LEDFORD & ASSOCIATES

MICHIGAN LAW IN THE NEWS

Tags: Grand Rapids Law

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Update! Prosecuted for Speaking Out - COVID 19

In April 2020, inside a local, Ottawa County, MI sandwich shop, my client expressed his opinion regarding the Governor's COVID orders .... and was charged with "disturbing the peace," a misdemeanor under MCL 750.170. We moved to dismiss the charge on 1st Amendment grounds arguing that the statute was unconstitutionally applied against my client in a manner that unconstitutionally punished his 1st Amendment rights of free speech and expression in a public place. 

In its opinion regarding our motion to dismiss, the Court denied our motion, but limited the prosecution to only presenting evidence of his "threatening" conduct (of which the State's witness had already testified in an evidentiary hearing Mr. Steffes did not threaten her).

The prosecution continued its case against my client despite the court's opinion and order.

We then moved to limit the prosecution from using any expressive, non-violent words during trial, arguing, again, that any testimony discussing his non-violent expressive conduct necessarily required testimony about what he was communicating by means of his expressive conduct. This was based upon the Court's prior order and the testimony of the State's witness that she had not been threatened by Mr. Steffes (she did testify that she felt threatened by the content of his speech, but the Court ordered that this was protected speech and could not be used against him in the prosecution's case).

Today we were back in Court to argue the motion. Prior to the commencement of arguments, the Prosecution admitted that due to the Court's order it "could not proceed" and therefore dismissed the case.

This is a HUGE win for proponents of First Amendment civil rights, but, once again, the "forgotten man" suffers under the financial strain of protecting that interest. We are asking once again (and thanking you in advance) for any assistance to help cover his attorney fee costs.

To donate and help, go to this GoFundMe page

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"Grandparent Scams" making it's way across West Michigan

GRPD says that specifically in West Michigan the fraud tries to get their victim to withdraw money from the bank and, believe it or not, the scammer will actually show up to the person's house to get the cash.

Read more at Mix 95.7

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Education campaign for new gun policy in Grand Rapids

Beginning April 1, it will be illegal for youth younger than 16 years old to possess BB- or other pellet guns in Grand Rapids without adult supervision.
Brandishing and discharging those and other real-looking pneumatic guns in public, regardless of age, will also be a criminal misdemeanor.

Read more at mLive.com

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New Local Ban-the-Box Restrictions on Background Checks

Effective December 1, 2019, applicants for employment in the City of Grand Rapids have more protections. In a newly enacted “Human Rights” chapter of the city code, Grand Rapids deems it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a current or prospective employee with respect to hire; tenure; terms, conditions or privileges of employment; or any matter directly or indirectly related to employment, unless such act is based on a “bona fide occupational qualification.”

Read more at Lexology

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City Commission adopts new weapons ordinance

Grand Rapids City Commission adopts a new weapons ordinance.
The current firearms ordinance has received only a few updates since it went into effect in 1967. The new ordinance goes into effect April 1, 2020.

The City Commission this evening voted to repeal the City’s firearms ordinance and replace it with a new weapons ordinance.

Read more at the official City of Grand Rapids Website

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