he was not entitled to the relief he sought on his due process/judicial bias claim. As to its jurisdiction, the court concluded that the procedures “the MDCR used in this case were not similar to the procedures that courts use, and the MDCR was not acting as a ‘tribunal.’” Thus, MCR 7.203(A)(1)(a) did not apply to preclude plaintiff’s appeal as of right from the circuit court’s order. The court noted that he had “made several complaints against” defendant-RPD with the MDCR and had appealed many of the MDCR’s decisions to the circuit court, to the court, and to the Michigan Supreme Court. In a prior case, the circuit court ordered (the 5/19 order) that plaintiff was “precluded from filing any more motions in this case, or any other lawsuits related to this matter in the” circuit court without prefiling review by the Chief Judge. This case arose in 9/20, when “plaintiff again contacted the MDCR and alleged ‘an act of unlawful discrimination’ by the RPD. The MDCR concluded that it could not take further action because plaintiff’s ‘concerns’ had been ‘previously addressed’ in prior complaints.” He appealed to the circuit court in 11/20, but there was no evidence that he “sought prefiling review in the circuit court before initiating his most recent appeal of the MDCR’s decision. Indeed, in plaintiff’s initial circuit court filing, he attached a portion of a [9/18] order, which denied defendants’ ‘request for the court to issue an Order precluding further submissions by [plaintiff] to the Courts of this state, absent a pre-filing review[.]’ Plaintiff did not reference the [5/19] order or provide evidence to support that he had complied with that order before initiating the appeal.” Due to his failure to comply with that order, “the circuit court did not err by entering an order of dismissal and did not abuse its discretion by denying plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration.” Affirmed.

    Full Text Opinion

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Negligence & Intentional Tort

    e-Journal #: 77096
    Case: Hyman v. Lewis
    Court: U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit ( Published Opinion )
    Judges: Bush, McKeague, and Readler
    Issues:

    Deliberate indifference; Pretrial detainees’ right to adequate medical care; Brawner v Scott Cnty; Whether a reasonable officer would have known of the detainee’s medical needs; “Reckless”; Effect of violating the jail’s operating procedures; Winkler v Madison Cnty; Governmental immunity under Michigan law; MCL 691.1407(2)(c); “Gross negligence”; MCL 691.1407(8)(a); “The” proximate cause; Personal representative (PR)

    Summary:

    [This appeal was from the ED-MI.] The court held that a reasonable officer in defendant-Lewis’s position would not have known that plaintiff-PR’s decedent (a pretrial detainee, Lipford) had concealed narcotics in his possession and thus, had no reason to know of his serious medical needs. Further, it found that Lewis’s actions were not reckless. As to plaintiff’s state-law claim, the court concluded that Lewis was entitled to governmental immunity under Michigan law. Thus, it affirmed summary judgment for Lewis. Lipford died from an overdose while detained at the Detroit Detention Center. Lewis had failed to enter the holding area when he was making rounds, “as required by jail operating procedures.” During the intake procedure, Lipford had denied being under the influence of drugs or having medication on his person. The court noted that under Brawner, a plaintiff must show that the detainee “had an objectively serious medical need[,]” that a defendant displayed “more than negligence but less than subjective intent—something akin to reckless disregard[,]” and that the risk was “either ‘known or so obvious that it should be known’ to a reasonable official in the defendant’s position.” The court concluded that plaintiff could not meet these requirements. She was unable to show that a reasonable officer in Lewis’s position would know that Lipford potentially possessed drugs. Also, none of the other jail personnel or the three other detainees in the room with him observed Lipford “manifesting an overdose . . . .” Thus, the court held that a reasonable officer would not have known of Lipford’s serious medical needs. It also held that Lewis’s actions were not reckless. It determined that, at most, he was “negligent, not grossly negligent or reckless.” Lewis explained that officers generally violated the procedure requiring entry into the room to avoid waking the detainees. The court again emphasized that he “had no reason to know that Lipford had concealed narcotics in his body.” As to plaintiff’s state-law claim, the court held that under Michigan law, Lewis was entitled to immunity because his “actions were not the proximate cause of Lipford’s death.”

