Blog Archive for October 2015

Greater Police Accountability for Confiscated Property

by: Matt Newburg

October 8, 2015 at 9:20 PM EDT

Local police departments will find it more difficult to keep and sell confiscated property under legislation that has sailed through both the Michigan House and Senate.

On Oct. 7, the Senate unanimously passed a seven-bill package aimed at reforming Michigan’s civil forfeiture law. The House passed the legislation several months ago with little opposition.

House Bills 4499, 4500, 4503, 4504, 4505, 4506 and 4507 are now on Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk. He is expected to sign them.

The bills will...

Simpler stepparent adoptions on the horizon

by: Kristin Arnett

October 4, 2015 at 9:18 PM EDT

On Oct. 1, the Michigan Senate approved a measure that will make it less complicated for stepparents to legally adopt their spouse’s children.

Senate Bill 458, sponsored by Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, would let a custodial parent’s new spouse petition the court to adopt the child. If the noncustodial parent has not paid support for the child or has not visited or had contact with the child for at least two years, the court may terminate the rights of the noncustodial parent.

The...

Guaranteed Parole Might be Coming to Michigan

by: Matt Newburg

October 1, 2015 at 9:16 PM EDT

On Oct. 1, the Michigan House of Representatives approved legislation that would give prisoners deemed a low-risk to society automatic eligibility for parole, once they have served their minimum sentence.

Currently, prisoners in Michigan are not entitled to parole.

House Bill 4138 would implement what is being called “presumptive parole.” It would make eligible for parole those prisoners who serve their minimum time and are then determined to not be a menace to society.

The legislation also...

People v. Hartwick and Tuttle: Changing the Landscape of Medical Marijuana in Michigan.

by: Matt Newburg

October 1, 2015 at 9:15 PM EDT

On July 27, 2015, the Michigan Supreme Court published its opinion on Hartwick. In that opinion, the Court clarified that a defendant must prove their affirmative defense under  § 8 of the MMMA by a preponderance of the evidence, a standard which had not previously been formally established. The Court then restated the first element which the defendant must prove to establish a § 8 defense and distilled from it three elements: 

1) the existence of a bona fide physician-patient...