Public Policy Resource Center

The Public Policy Resource Center is a member resource and tool designed to provide comprehensive, up-to-date public policy information of interest to the legal profession. The site provides a search function that permits you to view all legislation organized by specialty area as it is introduced, identify the appropriate official to contact to communicate your views, and keep track of the public policy initiatives of the State Bar and its entities.

January 21, 2022

Board of Commissioners
Public Policy Items To Be Considered

Members who wish to share comments on any of the items below may do so by filling out a Public Policy Comment form or emailing pcunningham@michbar.org before 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 19, 2022

A.   Court Rules

1. ADM File No. 2021-41 – Proposed Amendments of MCR 6.001, 6.003, 6.006, 6.102, 6.103, 6.106, 6.445, 6.615, and 6.933 and Proposed Additions of MCR 6.105, 6.441, and 6.450
The proposed amendments would make the rules consistent with recent statutory revisions that resulted from recommendations of the Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration.

2. ADM File No. 2021-05 – Proposed Amendments of MCR 6.302 and 6.310
The proposed amendments of MCR 6.302 and 6.310 would require a court to specify the estimated sentencing guideline range as part of a preliminary evaluation of the sentence and to clarify that a defendant may withdraw a plea when the actual guidelines range is different than initially estimated.

3. ADM File No. 2019-16 – Proposed Amendment of MCR 7.212
The proposed amendment of MCR 7.212 would require appellate briefs to be formatted for optimized reading on electronic displays.

4. ADM File No. 2021-45 – Amendment of MCR 7.306
The amendment of MCR 7.306 creates procedure specific to original actions relating to cases filed involving the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission.

5. ADM File No. 2021-31 – Proposed Amendment of MCR 8.110
In light of the federal Act making Juneteenth a federal holiday (PL117-17), this proposed amendment would similarly require that courts observe Juneteenth as a holiday. This proposed amendment is being considered in conjunction with other proposed amendments that would eliminate an existing holiday so as to retain the same number of holidays that are currently provided under the rule. The options the Court would like commenters to consider eliminating, if the commenters believe the number of holidays should remain the same, include the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, or New Year’s Eve, similar to Federal legal holiday designations. For purposes of comment, commenters are invited to indicate their support or opposition to any of the proposed amendments individually or combined.

 

B.   Legislation

1. HB 5309 (LaFave) Occupations: attorneys; eligibility requirements for attorney licensed in another state to practice law in Michigan; modify. Amends secs. 937, 940 & 946 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.937 et seq.) & adds sec. 945.]

2. HB 5340 (Whiteford) Courts: other; family treatment court; create. Amends sec. 1082 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.1082) & adds ch. 10D.

3. Bail Bonds Legislation

HB 5436 (Fink) Criminal procedure: bail; procedure for pretrial release determinations, criteria a court must consider for pretrial release determination, and reporting of data on pretrial release decisions; provide for. Amends sec. 6 & 6a, ch. V of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 765.6 & 765.6a) & adds sec. 6g, ch. V.

HB 5437 (Yancey) Criminal procedure: bail; criteria a court must consider before imposing certain conditions of release and due process hearing related to pretrial detention; provide for. Amends sec. 6b, ch. V of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 765.6b) & adds sec. 6f, ch. V.

HB 5438 (VanWoerkom) Criminal procedure: other; certain definitions in the code of criminal procedure and time period required for disposition of criminal charges; provide for. Amends sec. 1, ch. I & sec. 1, ch. VIII of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 761.1 & 768.1).

HB 5439 (Young) Criminal procedure: bail; interim bail bonds for misdemeanors; modify. Amends sec. 1 of 1961 PA 44 (MCL 780.581).

HB 5440 (LaGrand) Criminal procedure: bail; requirements for the use of a pretrial risk assessment tool by a court making bail decision; create. Amends 1927 PA 175 (MCL 760.1 - 7677.69) by adding sec. 6f, ch. V.

HB 5441 (Johnson) Criminal procedure: bail; act that provides bail for traffic offenses or misdemeanors; repeal. Repeals 1966 PA 257 (MCL 780.61 - 780.73).

