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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summaries of opinions as they are released from the Michigan Supreme Court, Michigan Court of Appeals (published & unpublished), and selected U.S. Sixth Circuit.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:

  • Criminal Law (2)

    Full Text Opinion

    e-Journal #: 76283
    Case: People v. Dodson
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Murray and O’Brien; Dissent - M.J. Kelly
    Issues:

    Motion to dismiss; Reasonable suspicion; Other acts evidence; MRE 404(b); Sufficiency of the evidence; Assaulting, resisting, or obstructing a police officer causing injury; MCL 750.81d(2)

    Summary:

    The court concluded that Sergeant B had reasonable suspicion to detain defendant, so he did not have the right to resist the detention. Thus, the trial court did not err by denying defendant’s motion to dismiss. It also did not abuse its discretion when it ruled that another incident (the Dearborn Incident) was impermissible propensity evidence prohibited by MRE 404(b). Further, there was sufficient evidence upon which the jury could rely to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that his initial detention did not violate the Fourth Amendment and was otherwise legal. There was sufficient evidence to support his conviction under MCL 750.81d(2). The case arose out of a physical altercation between defendant and B. B and a deputy were to act in a peacekeeping capacity during the return of defendant’s nephew from defendant to H, the child’s mother and defendant’s sister. Defendant argued that the trial court erred by denying his motion to dismiss because he had the right to resist the arrest because B did not have reasonable suspicion. The court disagreed. Despite B “telling defendant that he was being detained prior to grabbing him, defendant refused to submit to the sergeant’s show of authority.” Thus, contrary to his argument on appeal, he was not seized until B “actually laid his hands on” him. The next question was whether B had reasonable suspicion when he grabbed defendant. B “had a particularized suspicion, based upon objective manifestations, that defendant was about to be engaged in some type of criminal activity,” and thus, he had reasonable suspicion to detain him. Defendant contended that “there was no basis to believe that defendant was going to leave, and that [B’s] concerns were all unparticularized suspicions or hunches, because defendant said that he would return the child after speaking with” Agent S. The court rejected “the premise of defendant’s argument because [B] did not testify that defendant told him that he would return the child after speaking with” S. Affirmed.

    Full Text Opinion

    Full Text Opinion

    e-Journal #: 76287
    Case: People v. Kowalski
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Beckering, Shapiro, and Swartzle
    Issues:

    Expert testimony; MRE 702; Unfair prejudice; MRE 403; False confessions & the police interrogation techniques associated with false confessions; Lapointe v Commissioner of Corr (CT); State v Perea (UT)

    Summary:

    Holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by allowing and then limiting defendant’s expert’s (O) testimony, the court affirmed the ruling. He was charged with murdering his brother and sister-in-law in their home. The trial court precluded him from presenting two expert witnesses in support of his defense that his statements to the police constituted a false confession. The Supreme Court previously found that the trial court erred as to one of the experts. Defendant was subsequently convicted of the murders. However, the trial court granted a motion for relief from judgment because of a structural error. At his retrial, defendant sought to introduce O’s testimony regarding false confessions. The trial court allowed O to testify, but limited his testimony, ruling he “could testify ‘concerning the existence of false confessions and that certain techniques correlate to an increased likelihood of false confessions,’” but could not provide any case-specific testimony. On appeal, the court rejected the prosecution’s argument that the trial court erred by allowing O to provide expert testimony on police interrogation techniques and false confessions. It found there was “no basis for concluding that the trial court erred by determining that the jury would benefit from expert testimony on this subject.” In addition, O “will assist the jury by explaining the interrogation techniques that may lead to a false confession, and the jury will then be tasked with determining the reliability of defendant’s confession.” Further, it appeared that “the phenomenon of false confessions and the police interrogation techniques associated with false confessions have become increasingly well accepted” in the social psychology field. The court also rejected defendant’s claim that the trial court erred by precluding O from providing case specific testimony on the basis that O did not testify at the Daubert hearing about the application of his methods to this case. It found there was “no abuse of discretion in the trial court’s decision not to continue the Daubert hearing to allow defendant another opportunity to supplement the record where defendant has not even put forth an offer of proof on the relevant issue.” Remanded.

