Students to witness oral argument on rare 'certified' question

The Michigan Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Peter Deacon v Pandora Media, Inc. on Wednesday, April 27, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Jenison Center for the Arts in Ottawa County.  Attending the arguments as part of the “Court Community Connections” program will be Ottawa County judges along with more than 1,000 high school students and teachers.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has asked the Michigan Supreme Court to consider a certified question. At issue in the order is whether to grant the request to answer the certified question and whether Peter Deacon has stated a claim against Pandora for violation of the Michigan Video Rental Privacy Act by adequately alleging that Pandora is in the business of “renting” or “lending” sound recordings, and that he is a “customer” of Pandora, because he “rents” or “borrows” sound recordings from Pandora.

Participating students are from Allendale, Black River, Coopersville, Grand Haven, Holland, Hudsonville, Jenison, Spring Lake, Unity Christian, West Ottawa, Zeeland East, and Zeeland West. A debriefing session with attorneys will follow oral argument.

Seating will be available beginning at noon in the following courthouses to watch the proceedings via live stream: Grand Haven – 20th Circuit Court, 414 Washington Avenue, Courtroom 3B; Holland – 58th District Court, 85 West 8th Street, Courtroom B; Hudsonville – 58th District Court, 3100 Port Sheldon Road, Courtroom A; West Olive – 20th Circuit Court, Family Division, 12120 Fillmore Street, Courtroom C.

While the Supreme Court normally hears oral argument at the Michigan Hall of Justice in Lansing, Supreme Court justices and staff travel to various communities as part of “Court Community Connections,” which the Supreme Court started in 2007 as a public education program aimed principally at high school students. The goal is to help students understand the appellate courts and Michigan’s judicial system.