    Full Text Opinion

  • Criminal Law (1)

    Full Text Opinion

    e-Journal #: 77069
    Case: People v. Bennett
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Borrello, M.J. Kelly, and Redford
    Issues:

    Competency to stand trial under MCL 330.2020(1) & (2); People v Davis

    Summary:

    The court held that the trial court did not err by finding that defendant was not competent to stand trial and that there was not a substantial probability that he would attain competency with treatment within 15 months. He was charged with both conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and perjury during an exam conducted pursuant to an investigative subpoena involving a criminal matter. However, after hearing from multiple witness as to his competency, the trial court found he was not competent to stand trial and there was not a “substantial probability that he would obtain competency within 15 months.” On appeal, the court rejected the prosecution’s challenge to this determination. “[T]he trial court was presented with conflicting expert opinions and [its] well-reasoned decision rested on its factual findings resulting from its resolution of the conflicting evidence, its weighing of the evidence, and its credibility determinations.” Further, the record evidence demonstrated that expert-W, on whom the trial court relied, “was aware of, and relied on, the proper legal standard in forming her expert opinion. The trial court also relied on the proper legal standard in making its competency determination, referencing language from MCL 330.2020(1).” Finally, the prosecution’s arguments that the trial court should have disregarded W’s opinion, or should have agreed with another expert’s opinions, “are actually directed at the propriety of the trial court’s factual findings in resolving the conflicting opinions of two experts, both of whom the prosecution admits were qualified to render these opinions.” Affirmed.

    Full Text Opinion

  • Family Law (1)

    Full Text Opinion

    e-Journal #: 77073
    Case: Grobaski v. McPherson
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Cavanagh and Riordan; Concurrence - Jansen
    Issues:

    Custody; Whether the motion was granted without conducting an evidentiary hearing; Proper cause or a change in circumstances (CIC); Bifurcation of physical & legal custody; School choice

    Summary:

    The court affirmed the trial court’s order denying defendant-father’s motion as to custody of the parties’ daughter (SG), vacated the order granting plaintiff-mother’s motion as to the choice of school, and remanded for an evidentiary hearing. Defendant argued that the trial court erred by denying his motion for change of custody without conducting an evidentiary hearing as to whether he could establish proper cause or a CIC. The court held that to the extent there were factual disputes, the trial “court accepted defendant’s allegations as true and determined that they were not legally sufficient to satisfy the standard.” Specifically, it determined that his “allegations that plaintiff was not properly grooming SG and that she was having unexplained diaper rashes, if true, did not rise to the level of proper cause or” CIC. Defendant also claimed that SG’s attainment of school age was a CIC; however, “the fact that a child has grown old enough to attend school is a normal life change.” Thus, the trial court properly exercised its discretion when it concluded that no evidentiary hearing was required under the circumstances. Defendant also argued that it erred by granting plaintiff’s motion concerning the choice of school without conducting an evidentiary hearing. The trial court “simply heard arguments from the parties and their attorneys and also asked a few follow-up questions to the parties, who were not under oath. The court did perform the required analysis of the best-interest factors, but the caselaw is clear that this analysis need be informed by an evidentiary hearing.” Because it did not hold an evidentiary hearing, the court vacated its decision. Defendant next argued that the trial court improperly bifurcated the issues of physical and legal custody. He asserted that its “process in treating the change of custody motion and the school-choice motion differently is a clear error of law.” However, the court held that “the trial court was presented with distinct issues governed by distinct legal standards. The trial court first considered whether defendant alleged facts adequate to establish proper cause or” CIC, and it concluded that he had not. It specifically considered his “argument that the fact that SG was old enough to begin school constituted a [CIC] when discussing this issue and determined that this was a normal life change.” The trial court next considered plaintiff’s motion to determine school. It “then properly considered the best-interest factors in relation to the issue of school choice. However, the error made by the court was determining the second issue without first holding an evidentiary hearing.”

    Full Text Opinion

  • Immigration (1)

    Full Text Opinion

    e-Journal #: 77075
    Case: Khaytekov v. Garland
    Court: U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit ( Published Opinion )
    Judges: Murphy, Siler, and Cole
    Issues:

    Asylum; “Frivolous application”; 8 USC § 1158(d)(6); Adequate notice; § 1158(d)(4)(A); Garcia-Romo v Barr; Niz-Chavez v Garland; Whether petitioner “filed” an asylum application; 8 CFR § 1208.3(a); Whether an “additional verbal warning” from the immigration judge (IJ) was required

    Summary:

