Blog Archive for March 2018

Michigan Supreme Court: Magistrates Can Assess Witness Credibility At Preliminary Exam

by: Matt Newburg

March 28, 2018 at 7:49 AM EDT

In People v Anderson, the Michigan Supreme Court has clarified the role of district court magistrates during a defendant’s preliminary examination, finding that magistrates can weigh the credibility of witness testimony when deciding whether to bind over a defendant for trial.

The Supreme Court held the magistrate in Anderson did not abuse her discretion in finding the complainant’s testimony was not credible and therefore dismissing the charges brought against the defendant.

“We hold...

Trial Court Used Wrong Evidentiary Standard When Changing Parties’ Custody Arrangement

by: Matt Newburg

March 21, 2018 at 9:17 AM EDT

A trial court improperly applied a “preponderance of the evidence” standard to determine that it was in a child’s best interest to change the established custodial arrangement, the Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled in Griffin v Griffin.

According to the Court of Appeals, the key in custody modification cases is for the trial court to first find – by clear and convincing evidence – that the proposed change is in the child’s best interest. To do this, the trial court...

The End Of Michigan's Driver Responsibility Fee: What You Need To Know

by: Matt Newburg

March 12, 2018 at 2:45 PM EDT

Legislation ending Michigan’s much-despised Driver Responsibility Fee was recently signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder.

The Driver Responsibility Fee was an additional expense tacked onto certain driving offenses. The extra fees ranged from $100-$500 per year for motorists with 7-15 points on their driving record, plus costs of $150-$1,000 annually for persons convicted of a category 2 driving offense, such as operating a vehicle with a suspended license or drunk driving. If the fee was not paid,...

Divorcing Party Could Not "Change Mind" About Mediation Agreement

by: Matt Newburg

March 6, 2018 at 2:32 PM EST

A party in a divorce action could not claim the mediation agreement he signed was unenforceable simply because he changed his mind and “regretted making the agreement,” the Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled.

In Rettig v Rettig, a published and binding opinion, the Court of Appeals emphasized what it has said several times in previous decisions: parties in a divorce proceeding cannot assert that a valid mediation agreement is unenforceable just because they change their mind after signing...