tuesday, may 09, 2023



Memorandums and Resources Michigan Judicial Council Seeking Public Comments (4/27/2023)

     The Michigan Judicial Council encourages members of the public to share comments at its meeting on Thursday, May 11, about its Strategic Agenda, Operational Plan, and 2022 Annual Report.

Interactive Court Data Dashboard Launched (4/24/2023)

     In an effort to boost transparency, the Michigan Supreme Court has launched the Interactive Court Data Dashboard. The data provided in this user-friendly interface was formerly only available in a static format (separate PDF files for each county).

One Court of Justice Website

     ? Video Tutorial: Navigating Popular Resources for Judges and Court Staff

     ? MJI Benchbooks

     ? Quick Reference Resources

Michigan Judicial Institute (MJI)

     ? MJI Impact summarizes recent court communications, court rules, legislation, and upcoming training events.

     ? Subscribe to MJI Impact below: https://www.courts.michigan.gov/administration/offices/michigan-judicialinstitute/subscribe-to-impact/

Interstate Commission for Juveniles

     ? ICJ forms, ICJ Bench Book, and other ICJ resources 

Enacted Legislation

No juvenile or probate enacted legislation for April.

Pending Legislation

Juvenile: HB 4436 - Juvenile's Self-Incriminating Responses Statute Cite: MCL 712A.1 and adds MCL 712A.17e Tie Bar With: None Status: 04/19/2023 – Introduced and Referred to Comte on Criminal Justice What it does: This bill would modify presumption of admissibility for a juvenile’s self-incriminating responses obtained through deceptive police practices.


Probate: SB 0253 – Probate: guardians and conservators Statute Cite: MCL 700.5106 et seq. Tie Bar With: none Status: 04/11/2023 – Introduced and referred to committee on Civil Rights, Judiciary, and Public Safety What it does: amends guardianship and conservator duties. SCAO MONTHLY JUVENILE AND PROBATE UPDATE APRIL 2023 2 | P a g e

SB 0254 – Probate: guardians and conservators Statute Cite: Amends secs. 5104, 5106, 5303, 5304, 5305, 5306, 5306a, 5310, 5312, 5313, 5314, 5406, 5409, 5414, 5415, 5416, 5417 & 5418 (MCL 700.5104 et seq.) & adds secs. 5106a, 5312a, 5314a, 5314b & 5314c. Tie Bar With: None Status: 04/11/2023 – Introduced and referred to committee on Civil Rights, Judiciary, and Public Safety What it does: Modifies guardian and conservator duties and the requirements to be appointed as guardian or conservator.

SB 0255 – Probate; guardians and conservators Statute Cite: Amends secs. 5106, 5310, 5313 & 5409 of MCL 700.5106 et seq. Tie Bar With: None Status: 04/11/2023 – Introduced and referred to committee on Civil Rights, Judiciary, and Public Safety What it does: Revises requirements to be appointed as guardian or conservator.

SB 0256 – Guardians and conservators Statute Cite: MCL 700.5106 Tie Bar With: None Status: 04/11/2023 – Introduced and referred to committee on Civil Rights, Judiciary, and Public Safety What it does: Prohibits the appointment of an individual who was removed as county public administrator.

SB 0258 – Probate; guardians and conservators Statute Cite: Amends secs. 5104, 5106, 5303, 5304, 5305, 5306, 5306a, 5310, 5312, 5313, 5314, 5406, 5409, 5414, 5415, 5416, 5417 & 5418 of MCL 700.5104 et. seq. & adds secs. 5106a, 5312a, 5314a, 5314b & 5314c. Tie Bar With: None Status: 04/11/2023 – Introduced and referred to committee on Civil Rights, Judiciary, and Public Safety What it does: Amends duties of guardians, conservators, and guardian ad litem. Revises requirements to be appointed as guardian or conservator.