    On remand from the Supreme Court, the court considered whether an individual who files a frivolous asylum application is entitled to a “secondary warning” from the IJ where the application form contains a written warning that a frivolous application will result in permanent ineligibility. It held that “the warning in the application form itself satisfies the statute’s notice requirement.” In a previous opinion, the court rejected petitioner-Khaytekov’s “claims for relief on narrower grounds” without reaching his argument that the IJ’s failure in his case to give the secondary warning routinely given by IJs in court violated § 1158(d)’s notice requirement. However, the Supreme Court remanded the case for reconsideration in light of Niz-Chavez, and the court now had to address the statutory question. It held that Khaytekov remained ineligible for cancellation of removal where he had filed a “frivolous asylum application”—the IJ found him “inadmissible on this ground because of a litany of lies that he told during his immigration proceedings.” Khaytekov argued that he never actually “filed” an asylum application with the immigration court but that he only “lodged” it. However, the court held that “parties can ‘file’ asylum applications even if they have not signed Parts F or G. . . . Khaytekov ‘made’ and ‘filed’ his application under the relevant provisions when he submitted it for entry into the record . . . .” The court rejected his argument that he was entitled to an “additional verbal warning” from the IJ regarding the dangers of filing a frivolous complaint, holding that neither the text of § 1158(d)(6) nor court precedent supported his assertions. Thus, the court concluded that while Niz-Chavez overturned its earlier determination “that Khaytekov could not obtain cancellation-of-removal relief because he could not satisfy that relief’s physical-presence requirement[,]” he was still “ineligible for cancellation of removal because he filed a frivolous asylum application.” Because Niz-Chavez did not affect the other aspects of the court’s earlier opinion, it simply incorporated the other parts by reference. It dismissed his petition for review in part and denied it in part.

    Full Text Opinion

  • Litigation (1)

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Civil Rights

    e-Journal #: 77062
    Case: DeFilippis v. Redford Police Dep't
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Boonstra, Ronayne Krause, and Cameron
    Issues:

    Appeal from a decision of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR); MCL 37.2602(c); The court’s jurisdiction; Applicability of MCR 7.203(A)(1)(a); Whether the MDCR acted as a tribunal; Whether plaintiff’s appeal was timely filed; MCL 37.2606; MI Admin Code, R 37.18; Due process; Judicial bias; Motion for disqualification; MCR 2.003(D)(1)(a); In re MKK; Redford Police Department (RPD)

    Summary:

    While the court rejected defendant-MDCR’s claim that it lacked jurisdiction to hear plaintiff’s appeal, it held that he was not entitled to relief from the circuit court’s dismissal of his appeal from the MDCR’s decision and denial of his motion for reconsideration. Dismissal was proper based on his failure to comply with an earlier court order. Further, given his failure to comply with that order, he was not entitled to the relief he sought on his due process/judicial bias claim. As to its jurisdiction, the court concluded that the procedures “the MDCR used in this case were not similar to the procedures that courts use, and the MDCR was not acting as a ‘tribunal.’” Thus, MCR 7.203(A)(1)(a) did not apply to preclude plaintiff’s appeal as of right from the circuit court’s order. The court noted that he had “made several complaints against” defendant-RPD with the MDCR and had appealed many of the MDCR’s decisions to the circuit court, to the court, and to the Michigan Supreme Court. In a prior case, the circuit court ordered (the 5/19 order) that plaintiff was “precluded from filing any more motions in this case, or any other lawsuits related to this matter in the” circuit court without prefiling review by the Chief Judge. This case arose in 9/20, when “plaintiff again contacted the MDCR and alleged ‘an act of unlawful discrimination’ by the RPD. The MDCR concluded that it could not take further action because plaintiff’s ‘concerns’ had been ‘previously addressed’ in prior complaints.” He appealed to the circuit court in 11/20, but there was no evidence that he “sought prefiling review in the circuit court before initiating his most recent appeal of the MDCR’s decision. Indeed, in plaintiff’s initial circuit court filing, he attached a portion of a [9/18] order, which denied defendants’ ‘request for the court to issue an Order precluding further submissions by [plaintiff] to the Courts of this state, absent a pre-filing review[.]’ Plaintiff did not reference the [5/19] order or provide evidence to support that he had complied with that order before initiating the appeal.” Due to his failure to comply with that order, “the circuit court did not err by entering an order of dismissal and did not abuse its discretion by denying plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration.” Affirmed.

