LEDFORD & ASSOCIATES

MICHIGAN LAW IN THE NEWS

Tags: Michigan Supreme Court

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Coronavirus order chaos in Michigan: Here’s where things stand

One thing the Supreme Court ruling did not strike down was the authority for local health departments to issue their own orders, and several did. On Monday afternoon, after a full weekend of uncertainty, Michigan’s health department, drawing power from a different law, issued its own order, keeping in place three major pillars of the governor’s orders.

Read more at Click On Detroit

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Michigan May Continue Online Court Sessions Amid Doubts

While the new virtual world has forced the postponement of some trials
and sentencings, conducting some legal business online has worked so
well that the state’s highest court is studying ways for lower courts to
continue using Zoom for routine hearings in civil and misdemeanor cases
even after the virus is subdued.

Read more at govtech.com

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State’s virtual courtrooms surpass 500,000 hours

According to the Michigan Supreme Court, there have been more than 500,000 hours of online hearings held since March when Michigan legal proceedings were forced to be conducted on Zoom to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Read more at Grand Rapids Business Journal

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Supreme Court rules against Oakland County in foreclosure windfall case

Because of what was considered an oversight, Uri Rafaeli owed $8.41 in 2011 taxes on a rental property in Southfield.

Read more at Macomb Daily

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People v Jemison - Decided June 22, 2020

Trials conducted via video conferencing software, where a witness is not present to be personally confronted by the Defendant, are not Constitutional. This does not resolve, however, the question of whether an impaneled jury, or a bench trial (no jury, just the judge) could sit for a trial by means of video conferencing software.

"The Court held that the right of confrontation requires face-to-face confrontation and is absolute for all testimonial evidence unless a witness is unavailable and the defendant had a prior opportunity for cross-examination. ....[E]xpense is not a sufficient justification to avoid face-to-face confrontation. Such a rule would potentially allow the prosecution to deprive a defendant of confrontation rights by, for instance, using out-of-state analysts to save money and then relying on cost-savings as a justification for not providing face-to-face testimony. Craig should be applied only to the specific facts it decided: a child victim may testify against the accused by means of one-way video testimony (or similar method) when the trial court has determined, consistently with statutory authorization, that such measures are necessary because the child requires special protection."

Read the Syllabus here

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