Monday, June 17, 2019

Federal Judge Orders Michigan to change their Sex Offender Registry Act

Maybe NOW Michigan will listen and change their draconian SORA law:
May 24, 2019

A U.S. district court judge has given Michigan lawmakers 90 days to amend the state's sex offender registry act, citing the almost three years after it was first ruled unconstitutional by a federal appeals court (6th Circuit).

Read about it here: 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

MI 2019 License plate sticker color is ORANGE

In my continuing series, You and the LAW, I offer the following for the new year.

Right now anyone with a Yellow sticker on their MI license plate is outdated/expired. For 2019 expirations, the color is Orange. Note that if you had a Dec 2018 expiration and you did purchase the new sticker, you have 30 days to install that sticker on your license plate.

However, why go through the hassle of a traffic stop because you were still displaying an expired Yellow sticker?



Sunday, August 19, 2018

New MI laws concerning vehicles and cyclists

In my "you and the law" series, I offer the following update on a fairly new set of Michigan laws that are widely unknown to the general public. They concern cyclists and vehicles.

Governor Snyder signed HB 4198, 4265, and 4185 into law on June 29, 2018. The bills are now Public Acts 277, 279, and 280 of 2018. PA 279 and 280 require motorists to give three feet of space as they pass bicyclists on the roadways.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Can a woman inherit from her husband if they hadn't lived together for 30 years?

Our Michigan Supreme Court listened to oral arguments this last week for a Saginaw woman who is claiming her deceased husbands estate, even though they lived apart for 30 years.

You can find the article here:'t-live-with-late-husband-seeks-inheritance

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Ding Dong the witch is dead, the wicked witch...

Governor Snyder signs bills to end driver responsibility fees, effective on Oct. 1, 2018
This last week, Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation that ends the dreaded driver responsibility fees and wipes out $637 million in debt owed by nearly 350,000 drivers.  These fees have been attributed by numerous judges throughout the state as "creating a new class of criminals" for those that can't pay them.

Those Driver responsibility fees, ranging from $100 to $2,000, were passed in 2003 to create revenue for the state of Michigan. The fees were charged on top of tickets issued to drivers for everything from multiple speeding tickets, driving with a suspended license, to drunk driving.

Here are the specifics: 
No new driver responsibility fees will be issued and any outstanding debt will be wiped out beginning Oct. 1, 2018.
Drivers who have a CURRENT installment payment plan to pay off their driver responsibility fees and are current with those payments can have their remaining debt wiped out immediately and apply to have their licenses reinstated.
Drivers who aren't on payment plans, or aren't current, can get their licenses reinstated after Oct. 1 and will have the $125 reinstatement fee waived if they apply before Dec. 31, 2018.
If a driver's license has been suspended for four or more years, the driver must successfully complete a written test at the Secretary of State's office and a road skills driving test that is administered by a third party and costs roughly $50.  It is (and will be) a requirement to show pieces of identification revealing the driver has a Social Security number and is a resident of Michigan.
Any other driving fees, such as failure to appear in court on a traffic violation or driving on a suspended license, must be paid before a license can be reinstated.
The Secretary of State has a help line,  888-767-6424, and provides information on the state's website,  The Treasury Department has a help line @517-636-5240 to help drivers learn about the driver responsibility fee changes.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Update: Michigan's Sex Offender Registry opinion out of the Michigan Supreme Court

Earlier this month, the Michigan Supreme Court opinion came out on the case of People v. Temelkoski.  That case was supposed to address the constitutionality of Michigan's Sex Offender Registry and how changes to that registry over the years were applied RETROACTIVELY to persons already serving out or have served out their criminal sentences. 

We had hoped that the court would have opined that increased requirements levied by changes to the law were in fact "punishment" and not just a "civil disability"  (note:  The Federal 6th circuit court of appeals ruled last year that the changes to the law were in fact punishment).  If our court had determined that the increased requirements were punishment, those requirements, if levied on current SORA registrants, would be declared unconstitutional under the EX-POST FACTO clause of our US and Michigan Constitutions.

Unfortunately, the court issued a very narrow opinion, focused only on whether Temelkoski should be required to register under SORA because he was sentenced under a "deferral" program known as HYTA.  The court provided that Temelkoski should have been protected under HYTA and not required to register under SORA.

The court did NOT address whether SORA requirements were punishment or just a civil disability, and in fact referred to SORA as being a civil disability.  After I listened again to the oral arguments from last fall, I believe that the Mich Supreme Court will probably NOT issue an order that addresses whether SORA is a “civil disability” or a “criminal punishment", and the current SORA will remain in Michigan until another case or cases challenges the Michigan law.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Update: Michigan Supreme Court and the Sex Offender Registry Act

UPDATE on the Constitutionality of Michigan's Sex Offender Registry Act as of December, 2017.

The Michigan Supreme court heard the 2nd set of oral arguments in People v Boban Temelkoski on October 11, 2017.  As of this update, the court has not tendered its decision.

You can read all about the parties and their positions here:

Perhaps the biggest unknown, and the most significant impact, may be on the current Tier 3 offenders, who where put on the registry, under a "listed offense" prior to the 2011 amendment.  Prior to that amendment, they were required to register for 25yrs. After the amendment, all old and new offenders were put into tiers, and Tier 3s were required to register for life.  If the Michigan Supreme Court determines that part of the amendment as unconstitutional, it may revert those Tier 3 offenders, who were already registered prior to the 2011 amendment, back to their old registration requirements (25 years vs. Life registration).