U.S. Supreme Court Limits the Use of Drug-Sniffing Dogs in Win For Fourth Amendment Rights

In the case of Florida v. Jardines, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the government’s use of a drug-sniffing dog to investigate the home and surrounding area is an unconstitutional  “search” under the Fourth Amendment in a win for privacy rights. In 2006, two detectives brought a drug-sniffing dog to the front porch of Florida resident Jardines. The dog sniffed around the front porch of the home and then sat down near the base of the front door, […]

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Michigan Criminal Trespass Laws

Trespassing is entry onto another person’s land without permission.  Michigan state law forbids trespassing and contains provisions for trespassing in specific situations. Townships and cities generally have ordinances prohibiting trespassing that are not listed here. In addition to fighting the trespass charge, there are several options to keep a trespass conviction off your permanent record, such as deferred sentencing or Holmes Youthful Trainee status.                             […]

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The Sixth Circuit Rules That Mortgage Foreclosure is Debt Collection Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

In Glazer v. Chase Home Finance, LLC et al., Glazer sought to include mortgage foreclosure as a debt collection under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it was. The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from taking certain actions against debtors. The Act is designed to protect consumers from unfair or deceptive debt collection practices and to protect debt collectors from competition that employs unfair practices. The majority view among the federal […]

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The Washtenaw County Circuit Court Rules That City Zoning laws Are Not Preempted By The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act

In the first court challenge to a city’s ability to enforce zoning laws concerning medical marijuana activity, the Washtenaw County Circuit Court held that the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act does not preempt city zoning ordinances. Previous challenges to city zoning laws regarding the MMMA, such as in Ter Beek v. City of Wyoming, were based on a city’s attempt to ban medical marijuana activity because federal law makes such activity illegal. Last year, an Ypsilanti Township couple was […]

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How to Challenge a Speeding Ticket

There are many potential driving-related civil infractions in Michigan that drivers can receive. For many people, their only contact with the justice system will be a traffic-related citation. One of the most common infractions is a speeding ticket. Upon receiving a speeding ticket the driver has several options. The driver may simply admit responsibility and pay the fine. Or the driver may admit responsibility with the goal of mitigating the consequences of the civil infraction. Lastly, the driver […]

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The Ingham County Circuit Court Rules in Favor of Unemployment Benefits for Medical Marijuana Patients

The Ingham County Circuit in Kemp v. Hayes Green Beach Hospital ruled that marijuana use in accordance with the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act does not disqualify qualifying patients under the MMMA from unemployment benefits. Plaintiff Kemp was a technician at the Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital. She is a qualifying patient under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, using marijuana to treat lupus and neuropathy. In may 2011, a patient made several complaints against Kemp, including failure to use […]

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ICE Releases Thousands of Immigrants Held in Detention

Due to automatic spending cuts to take effect on Friday, the federal agency Immigration and Customs Enforcement has released 2,228 of illegal immigrants held in detention centers throughout the country. Detainees were released from centers located in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, New Jersey, and New York. Officials claimed the high cost of detaining immigrants was impractical in the face of spending cuts to the agency. The cost of detaining an individual for one day is between $122 […]

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House Bill To Be Introduced That Would Make Commercial Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Legal

House Bill 4271, to be introduced into the Judiciary Committee, seeks to legitimize and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries. The bill follows the Michigan Supreme Court ruling in People v. McQueen, which essentially made the operation of a commercial dispensary impossible under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. The bill envisions legal dispensaries, which it refers to as “medical marihuana provisioning centers,” as wells as establishments called safety compliance facilities, where marijuana would be tested for safety. The centers would be […]

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What is a Killebrew Agreement?

A Killebrew agreement is plea bargain in which the prosecutor promises the defendant will receive a particular sentence. Plea bargains area  common part of criminal law. A plea bargain is where a person admits guilt in exchange for a benefit in return. Common plea bargains may involve a guilty plea in exchange for a dismissal of a charge, or a reduction of the charges. Plea bargaining speeds up the disposition of cases, especially where there are no disputed factual […]

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The Court of Appeals Discusses Noncitizen’s Eligibility for Parole from Prison

In Chico-Polo v. Department of Corrections, Chico-Polo was convicted of delivery/manufacture of a controlled substance greater than 650 grams and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He filed for relief in trial court to compel the defendant, the Department of Corrections, to parole and release him to the custody of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). MCL 791.234b provides that the parole board shall place a prisoner (who meets certain criteria) on parole and release that prisoner to […]

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