    Full Text Opinion

  • Healthcare Law (1)

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Probate

    e-Journal #: 76289
    Case: In re Gray
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Murray, M.J. Kelly, and O’Brien
    Issues:

    Petition seeking mental health treatment; MCL 330.1517(3); MCL 330.1448(1)(c) & 330.1453; MCL 330.1463(1); Request for an independent clinical evaluation; Continuance pursuant to MCL 330.1462 & 330.1455(6); Demand for a jury trial; MCL 330.1458; MCR 5.740; Waiver; Due process; In re KB

    Summary:

    The court held that the probate court did not err by denying respondent’s request for an independent clinical evaluation and did not abuse its discretion by denying his untimely demand for a jury trial. He was not denied due process. Thus, it affirmed the probate court order finding that he required treatment based on his mental illness and ordering hospitalization. Although he argued that “there was no record evidence that he had been informed of his right to an independent clinical evaluation, the lower court record included the notice of hospitalization and certificate of service, which indicated” he was served with a statement explaining his rights. Also, a proof of service indicated that he “was personally served with the petition for hospitalization/notice of hearing and the order appointing his attorney.” The notice of hearing clearly informed him “of his right to request an independent medical evaluation and a jury trial.” Also, his attorney was served with the notice of hearing, which included those rights. “Although the notice form did not include the deadline for making the request, petitioner complied with the statutory requirements and informed respondent of his right to make the requests.” The record established that he was aware before “the hearing that he could assert certain rights.” Before Dr. D (a psychiatrist who testified as an expert) “testified respondent and his attorney informed the probate court of respondent’s request to represent himself, indicating that they had discussed respondent’s rights and prepared respondent for the hearing, but respondent did not include a request for an evaluation until after” D testified. “Respondent’s preparation of a letter to formally request to represent himself further supports a finding that he was aware of his rights and the procedures for exercising them.” Contrary to his argument, his “first opportunity to speak did occur before testimony began, and at that time respondent only requested to represent himself” – he did not request the independent clinical evaluation or a jury trial. Additionally, the record showed his attorney had advised him “about some or all of his rights, as his right to self-representation was raised at the start of the hearing. Further, respondent’s request to make an opening statement only occurred after [D’s] direct examination, which would have been an untimely request for either an independent clinical evaluation or jury trial.” He also failed to establish “he should have been granted a continuance pursuant to MCL 330.1462 and MCL 330.1455(6),” as he did not meet the statutory requirements for seeking a deferral.

    Full Text Opinion

  • Municipal (1)

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Negligence & Intentional Tort

    e-Journal #: 76282
    Case: Mata v. Van Buren Cnty.
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Murray, M.J. Kelly, and O’Brien
    Issues:

    Governmental immunity; The Governmental Tort Liability Act (GTLA); Gross negligence; MCL 691.1407(2)(c); Immunity for an injury to a firefighter or police officer arising “from the normal, inherent, [&] foreseeable risks of” his or her profession; MCL 600.2966; Lego v Liss; Boulton v Fenton Twp; Whether an injury under the “dog-bite statute” (MCL 287.351) falls within the scope of governmental immunity; Tate v Grand Rapids; Controlling effect of more specific & recent statutory provisions over more general & older ones

    Summary:

    The court held that the injured plaintiff-police officer’s (Mata) injuries from a police K-9 bite “arose from a normal, inherent, and foreseeable risk of his profession as” an officer, and that the dog-bite statute does not constitute an exception to immunity under MCL 600.2966. Thus, it affirmed summary disposition for defendants-county and deputy (Schmitt). Mata, a township police officer, was bit by Schmitt’s police K-9 during a fleeing suspect’s arrest. He alleged that the county was liable as the dog’s owner and that Schmitt was liable based on gross negligence. The court noted that in Lego, the Michigan Supreme Court “held that MCL 600.2966 immunizes governmental entities and employees ‘from all tort liability’ for injuries to officers that arose during the normal, inherent, and foreseeable risk of the profession.” That case involved an officer being “shot by a fellow officer when facing an active shooter . . . .” Boulton involved an “officer injured while responding to the scene of an accident[.]” In this case, “Mata was injured by a K-9 during a multiple officer chase of a potentially armed suspect. The use of a K-9 is not unusual, and that one of these animals could injure a suspect or on-the-scene officer during an active situation is likewise an inherent risk of the police officer profession.” The court found that this situation was not distinguishable from Lego or Boulton. As to the argument that an injury covered by MCL 287.351 “should not fall within the scope of governmental immunity[,]” the court ruled in Tate that the statute “did not establish liability for dog bites, but, instead, replaced the negligence standard with a strict liability standard, and the GTLA grants immunity from all tort liability.” In addition, the court held in Boulton “that the motor-vehicle exception to governmental immunity was not an exception to MCL 600.2966.” Here, it determined that MCL 287.351, the general and older statute, is not an exception to the more recently enacted and specific MCL 600.2966.