HB 5442 (Meerman) Traffic control: driver license; reference to surrendering license as condition of pretrial release and certain other references; amend to reflect changes in code of criminal procedure. Amends secs. 311 & 727 of 1949 PA 300 (MCL 257.311 & 257.727) & repeals sec. 311a of 1949 PA 300 (MCL 257.311a).

HB 5443 (Brann) Criminal procedure: bail; setting of bond related to spousal or child support arrearage; modify. Amends sec. 165 of 1931 PA 328 (MCL 750.165).                                                               

4. Eligibility for Specialty Courts

HB 5482 (Howell) Courts: drug court; eligibility to drug treatment courts; modify. Amends sec. 1066 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.1066).

HB 5483 (LaGrand) Courts: other; eligibility for mental health court participants; modify. Amends sec. 1093 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.1093).

HB 5484 (Yancey) Courts: drug court; termination procedure for drug treatment courts; modify. Amends sec. 1074 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.1074).

5. HB 5541 (Fink) Occupations: attorneys; requirements for admission to state bar; modify. Amends secs. 931, 934 & 946 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.931 et seq.) & adds sec. 935.

6. HB 5593 (Calley) Criminal procedure: mental capacity; community mental health oversight of competency exams for defendants charged with misdemeanors; provide for. Amends 1927 PA 175 (MCL 760.1 - 777.69) by adding sec. 20b to ch. VIII.

 

C.   Model Criminal Jury Instructions

1. M Crim JI 3.13 – Penalty
The Committee proposes to amend M Crim JI 3.13 [Penalty] to remove any possible implication that the jury should find the defendant guilty so that the court could perform its duty of imposing a penalty.  Deletions are in strike-through, and new language is underlined.

2. M Crim JI 20.11 – Sexual Act with Mentally Incapable, Mentally Disabled, Mentally Incapacitated, or Physically Helpless Person
The Committee proposes to amend M Crim JI 20.11 [Sexual Act with Mentally Incapable, Mentally Disabled, Mentally Incapacitated, or Physically Helpless Person] to eliminate the element requiring that the defendant know of the complainant’s mental impairment because the applicable statute, MCL 750.520b(1)(h), does not require proof of such knowledge.  Deletions are in strike-through, and new language is underlined.

3. M Crim JI 24.1 – Unlawfully Driving Away an Automobile
The Committee proposes to amend M Crim JI 24.1 [Unlawfully Driving Away an Automobile] to correct the fourth element currently addressing “intent” to be in accord with the statutory language of MCL 750.413 and People v Crosby 82 Mich App 1 (1978).  Deletions are in strike-through, and new language is underlined.

4. M Crim JI 34.6 – Food Stamp Fraud
The Committee proposes a new instruction, M Crim JI 34.6 [Food Stamp Fraud], for crimes charged under MCL 750.300a.

5. M Crim JI 35.12 – Cyberbullying/Aggravated Cyberbullying
The Committee proposes a new instruction, M Crim JI 35.12 [Cyberbullying / Aggravated Cyberbullying], for crimes charged under MCL 750.411x.

Public Policy & the State Bar

Because the State Bar of Michigan is a mandatory bar association, the Bar can only advocate public policy positions that are reasonably related to:

  1. the regulation and discipline of attorneys;

  2. the improvement of the functioning of the courts;

  3. the availability of legal services to society;

  4. the regulation of attorney trust accounts; and

  5. the regulation of the legal profession, including the education, the ethics, the competency, and the integrity of the profession.

Sections of the State Bar that are funded by voluntary dues are not subject to these restrictions, and may engage in ideological activities on their own behalf provided that they follow the policies and procedures in Michigan Supreme Court Administrative Order 2004-01 and in Article VIII of the Bylaws of the State Bar of Michigan.

Administrative Order 2004-01 limits and describes the issues on which the State Bar may take public policy positions, and the process for section and member involvement.

Article VIII of the Bylaws of the State Bar of Michigan governs public policy advocacy by sections and committees of the State Bar.

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