Newburg Law Blog

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...

Defendant Wrongly Convicted Of Both Larceny "In A Building" And Larceny "From A Person"

by: Matt Newburg

February 26, 2018 at 6:30 PM EST

While the larceny may be “from a person” or “in a building,” both cannot occur at the same time and a person cannot be convicted of both crimes, the Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled in People v Williams.

“The fact that the victim of a larceny from a person is in a building at the time of the larceny, is not sufficient to convict of larceny in a building,” the Court of Appeals held in Williams, a published (binding) decision. “Thus, although a defendant may be...

A Quick Look At Michigan's Implied Consent Law

by: Matt Newburg

February 20, 2018 at 7:52 AM EST

Michigan, like all other states, has what is called an “implied consent” law for drivers who are arrested on suspicion of drunk or drugged driving. Michigan’s law, MCL 257.625c, says that as a privilege of having a driver’s license, you give consent to a chemical test if you are lawfully arrested by an officer who has probable cause to believe that you are driving under the influence.

When it comes to implied consent, a law enforcement officer can choose whether you take a breath,...

Legislation Would Make Certain Prenuptial Agreements Unenforceable

by: Matt Newburg

February 13, 2018 at 8:24 AM EST

A legislative proposal to make Michigan prenuptial agreements unenforceable in certain circumstances has passed the state House of Representative and now awaits a vote in the Senate.

Under current Michigan law, a contract relating to property that is made between two individuals in contemplation of marriage – otherwise known as a prenuptial agreement – is enforceable after the marriage takes place. However, House Bill 4751 would make prenuptial agreements in Michigan unenforceable if...

Michigan Standardizes CPL Process by Eliminating County Gun Boards

by: Jason Osbourn

December 2, 2015 at 8:46 PM EST

As of December 1st, County Gun Boards are a thing of the past and Michigan is now a “shall issue” State. Legislation recently signed into law by Governor Snyder establishes a specific set of criteria which, if met, requires the County Clerk to issue a Concealed Pistol License (CPL). Gun Boards and the discretion they exercised are no longer a component of the licensing process.

Gun Boards were three-member panels created under Michigan Law to evaluate and license applicants for CPLs. These...

Medical marijuana user can be prosecuted for smoking in parked car

by: Matt Newburg

November 25, 2015 at 8:33 PM EST

A registered medical marijuana user who smoked marijuana in his own car while the car was parked in a public parking lot was not entitled to the protections or defenses afforded by the Medical Marihuana Act, the Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled.

The Court of Appeals published decision in People v. Carlton reversed the rulings of both the circuit and district courts, which had dismissed the marijuana possession charges that were brought against the defendant. The defendant was smoking marijuana...

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...

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...

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.