MSC proposes MCR amendments, appoints new chief for 48th Circuit

In a series of orders released late yesterday, the Michigan Supreme Court has proposed amending several court rules dealing with class certification, appointed counsel in criminal cases, decedents’ estates and Headlee amendment proceedings.

The MSC also proposed rule changes concerning the recertification of attorneys who have voluntarily resigned from the State Bar of Michigan.

The Court also named Judge Margaret Bakker as the new chief judge of the 48th (Allegan County) Circuit Court.

The following summaries of the Court’s proposals are the staff comments accompanying each order. As always, the staff comments are not the Court’s authoritative constructions of the proposals. Information for submitting comments about the proposals is contained in the Court’s orders.

  • 2008-18 Proposed Amendment of MCR 3.501: The proposed amendment of MCR 3.501(B) in Alternative A would require a change in circumstances to have occurred that would allow a party to file a supplemental motion for certification of a class within 21 days of the party’s knowledge of the changed circumstances. The proposed amendment also would allow a party to file a motion for revocation or amendment of the certification. The court as well would be allowed to consider supplemental motions to recertify and revoke or amend the certification. The proposed amendment of MCR 3.501(B) in Alternative B would clarify that only one motion for certification may be brought, and that once granted, the certification may be amended or revoked. ADM File No. 2008-18.
  • Proposed Amendment of MCR 6.005: The proposed amendment would revise MCR 6.005(H) to clarify that appointed defense counsel in a criminal proceeding either must file a substantive response to a prosecutor’s application for interlocutory appeal or notify the Court of Appeals that the lawyer intends not to submit a pleading. ADM File No. 2008-28.
  • Proposed Amendment of MCR 5.208 of the Michigan Court Rules: This proposed amendment of MCR 5.208(A) would remove the requirement to list a decedent’s last known address on the Notice to Creditors form. The proposed revision has been published for comment because of a concern that providing such information and publishing it in a newspaper might identify a location where a surviving spouse may be living and may unnecessarily place such a person at risk of harm. ADM File No. 2009-29.
  • Proposed Amendment of MCR 2.112, 7.206, and 7.213: The proposed amendments of MCR 2.112 and MCR 7.206 were submitted by the Legislative Commission on Statutory Mandates as a way to increase the efficiency with which Headlee actions are considered and disposed in Michigan courts, and to regularize the procedures that relate to Headlee proceedings. The proposed amendment of MCR 7.213 was added to the proposal as a corollary to proposed MCR 7.206 to clarify the prioritization of cases. ADM File No. 2010-05.
  • Proposed Amendment of Rule 3 of the Rules Concerning the State Bar of Michigan and Rule 8 of the Rules for the Board of Law Examiners: The proposed amendment of SBR 3(E), submitted by the State Bar of Michigan, would clarify that an out-of-state attorney who voluntarily resigned from the Michigan bar would not be required to retake the Michigan Bar Examination if the person meets the criteria for admission without examination under Rule 5 of the Rules for the Board of Law Examiners. A similar change also would be made in SBR 3(F) regarding emeritus members. Finally, Rule 8 of the Rules for the Board of Law Examiners would be amended to reflect that resigned or emeritus members who seek readmission are covered under Rule 8, which allows for recertification. ADM File No. 2009-20.
  • Appointment of Chief Judge of the 48th Circuit Court: Effective January 1, 2011, the Honorable Margaret Bakker is appointed chief judge of the 48th Circuit Court for a term ending December 31, 2011. ADM File No. 2010-01.

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