HB 4416 -Probate; guardians and conservators Statute Cite: Amends secs. 1106, 1210, 2519, 2806, 3605, 3916, 3917, 3918, 3959, 3981, 3982, 3983, 5102, 5301, 5303, 5304, 5305, 5306a, 5310, 5311, 5313, 5314, 5507, 7103, 7105, 7110, 7302, 7402, 7506, 7604 & 7820a of MCL 700.1106 et seq.; adds secs. 1215, 1216, 5301c, 7408, 7409 & 7409a & repeals secs. 2722 & 7104 of MCL 700.2722 & 700.7104. Tie Bar With: None Status: 04/13/2023 – Introduced and referred to committee on Judiciary. What it does: General amendments to the estates and protected individuals code


Adopted Court Rules/Administrative Orders

Amendments of Rules 1.109, 1.201, 2.622, 3.002, 3.218, 3.616, 3.903, 3.914, 3.921, 3.928, 3.946, 3.953, 3.956, 3.963, 3.965, 3.972, 3.979, 5.404, 6.006, 6.450, 6.903, 6.931, 6.933, 6.935, 6.937, 7.105, 7.202, 7.305, 8.103, 8.105, and 8.119 of the Michigan Court Rules and Rule 5 and Rule 8 of the Rules for the Board of Law Examiners ADM File No. 2022-28 Issued: 05/03/2023 Effective: Immediately What it does: These amendments update cross-references and make other nonsubstantive revisions to clarify the rules.



Tentative List of Changes for June (4/06/2023)

Explanation of Changes – Creation of Reinstatement Forms (4/06/2023)

Explanation of Changes to Various Mental Health Forms (4/18/202


Upcoming Trainings

MJI Training Opportunities -Proper Procedures for Referring Domestic Relations Cases to the Community Dispute Centers by Friend of the Court Offices

     May 25, 2023 9am-10am Virtual Webinar

     This training will focus on issues related to friends of the court referring cases to the community dispute resolution centers. Topics will include but are not limited to types of disputes that can be referred, domestic violence screening, enforceable provisions, and converting agreements into court orders.

International Case Processing

     June 22, 2023 9:am-10am Virtual Webinar

     Take a trip around the world and learn about international case processing. We will discuss how to process incoming and outgoing requests from other countries – The Hague, federal and state reciprocating countries, and countries where we have comity.


     Child Welfare Services Training and Development Opportunities

     This link provides access to current training and development opportunities offered by CWS.

Child Welfare Services Recorded Webinars

     This link provides access to previously recorded webinars.

Advanced Petition Writing:

    Telling Your Experience July 11, 2023 11am – 1pm Virtual Webinar

     This training will provide the basic requirements for a petition including jurisdictional requirements and providing adequate notice to the parties. However, it will also include advice from experience as to what makes an effective, persuasive petition. With 30 years of experience drafting, filing and litigating complaints and petitions, the presenter expects to assist the trainees in improving their abilities and outcomes. Some training can also be provided regarding providing testimony at hearings in support of the petition. Overall, the presentation is intended to improve advocacy in child welfare cases across the State of Michigan. Intended Audience: This training is intended for all child welfare professionals including jurists, court staff, prosecutors, attorneys, Lawyer-Guardians Ad Litem, CPS and foster care workers, tribes, private agencies, law enforcement, medical professionals, mental health providers, education professionals, and foster care review board members.

Juvenile Justice Vision 20/20 Spring Training Event

Navigating the Juvenile Justice Landscape: Youth Hate Crimes, Identity-Based Bullying, and Gangs

June 15, 2023 (full day) June 16, 2023 (half day)

Location: Grand Valley State University, Pew Campus, Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium

A LOW COST, in-person conference that will examine these timely and critical topics relating to juvenile justice! Learn from national and state subject matter experts; share in the discussions; and explore strategies to prevent, identify, and act to improve the landscape for the sake of juvenile justice–involved youth, families, and communities.


National Center for State Courts (NCSC) Webinars

Family-Centered Fridays - Improving Access to Justice with Plain Language

May 19, 2023 2pm-3pm

In the third installment of the Family-Centered Fridays Series, Senior Court Management Consultant Lonni Summers will lead a discussion on NCSC’s Plain Language Glossary, a tool that presents plain language alternatives to legal terms that are not understandable to most people. In this session, Summers will explain the philosophy behind the Glossary and highlight how this tool can assist courts working to promote access to justice for families. Attendees will have a hands-on opportunity to use the glossary, suggest new terms and share real-world examples.


Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Training Opportunities

     Michigan Juvenile Justice Assessment System (MJJAS) FY23 Training Schedule

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Division of Juvenile Justice (JJ) is pleased to announce Michigan Juvenile Justice Assessment System (MJJAS) risk assessment certification training. The MJJAS is provided to MDHHS through a contractual agreement with the University of Cincinnati Research SCAO MONTHLY JUVENILE AND PROBATE UPDATE APRIL 2023 5 | P a g e Institute and is also known as the Ohio Youth Assessment System© (OYAS) with funding provide through the Mental Health Diversion Council Juvenile Justice Subcommittee.

The MJJAS (a.k.a: OYAS) is a structured risk assessment tool that identifies the likelihood of a youth engaging in future criminal behavior and informs appropriate risk classification. The MJJAS assessments can be re-administered over time to determine changes in risk level based upon changes in behavioral profile or life situation. The MJJAS can be used at five different decision points for a youth: diversion, detention, disposition, juvenile justice residential placement, and reentry to the community from residential placement. In addition to risk assessment, results from the disposition, residential and reentry tools are assistive for case planning, and for identification of residential and re-entry service needs.

Each training session will consist of two full days. Training hours for each day will be 9:00 am - 4:00 pm with a lunch break. Registration closes a minimum of 15 days prior to the start of training. Training dates are as follows:

• July 12-13, 2023 – Virtual • August 2-3, 2023 – Virtual • October 18-19, 2023 – Virtual • December 13-14, 2023 – Virtual

There is no registration fee for this training. JJ specialists and supervisors, and public and private residential treatment staff and supervisors working with juvenile justice youth under the care and supervision of MDHHS will be given priority to register for this training. Registration for others is on a firstcome, first-served basis. Participants that fail to attend, arrive late, depart early, or attend only portions of the training will not be eligible to receive certification to administer the MJJAS. Virtual classes will close approximately two weeks prior to registration or sooner if class size is reached.

Registration for MJJAS classes should be completed using the MDHHS Learning Management System (LMS). If you do not have access to the LMS, you may contact MDHHS-MJJAS@michigan.gov for information on how to register. Those with access to MiSACWIS should have MDHHS LMS access and should follow the listed steps in LMS to register for the training. If you encounter problems or need assistance registering for training, contact the LMS helpdesk at MDHHStraining@michigan.gov. If you need to cancel after you have been confirmed to attend the training, please contact MDHHS-MJJAS@michigan.gov.

Interstate Commission for Juveniles

ICJ On-Demand Training Site

ICJ’s On-Demand training modules provide 24/7 access to a variety of information related to the compact rules and processes.

     • If you are seeking training or have any ICJ related questions or concerns, please contact the Michigan ICJ office at MDHHS-MI-ICJ@michigan.gov for assistance.


     National Center for State Courts (NCSC) Webinars

The link above provides access to current webinars and recorded webinars offered by NCSC.



Juvenile Cases:

Truancy - Right to Counsel and Self-Representation (In re EE – April 13, 2023) “Children prosecuted for truancy have a right to counsel conferred by [MCL 712A.17c] and [MCR 3.915(A)],” and “may also waive their right to counsel.” In re EE, ___ Mich App ___, ___ (2023). “But before accepting a waiver of counsel, a judge must find that the child unequivocally selected selfrepresentation,” and “must also determine that the child’s unequivocal decision to proceed pro se was made knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily.” Id. at ___. Further, a court must “appoint an attorney for a juvenile in a delinquency proceeding if the court determines that the best interests of the juvenile or the public require appointment.” Id. at ___ (quotation marks omitted). In this case, “the trial court ruled that the minor respondents waived their right to counsel despite that they never requested self-representation.” Id. at ___. “The court exacerbated this error by neglecting to inquire regarding the children’s understanding of their right to counsel, the ramifications of its waiver, or the risks of self-representation.” Id. at ___. “The court’s failure to consider the children’s best interests compounded its other errors,” and “[g]iven the pitfalls of selfrepresentation even for adults, the circumstances under which self-representation will serve a child’s best interests are likely to be extremely rare.” Id. at ___. In sum, “[t]he court’s improper waiver finding and its failure to determine the children’s capacity and capability to represent themselves deprived [them] of their right to counsel.” Id. at ___.

