MSC stays precedential effect of COA suspended-license case

The Michigan Supreme Court has stayed the precedential effect of a Court of Appeals decision that requires county prosecutors trying driving-with-suspended-licenses cases to produce at trial the state clerks who mailed the suspension notices to the defendants.

In People v. Nunley (majority opinion) (dissenting opinion), the COA reasoned that proof of notice to defendants is an element of the crime. As such, a certificate that the notice was mailed is testimonial and Confrontation Clause principles apply. Those principles include the right to confront in court the person who mailed the certificate.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette was granted intervenor status in the case. His motion to stay the precedential effect of the case and to enlarge the record on appeal was granted in a MSC order released Dec. 2.

For an analysis of the COA’s opinion in Nunley, see “Mailing certificate testimonial, state clerk must appear at trial,” which appeared in our Oct. 21 issue.

The Washtenaw County prosecutor’s application for leave to appeal remains pending.

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