Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
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July 27, 2020
Volume 18, Issue 30

At the Capitol

Legislative Action Last Week:
Summary of legislative action on all bills that the State Bar or sections of the State Bar have taken positions.
HB 5417, HB 5418, and HB 5419 were reported out of the Senate Committee on Families, Seniors & Veterans on 7/23. They now move onto the Senate floor for a vote.
Family Law Section Position on HB 5417: Oppose.
Family Law Section Position on HB 5418:
Family Law Section Position on HB 5419:

HB 5488 (The Code of Criminal Procedure, Certain Permissible Costs) was reported out of the Senate Committee Judiciary & Public Safety on 7/23. It now moves onto the Senate floor for a vote.
Criminal Law Section Position on HB 5488: Support.

SB 0899 (Emergency Management Act, Health Professionals) passed the Senate 24 to 13 on 7/23. It now moves onto the Governor.
Negligence Law Section Position on SB 0899: Oppose.

Legislation Introduced 7/21–7/23
Last week bills were introduced in the following areas of law:

At the Bar

The Board of Commissioners met on July 24, 2020 at which time the State Bar of Michigan adopted the following public policy positions:

ADM File No. 2002-37: Proposed Addition of MCR 2.226
The proposed addition of MCR 2.226 would clarify the process for change of venue and transfer orders.
SBM Position: Support with the following amendments:

  1. In Section (3), rather than using the term “promptly,” set forth a specific number of days in which the receiving court must provide notice of refusal and return the case to the transferring court.
  2. Consistent with the Court’s efforts to modify time periods to be in seven-day increments, for Section (4), consider modifying the three-day time period to a seven-day time period.
  3. Provide chief judges authority to exercise their discretion to oversee and administer transfers to help ensure that the rules are being followed.
  4. Provide an electronic process for courts to submit transfer orders and refusals of those orders to help expedite the process.

ADM File No. 2019-47: Proposed Amendments of MCR 3.804, 5.140, and 5.404 and Proposed Addition of MCR 3.811
The proposed amendments of MCR 3.804, 5.140, and 5.404 and proposed new MCR 3.811 would allow greater use of videoconferencing equipment in cases involving Indian children.
SBM Position: Support.

ADM File No. 2019-41: Proposed Amendment of MCR 4.201
The proposed amendment of MCR 4.201 would require disclosure of the right to object to venue in actions brought under the Summary Proceedings Act for landlord/tenant proceedings in district court, consistent with MCL 600.5706.
SBM Position: Support.

ADM File No. 2020-04: Proposed Amendment of Rule 4 of the Rules for the Board of Law Examiners
The proposed amendment of BLE Rule 4 would explicitly state that a passing bar exam score is valid for three years, which is consistent with the character and fitness clearance expiration.
SBM Position: Support.

HB 5444 (Liberati) Children; services; kinship caregiver navigator program; create. Creates new act.
SBM Position: Support with the following clarifications:

  1. First, Section 6(c) should be clarified to indicate that the legal services initiatives shall be integrated into the current system of legal service providers.
  2. Second, to ensure quality pro bono and low bono legal services, required training should include legal services to marginalized communities, when applicable, such as immigration laws for documented and undocumented children, and training to ensure compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act and Michigan Indian Family Preservation Act for kinship caregivers of children enrolled or eligible for enrollment in a federally recognized Tribe.

HB 5488 (Lightner) Criminal procedure; sentencing; certain permissible costs; extend sunset. Amends sec. 1k, ch. IX of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 769.1k).

SBM Position: Support.

HB 5795 (Filler) Probate; wills and estates; electronic signature of wills; allow. Amends sec. 2502 of 1998 PA 386 (MCL 700.2502) & adds sec. 2504a.
SBM Position: Oppose as drafted.

HB 5805 (Berman) Courts; judges; hearings on emergency motions by defendant in criminal cases; provide for. Amends sec. 1, ch. I of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 761.1) & adds sec. 12 to ch. III.
SBM Position: Oppose.

SB 0865 (Lucido) Courts; other; procedures and regulations related cellular telephones in courtrooms; provide restrictions and penalties.
SBM Position: Oppose.

SB 0895 (Runestad) Civil procedure; other; new trial; revise procedure for granting. Amends 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.101 to 600.9947).
SBM Position: Oppose.

M Crim JI 37.8, 37.8a, 37.8b, 37.9, 37.9a, 37.10, 37.11 and 37.11a
The Committee proposes instructions M Crim JI 37.8, 37.8a, 37.8b, 37.9, 37.9a, 37.10, 37.11 and 37.11a, where the prosecutor has charged an offense found in MCL 750. 483a, which addresses withholding evidence, preventing the report of a crime, retaliating for reporting a crime, influencing a crime report, defenses, or evidence tampering. The instructions are entirely new.
SBM Position: Support.

Links of Interest

SBM Public Policy Resource Center
Public Acts
Michigan Supreme Court
Michigan Legislature
MCL Search Engines