    Full Text Opinion

  • Negligence & Intentional Tort (1)

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Municipal

    e-Journal #: 76282
    Case: Mata v. Van Buren Cnty.
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Murray, M.J. Kelly, and O’Brien
    Issues:

    Governmental immunity; The Governmental Tort Liability Act (GTLA); Gross negligence; MCL 691.1407(2)(c); Immunity for an injury to a firefighter or police officer arising “from the normal, inherent, [&] foreseeable risks of” his or her profession; MCL 600.2966; Lego v Liss; Boulton v Fenton Twp; Whether an injury under the “dog-bite statute” (MCL 287.351) falls within the scope of governmental immunity; Tate v Grand Rapids; Controlling effect of more specific & recent statutory provisions over more general & older ones

    Summary:

    The court held that the injured plaintiff-police officer’s (Mata) injuries from a police K-9 bite “arose from a normal, inherent, and foreseeable risk of his profession as” an officer, and that the dog-bite statute does not constitute an exception to immunity under MCL 600.2966. Thus, it affirmed summary disposition for defendants-county and deputy (Schmitt). Mata, a township police officer, was bit by Schmitt’s police K-9 during a fleeing suspect’s arrest. He alleged that the county was liable as the dog’s owner and that Schmitt was liable based on gross negligence. The court noted that in Lego, the Michigan Supreme Court “held that MCL 600.2966 immunizes governmental entities and employees ‘from all tort liability’ for injuries to officers that arose during the normal, inherent, and foreseeable risk of the profession.” That case involved an officer being “shot by a fellow officer when facing an active shooter . . . .” Boulton involved an “officer injured while responding to the scene of an accident[.]” In this case, “Mata was injured by a K-9 during a multiple officer chase of a potentially armed suspect. The use of a K-9 is not unusual, and that one of these animals could injure a suspect or on-the-scene officer during an active situation is likewise an inherent risk of the police officer profession.” The court found that this situation was not distinguishable from Lego or Boulton. As to the argument that an injury covered by MCL 287.351 “should not fall within the scope of governmental immunity[,]” the court ruled in Tate that the statute “did not establish liability for dog bites, but, instead, replaced the negligence standard with a strict liability standard, and the GTLA grants immunity from all tort liability.” In addition, the court held in Boulton “that the motor-vehicle exception to governmental immunity was not an exception to MCL 600.2966.” Here, it determined that MCL 287.351, the general and older statute, is not an exception to the more recently enacted and specific MCL 600.2966.

    Full Text Opinion

  • Probate (1)

    Full Text Opinion

    This summary also appears under Healthcare Law

    e-Journal #: 76289
    Case: In re Gray
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Murray, M.J. Kelly, and O’Brien
    Issues:

    Petition seeking mental health treatment; MCL 330.1517(3); MCL 330.1448(1)(c) & 330.1453; MCL 330.1463(1); Request for an independent clinical evaluation; Continuance pursuant to MCL 330.1462 & 330.1455(6); Demand for a jury trial; MCL 330.1458; MCR 5.740; Waiver; Due process; In re KB

    Summary:

    The court held that the probate court did not err by denying respondent’s request for an independent clinical evaluation and did not abuse its discretion by denying his untimely demand for a jury trial. He was not denied due process. Thus, it affirmed the probate court order finding that he required treatment based on his mental illness and ordering hospitalization. Although he argued that “there was no record evidence that he had been informed of his right to an independent clinical evaluation, the lower court record included the notice of hospitalization and certificate of service, which indicated” he was served with a statement explaining his rights. Also, a proof of service indicated that he “was personally served with the petition for hospitalization/notice of hearing and the order appointing his attorney.” The notice of hearing clearly informed him “of his right to request an independent medical evaluation and a jury trial.” Also, his attorney was served with the notice of hearing, which included those rights. “Although the notice form did not include the deadline for making the request, petitioner complied with the statutory requirements and informed respondent of his right to make the requests.” The record established that he was aware before “the hearing that he could assert certain rights.” Before Dr. D (a psychiatrist who testified as an expert) “testified respondent and his attorney informed the probate court of respondent’s request to represent himself, indicating that they had discussed respondent’s rights and prepared respondent for the hearing, but respondent did not include a request for an evaluation until after” D testified. “Respondent’s preparation of a letter to formally request to represent himself further supports a finding that he was aware of his rights and the procedures for exercising them.” Contrary to his argument, his “first opportunity to speak did occur before testimony began, and at that time respondent only requested to represent himself” – he did not request the independent clinical evaluation or a jury trial. Additionally, the record showed his attorney had advised him “about some or all of his rights, as his right to self-representation was raised at the start of the hearing. Further, respondent’s request to make an opening statement only occurred after [D’s] direct examination, which would have been an untimely request for either an independent clinical evaluation or jury trial.” He also failed to establish “he should have been granted a continuance pursuant to MCL 330.1462 and MCL 330.1455(6),” as he did not meet the statutory requirements for seeking a deferral.

