Daily Briefs

36th District Court provides update on moratorium on evictions

On March 13, 2020, the 36th District Court issued a moratorium on evictions. On March 24, 2020, the court expanded the moratorium to include areas outlined in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-19 (Executive Order), which was issued on March 20, 2020.

In recent days, the court has received questions that suggest there is confusion on whether a tenant’s obligation to pay rent was eliminated or suspended by the governor’s Executive Order.

To be clear, a tenant’s obligation to pay rent remains unchanged. Tenants are still obligated to pay rent under a lease. A landlord may not, however, physically deliver a demand for payment of rent during this time.

The temporary suspension of evictions will continue until April 17, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.


Michigan’s top court looks at small town speeding dispute

SARANAC, Mich. (AP) — The state’s highest court is taking a look at a speed limit dispute in a small town in western Michigan.

The Supreme Court said it will hear arguments in the months ahead in the case of Anthony Owen, who was accused of drunken driving in Saranac in Ionia County.

A sheriff’s deputy said the stop was justified because Owen was speeding in a 25 mph zone. But Owen’s lawyer argued that the speed limit actually was 55 mph by default because there was no sign on Parsonage Road.

The Michigan appeals court in 2019 ruled in favor of Owen and threw out evidence of drunken driving, saying a “reasonably competent” officer should have known that Owen couldn’t be stopped for speeding.

But the Supreme Court last week said it’s wondering if the officer simply “made an objectively reasonable mistake of law.”

The court wants lawyers to look at a 2014 U.S. Supreme Court case involving cocaine and a traffic stop in North Carolina. The justices said the stop was lawful because the officer’s mistake about that state’s brake lights law was rational.


Appeals court rules law favors fired Wayne State custodian

DETROIT (AP) — Wayne State University is not immune to a Michigan law that grants job protections to veterans, a federal appeals court said.

The court affirmed a decision that requires Wayne State to rehire Charles Rudolph, a custodian who was accused of missing assignments and fired in 2015.

Rudolph, a U.S. Army veteran, sued the university, saying he was entitled to a hearing under a law that gives protections to veterans who work for public employers. An arbitrator agreed that Rudolph’s rights were violated and said he should be reinstated.

U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow signed the order.

Wayne State argued that it’s not covered by the veterans law because the Michigan Constitution gives it authority to manage its affairs. But the appeals court said that position doesn’t mesh with previous legal rulings.


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