Kilpatrick lawyer applies for leave at MSC

Farmington Hills-based lawyer Daniel Hajji has applied for leave at the Michigan Supreme Court, hoping the court will hear arguments in the case surrounding his client Kwame Kilpatrick’s book proceeds.

Hajji applied for leave Tuesday. He argues that Michigan law that precludes Kilpatrick from making money from the publication of his book, “Surrendered | The Rise, Fall & Revelation of Kwame Kilpatrick,” is unconstitutional.

The book is selling for $26.95. Wayne County Circuit Court Judge David Groner ruled that any proceeds must be applied toward Kilpatrick’s restitution to the city. He still owed some $860,000.

In his Michigan Court of Appeals brief, Hajji wrote that the state’s “Son of Sam” law “must fail constitutional scrutiny, as all such similar statutes have, because the statute is overinclusive, the statute is neither necessary nor narrowly tailored to further compelling state interest, the statute creates a financial disincentive to create or publish works of speech based on its content, and such financial disincentive acts as a prior restraint on speech itself.”

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s brief in Michigan Court of Appeals says that The William Van Regenmorter Crime Victim’s Rights Act (Act 87 or 1985), at MCL 780.768 provides that a person convicted of a crime cannot profit from memorabilia or works that convey the convicted’s thoughts or feeling about the offense until restitution is paid.

In August, the Michigan Court of Appeals denied leave for lack of merit on the grounds presented.

Hajji appeals to the Michigan Supreme Court, which may consider after Nov. 1 to hear the case.