    Full Text Opinion

  • Real Property (1)

    Full Text Opinion

    e-Journal #: 76285
    Case: Ayesh v. Chaalan
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Cavanagh, K.F. Kelly, and Redford
    Issues:

    Quiet title action; Setting aside a foreclosure sale; Diem v Salle Mae Home Loans, Inc; Statutory requirements for foreclosure by advertisement; Notice; MCL 600.3208; Cheff v Edwards; Fraud or irregularity; “Dual tracking” (a lender’s initiation of foreclosure proceedings while a borrower in default seeks a loan modification); Kloss v RBS Citizens, NA (ED MI); Prejudice; Kim v JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA; Denial of leave to amend the complaint

    Summary:

    Holding that plaintiffs failed to establish any basis for setting aside the foreclosure sale at issue, the court affirmed the trial court’s denial of their summary disposition motion and dismissal of their quiet title action. It also affirmed the denial of their motion to amend the complaint as futile. They contended that the predecessors of defendant-Chaalan (the current title holder) did not comply with the statutory requirements for foreclosure by advertisement because neither the mortgage loan servicer (a nonparty referred to as PHH) “nor its agents, posted a true copy of the notice of foreclosure ‘within the 15-day statutory timeframe or’” any other time. They further asserted “that they suffered prejudice by being placed in a position that prevented them from preserving their interest in the subject property by PHH’s initiation of the sheriff’s sale without notice.” However, the court noted that they failed to provide evidentiary support for their claim they had not received proper notice. They did not file a verified complaint or provide any supporting affidavit. The record reflected “that Chaalan submitted unrebutted evidence of the propriety of PHH’s foreclosure by advertisement and the propriety of the sheriff’s sale.” As a result, the trial court correctly ruled “that defendant obtained a valid title to the property. Moreover, plaintiffs failed and could not demonstrate how Chaalan bore responsibility for any alleged defects in the foreclosure by advertisement or the sheriff’s sale.” The court also determined that, to the extent they asserted they were entitled “to personal ‘receipt’ of the notice under MCL 600.3208, plaintiffs are mistaken. Moreover, the record evidence establishes that the statutory notice requirements were met by PHH” and thus, they had notice. The affidavits of publication and posting attached to the Sheriff’s Deed on Mortgage Sale and recorded in the county register of deeds were “presumptive evidence of both publishing the notice and posting of the notice as required under MCL 600.3208. Plaintiffs failed to rebut this presumption with any evidence to the contrary.” They also did not show any fraud or irregularity as to “the foreclosure by advertisement or the sheriff’s sale.” The court added that “if a dual-tracking violation occurred, such would not justify setting aside the foreclosure sale after the redemption period expired.”

    Full Text Opinion

  • Termination of Parental Rights (1)

    Full Text Opinion

    e-Journal #: 76291
    Case: In re Grace
    Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
    Judges: Per Curiam – Beckering, Shapiro, and Swartzle
    Issues:

    Termination under § 19b(3)(c)(i); In re White; Reasonable reunification efforts; In re Hicks/Brown; Child’s best interests; In re Keillor; Department of Corrections (DOC)

    Summary:

    Holding that § (c)(i) supported termination, that the DHHS made reasonable reunification efforts, and that termination was in the child’s (T) best interests, the court affirmed the order terminating respondent-father’s parental rights. The caseworker (S) testified about the services to which she referred him, and they “were consistent with the case service plan.” While he contended DHHS did not coordinate services with the DOC, it was unclear what was “so significant about DHHS’s supposed lack of coordination.” The record also showed that S “was in frequent contact with father’s parole officer in an attempt to determine where he was and whether he was compliant with parole, which included treating his substance abuse and submitting to random drug screens. Thus, to the extent that father means to suggest DHHS imposed an unreasonable burden on him by requiring him to participate in duplicative services, this” claim failed. The court added that “he failed to participate in any services following his adjudication, even the ones required of him for parole, making the argument unavailing regardless.” As to the existence of § (c)(i), the “time between the order of disposition and the beginning of the termination hearing was at least 182 days.” S testified that at the time of disposition, the barriers to reunification “were substance abuse, housing, and cooperation with DHHS. She explained that” he was referred to a service provider for “random drug screens, individual and group therapy, and housing assistance, but he failed to follow through with the referral.” Further, he was incarcerated at the time of the termination hearing “for a parole violation because he tested positive for heroin after getting into a car accident that caused serious injuries to his passenger.” He also did not obtain stable income or housing throughout the case. Thus, the evidence supported “that father ‘had not accomplished any meaningful change’ in the conditions that led to adjudication.” In addition, given his “failure to rectify a single barrier in the 11 months that this case was open and his ongoing legal issues, there” was no reasonable likelihood he would rectify the conditions within a reasonable time considering T’s age (six years old at the time of the termination hearing).

    Full Text Opinion

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