    Full Text Opinion

  • Negligence & Intentional Tort (1)

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Civil Rights

    e-Journal #: 77096
    Case: Hyman v. Lewis
    Court: U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit ( Published Opinion )
    Judges: Bush, McKeague, and Readler
    Issues:

    Deliberate indifference; Pretrial detainees’ right to adequate medical care; Brawner v Scott Cnty; Whether a reasonable officer would have known of the detainee’s medical needs; “Reckless”; Effect of violating the jail’s operating procedures; Winkler v Madison Cnty; Governmental immunity under Michigan law; MCL 691.1407(2)(c); “Gross negligence”; MCL 691.1407(8)(a); “The” proximate cause; Personal representative (PR)

    Summary:

    [This appeal was from the ED-MI.] The court held that a reasonable officer in defendant-Lewis’s position would not have known that plaintiff-PR’s decedent (a pretrial detainee, Lipford) had concealed narcotics in his possession and thus, had no reason to know of his serious medical needs. Further, it found that Lewis’s actions were not reckless. As to plaintiff’s state-law claim, the court concluded that Lewis was entitled to governmental immunity under Michigan law. Thus, it affirmed summary judgment for Lewis. Lipford died from an overdose while detained at the Detroit Detention Center. Lewis had failed to enter the holding area when he was making rounds, “as required by jail operating procedures.” During the intake procedure, Lipford had denied being under the influence of drugs or having medication on his person. The court noted that under Brawner, a plaintiff must show that the detainee “had an objectively serious medical need[,]” that a defendant displayed “more than negligence but less than subjective intent—something akin to reckless disregard[,]” and that the risk was “either ‘known or so obvious that it should be known’ to a reasonable official in the defendant’s position.” The court concluded that plaintiff could not meet these requirements. She was unable to show that a reasonable officer in Lewis’s position would know that Lipford potentially possessed drugs. Also, none of the other jail personnel or the three other detainees in the room with him observed Lipford “manifesting an overdose . . . .” Thus, the court held that a reasonable officer would not have known of Lipford’s serious medical needs. It also held that Lewis’s actions were not reckless. It determined that, at most, he was “negligent, not grossly negligent or reckless.” Lewis explained that officers generally violated the procedure requiring entry into the room to avoid waking the detainees. The court again emphasized that he “had no reason to know that Lipford had concealed narcotics in his body.” As to plaintiff’s state-law claim, the court held that under Michigan law, Lewis was entitled to immunity because his “actions were not the proximate cause of Lipford’s death.”

    Full Text Opinion

  • Termination of Parental Rights (1)

    Full Text Opinion

    e-Journal #: 77074
    Case: In re Steckling
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Boonstra, Ronayne Krause, and Cameron
    Issues:

    Assumption of jurisdiction under MCL 712A.2(b)(1) & (2); MCL 712A.18f(4); In re AMB; Acceptance of a plea; Conducting a pretrial hearing over Zoom

    Summary:

    Noting that the statute on which respondent-father relied in arguing the trial court erred in taking jurisdiction over his children, MCL 712A.18f(4), “has nothing to do with the trial court’s assessment of jurisdiction[,]” the court held that the trial court did not err in accepting his plea. Thus, it affirmed the order of disposition taking temporary jurisdiction over his children. He argued that the trial court erred in doing so “because he appeared not to fully understand his admission at the pretrial hearing, and therefore MCL 712A.18f(4) was not satisfied by clear and convincing evidence.” The court noted that a trial court “may acquire jurisdiction when ‘[a] child comes within the statutory requirements of MCL 712A.2.’” As it stated in AMB, MCL 712A.18f(4) in practice “describes the process by which a family court can enter a dispositional order that provides a child with appropriate care after the family court has determined that the child comes within its jurisdiction.” To the extent respondent claimed the trial court erred in “failing to ‘tak[e] more time to make sure that respondent completely understood what was going on,’” the court rejected this assertion. After reviewing the exchange that included his admission to the allegations in the petition, it determined that he “apparently did not immediately understand one of the questions asked by the trial court, but upon clarification from his attorney, respondent plainly understood the substance of the trial court’s question. In other words, respondent at most did not understand the manner in which the trial court asked the question. Respondent’s acknowledgment of the truth of the allegations in the petition was clearly knowing and intelligent.” As to his statement that he did not waive his right to appear in person, he failed to offer argument or authority, and nothing in the record indicated he “ever objected to holding the pretrial hearing over Zoom, and even on appeal, respondent does not actually argue that his absence from the preliminary hearing or his participation in the pretrial hearing by Zoom caused him any prejudice or provides any basis for reversal.”

    Full Text Opinion

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