Michigan Adoption Code (MAC) - Termination of Parental Rights (In re BWJ, Minor – March 30, 2023)

Under the MAC, “if a child is born out of wedlock and the release or consent of the biological father cannot be obtained, the child shall not be placed for adoption until the parental rights of the father are terminated by the court[.]” In re BWJ, ___ Mich App ___, ___ (2023). “If the father is putative, the court must determine his rights pursuant to MCL 710.39”—“if subsection (2) does not apply, and if the putative father requests custody of the child at the hearing on a petition, the trial court shall proceed under subsection (1) to determine the fitness of the putative father and his ability to properly care for the child, and whether the child’s best interests are served by granting the putative father custody.” BWJ, ___ Mich App at ___ (quotation marks and citation omitted). In this case, the minor child was born out of wedlock as a result of a brief relationship between respondent and the child’s mother. Id. at ___. Respondent “requested custody of the child and attested that he was the child’s biological father,” but testified “that he did not have an established custodial relationship with the child.” Id. at ___. Moreover, “[t]he requirements specified in MCL 710.39(2) . . . plainly do not permit a trial court to proceed under subsection (2), no matter how many or sincere [respondent’s] failed attempts [at establishing a custodial environment] were.” BWJ, ___ Mich App at ___ . Because the “evidence established that MCL 710.39(2) did not apply in this case, . . . the trial court was required to proceed under MCL 710.39(1) to inquire as to respondent’s fitness and ability to properly care for the child, and determine if granting custody to respondent served the child’s best interests.” BWJ, ___ Mich App at ___. While the trial court considered respondent’s fitness and ability to properly care for the child, it “did not cite, quote, or reference the statutory best-interest factors set forth in MCL 710.22(g) which are required for consideration in determining whether granting a putative father custody or terminating his parental rights serves the child’s best interests.” BWJ, ___ Mich App at ___. Accordingly, the trial court’s “lack of best-interest factor analysis and inadequate explanation on the record cannot support its ultimate decision to terminate respondent’s parental rights to the child.” Id. at ___.

Paternity Act - Proper Parties (Black v Cook – March 23, 2023)

“[A] proper action to determine paternity should be brought under and governed by the provisions of the Paternity Act.” Black v Cook, ___ Mich App ___, ___ (2023) (quotation marks and citation omitted). “This case involves a plaintiff who seeks to establish that he is the father of a minor child born out of wedlock, where the child’s mother is now deceased.” Id. at ___. “In the trial court, plaintiff sought to prove he was the biological father of [the decedent’s] child by filing an action under the Paternity Act,” and “[i]n the suit, plaintiff named the decedent . . . and the guardians of the minor child as defendants.” Id. at ___. “The trial court concluded that because [the child’s mother] was deceased, she was not a proper party defendant, that the guardians could not be defendants in a paternity action, and that the circuit court was not the correct forum to bring this action.” Id. at ___. However, “[u]nder the Paternity Act, the Legislature vested the circuit court with the power to determine the paternity of a child born out of wedlock”; “[a]ccordingly, the circuit court had subject-matter jurisdiction over this paternity action and the circuit court was the proper forum in which to file an action under the Paternity Act.” Id. at ___. And while “no provision of the Paternity Act states or implies that a deceased mother may be sued in an action brought under the Paternity Act,” and “[t]he Paternity Act does not address . . . whether a guardian may properly be named as a defendant in an action under the Paternity Act,” “[t]here does not appear to be any law precluding a plaintiff in a Paternity Act case from bringing an action against a minor child to determine the paternity of a putative father to such child.” Id. at ___. Accordingly, the trial court erred in dismissing “the case in its entirety because it should have permitted plaintiff an opportunity to add an appropriate defendant so that plaintiff may proceed with the determination of plaintiff’s paternity of the minor child.” Id. at ___.

Probate Cases: None


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