Public Policy Update from the State Bar of Michigan
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November 20, 2017
Volume 15, Issue 45

In the Capitol

The House of Representatives and Senate have adjourned for Thanksgiving Break. Session will resume on November 28.
House Schedule
Senate Schedule

Complete Committee Meeting List

In the Hall of Justice

Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen J. Markman Statement Regarding the Appointment of Elizabeth T. Clement to the Court

Foster Father and Former Foster Child Rob Scheer to speak at Michigan Supreme Court Adoption Day Ceremonies

Report Highlights Collaboration Between Tribal, State, and Federal Courts that Benefit Michigan Families

Administrative Orders
2014-36: Administrative Order 2017-3
Issued: 11/15/17
Effective: Immediately

Proposed Amendments
2016-23: Proposed Amendment of MCR 2.105
The proposed amendment of MCR 2.105 would reference service on the “agent for service of process” so that it is consistent with MCL 449.1105(2).
Issued: 11/17/17
Comment Period Deadline: 3/1/18

2014-36: Proposed Amendment of MCR 6.425
The proposed amendments of MCR 6.425(G) would reflect recent changes to the appellate counsel assignment process by extending and segmenting the timeframe for courts to respond to appointment requests, requiring judges to provide a statement of reason when appellate counsel is denied, encouraging courts to liberally grant untimely requests for appellate counsel in guilty plea cases, requiring the filing of all lower court transcripts and clarifying MAAC assumption of the trial courts service obligations.
Issued: 11/15/17
Comment Period Expiration: 3/1/18

2016-07: Proposed Amendments of MCR 6.310, 6.428, 6.429, 6.431, 7.205, 7.211, and 7.212
The proposed amendments were submitted to the Court by the State Appellate Defender Office, which argues that they would clarify practices and provide protections for criminal defendants represented by assigned appellate counsel. The proposed amendments would allow an additional 42 days to file post-judgment motions in certain circumstances, expand MCR 6.428 to apply to both plea and trial appeals and where delay is due to the trial court, clarify in proposed amendment of MCR 7.205 that in certain circumstances, substitute appellate counsel may file a delayed application for leave to appeal within 42 days of appointment (even if later than six months after sentencing), add language to MCR 7.211 to guide parties and courts if relief is granted in the trial court, and change the procedure for seeking permission to file a brief longer than 50 pages in length.
Issued: 11/15/17
Comment Period Expiration: 3/1/18

2016-20: Proposed Amendment of MCR 8.119
The proposed amendment of MCR 8.119 would clarify the procedure for sealing files and better accommodate protective orders issued under MCR 2.302 by clarifying that a protective order may authorize parties to file materials without also filing a motion to seal.
Issued: 11/15/17
Comment Period Expiration: 3/1/18

2017-01: Appointment to the Michigan Tribal State Federal Judicial Forum
Issued: 11/15/17
Effective: Immediately

2017-01: Appointment of Chief Judge of the 17th Circuit Court (Kent County)
Issued: 11/15/17
Effective: 1/1/18

At the Bar

The Board of Commissioners met on November 17, 2017, at which time the State Bar of Michigan adopted the following public policy positions:

ADM File No. 2002-37—Proposed Rules Related to E-Filing and Electronic Records
The amendments in this proposal are intended to begin moving trial courts toward a statewide uniform e-Filing process. The rules are required to be in place to enable SCAO’s e-Filing vendor to begin programming the statewide solution. In addition, the proposal would move existing language into MCR 1.109 as a way to, for the first time, include most filing requirements in one single rule, instead of scattered in various rules. The proposal largely mirrors the administrative orders that most e-Filing pilot projects have operated under, but contains some significant new provisions. For example, courts would be required to maintain documents in an electronic document management system, and the electronic record would be the official court record.
SBM Position: Support with Amendments based on recommendations from committees and sections.

Proposed Amendments to Local Rules 5.3 Civil Material Filed Under Seal
SBM Position: Support with the following amendments:

  • Strike “narrowly tailored” condition in (b)(2);
  • Strike the last sentence in the 2017 comments regarding third parties; and
  • Standardize the usage of “subrule,” “section,” and “subsection.”

HB 4754 (Barrett) Courts; jurisdiction; inter-circuit concurrent jurisdiction plan; authorize. Amends secs. 401, 405, 841 & 8304 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.401 et seq.) & adds sec. 403.
SBM Position: Support with an amendment addressing the training needs for specialty courts.

HB 5073 (Kesto) Civil procedure; alternate dispute resolution; procedures for mediation and case evaluation of civil actions; revise. Amends heading of ch. 49 & secs. 4901, 4903, 4905, 4907, 4909, 4911, 4913, 4915, 4917, 4919, 4921 & 4923 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.4901 et seq.); adds sec. 4902 & repeals ch. 49A of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.4951 - 600.4969).
SBM Position: Oppose because the subject matter of the bill is more appropriately addressed in court rules.

M Crim 13.1, 13.2, and 13.5
The Committee proposes amending the resisting arrest instructions, M Crim JI 13.1, 13.2, and 13.5, to accommodate changes in the law announced in People v Moreno, 491 Mich 38 (2012), People v Quinn, 305 Mich App 484 (2014), and People v Vanderberg, 307 Mich App 57 (2014), regarding resistance to unlawful police conduct, and to improve the instructions’ readability.  Deletions from the current instructions are struck-through; additional language is underlined. 
SBM Position: Support.

M Crim 15.23, 15.24, and 15.25
The Committee proposes new instructions, M Crim JI 15.23, 15.24, and 15.25, for violations of MCL 257.904(2) and (7), permitting another person to drive the defendant’s car while the other person’s license was suspended (and causing serious injury or death). 
SBM Position: Support.

Civil Discovery Court Rule Review Committee Seeks Members' Input on Draft Proposal
For over a year, the State Bar of Michigan’s Civil Discovery Court Rule Review Special Committee, with the help of five subcommittees, has engaged in a detailed review of the civil discovery court rules in Michigan to evaluate ways to improve them. With a broad cross-section of lawyers, judges, and court administrators from across the state, the Committee has produced a draft report and set of proposed rules changes. Taken as a whole, this is an attempt to modernize our court rules, adopt best practices from other jurisdictions, and to improve the efficiency of the judicial system and access to justice by making discovery less onerous, more efficient and more targeted.

The Committee is seeking on this draft proposal from stakeholder groups and bar members to ensure that these proposed rules make effective improvements to efficiency in the discovery process and make our courts more accessible to all.

View the draft proposal

Please email your comments to by December 1, 2017.

The Committee will consider the feedback that it receives to revise its proposal; the Committee plans to submit the revised proposal to the Representative Assembly for consideration at its April 2018 meeting. Thank you in advance for your feedback.

Links of Interest

SBM Public Policy Resource Center
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Michigan Supreme Court
Michigan Legislature
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