Entries Categorized as 'Law: Cases/Statutes'

A Journey: From nursing to foster caring to parenting to individual adoptions to family

Date March 22, 2014

Senior Judge Bernard A. Friedman issued his decision after trial in DEBOER v SNYDER, Civil Action No. 12-CV-10285 (E.D. Mich. 2014). He determined that the Michigan Marriage Amendment, a 2004 voter-approved amendment to the Michigan Constitution prohibiting same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional.
The lengthy opinion summarizes the holding as follows (excerpt)[citations omitted]:
In attempting to [...]

Annulling a marriage because of “fraud”

Date September 28, 2011

FindLaw shows the traditional and the modern approaches to annulments based on allegations of fraud.
Joanna L. Grossman writes (excerpt):
In Part One of this series, I discussed the traditional approach to defining fraud as a ground for annulment, which requires that the misrepresentation relate to the “essentials of the marriage” – some aspect of marriage that [...]

To fault or to no-fault: That is the question

Date May 14, 2011

The New York Times covers the topic of divorce lawyers discovering evidence from social networking sites. Included is a comment about the role of fault in a no-fault divorce.
Nadine Brozan writes (excerpt):
“No-fault does not mean that fault is irrelevant,” said Kenneth P. Altshuler, a lawyer in Portland, Me., and the president-elect of the American [...]

Footnoting button pushing, wedding gifts, infidelity gene, Hell’s Angels, a finger, jackass, emails, “stupid person”

Date February 7, 2011

Ontario Superior Court Justice J.W. Quinn wrote some interesting footnotes to his decision in Bruni v. Bruni, 2010 ONSC 6568 (COURT FILE NO.: 384/07; November 29, 2010):
[2] At one point in the trial, I asked Catherine: “If you could push a [...]

Separating parenting and paying: In re Beck

Date December 21, 2010

The Michigan Supreme Court released its decision in Department of Human Servs v Beck (In re Beck), Case No 140842 (12/20/10). The Court determined that a parent whose rights were terminated continues to have a child support until a court modifies or terminates the obligation.
Justice Young writes (excerpt):
Because the Legislature has made a [...]

The social network enters the courtroom

Date September 30, 2010

Findlaw explains how your social networking postings may become subject to discovery in litigation.
Eric Sinrod writes (excerpt):
In the case of Romano v. Steelcase, a New York judge ruled that defendant Steelcase was entitled in discovery to access the plaintiff’s current and historical Facebook and MySpace pages and accounts, including previously deleted information, on the basis [...]

Putting a tracking device on a car: Beware

Date July 8, 2010

Any surveillance issue requires special caution and consideration before action is taken. There are a variety of federal and state laws that may be implicated by wiretapping, eavesdropping, and electronic monitoring, and each law has its own set of remedies, damages and sanctions in the event of violation.
Michigan’s laws now include a prohibition on [...]

How confidential are e-mails sent while at work?

Date December 22, 2009

ABAJournal.comreports on the privilege afforded to a federal prosecutor whose private e-mail to his own lawyer was sent from a government computer at work.
Martha Neil writes (excerpt):
Because he is allowed to use his work e-mail account for personal communications, assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel had a reasonable expectation of privacy in those personal communications, explains [...]

Just how temporary is the custody awarded to Michael Jackson’s mother?

Date July 3, 2009

The New York Times adds a little context to the looming custody issues following Michael Jackson’s death and the apparent change of heart by Debbie Rowe toward 12-year-old Michael Joseph Jackson Jr. and 11-year-old Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, 11. [An unidentified surrogate mother gave birth to 7-year-old Prince Michael Jackson II.]
Jonathan Glater and Liz Robbins [...]

What happens when a former spouse never changes his beneficiary designation

Date February 2, 2009

The United States Supreme Court’s decision in KENNEDY v. PLAN ADMINISTRATOR (January 26, 2009) confirms that ERISA plans must follow ERISA. In footnote 10, the Court revealed what would happen in Michigan: the Plan would pay the former spouse, and the Estate would sue to recover the payment (constructive trust).
Justice Souter delivered the opinion [...]

New Rule 502: Inadvertent disclosure of attorney-client privilege and work product materials

Date January 10, 2009

The Federal Rules of Evidence will see a new rule addressing the disclosure of attorney-client and work-product information. New Rule 502 helps in those case where there are tremendous efforts to review voluminous documents and where inadvertent disclosure often occur. There is no change in the substantive law of privileges.
AMENDMENT TO THE FEDERAL RULES OF [...]

Taxing child support recipients: Federal law leads to Michigan withholding $25

Date August 16, 2008

The Grand Rapids Press explains why custodial parents in Michigan will be paying the federal government $25 per year from the child support they receive.
Kyla King writes (excerpt):
“The Michigan legislators determined that it would be handled in this way,” she said.
The fee potentially affects about 240,000 cases of the state’s 700,000 cases, Stephen said.
About $16 [...]

COBRA coverage: keeping your health insurance after the divorce

Date August 13, 2008

COBRA [Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985] provides the right for certain employees and their dependents to purchase continuation health care insurance coverage through their employers. The act applies to employers with 20 or more employees, including certain federal employees and State and local governments. See ERISA, 29 USC §§ 1161-1168; IRC § [...]

Can your employer monitor your email?

Date May 9, 2008

The ABA Litigation News Online reveals a problem with using your employer-provided email address. Your email–even to your attorney–may not be private, confidential or protected.
Ruth E. Piller writes (excerpt):
Employees who believe their email communications with their attorneys are privileged may actually be waiving the attorney-client privilege each time they send or receive email via [...]

Seeking a name change after your divorce?

Date February 11, 2008

Name changes at the time of divorce are very simple in Michigan. An additional provision in the judgment of divorce is all it takes. It’s a little more involved when you decide to seek a name change years down the road.
Kent County’s website explains the procedure as follows:
Pre-Requisites
Applicant must be a resident [...]

Potpourri: Michigan divorces with minor children

Date February 7, 2008

The Michigan Court of Appeals is publishing Berger v. Berger (Case No. 279025; January 31, 2008). The court addressed a number of legal issues surrounding divorces with children:
10-day residency requirement of MCL 552.9(1)
We do not agree with defendant’s argument that MCL 552.9(1) requires plaintiff’s continuing physical presence in Jackson County for the 10 days [...]

Harassment in divorce case versus free speech under First Amendment

Date January 10, 2008

The New York Times reports on the Vermont divorce court handling Garrido v. Krasnansky. The court ordered the husband to stop posting blog items about his wife and their crumbled marriage, possibly turning an ordinary divorce into a much broader battle over free speech on the Internet.
Abby Goodnough writes (excerpt):
The husband, William Krasnansky, posted [...]

No modification of QDRO, hearing before modifying spousal suppport (alimony), and adoption subsidy is for the minor child

Date January 7, 2008

The Michigan Court of Appeals is publishing its decision in Thornton v. Thronton (January 3, 2008, Case No. 270931). The per curiam decision held (excerpt):
In this domestic relations action, plaintiff appeals by leave granted two orders signed by
the trial court on May 23, 2006. The first order reduced plaintiff’s award of spousal support and
the [...]

When same-sex couples divorce

Date January 2, 2008

The Washington Post describes how divorces of same-sex marriages challenge the legal framework for divorce, including issues related to jurisdiction and venue, child custody, parenting time, alimony (spousal support), property division, retirement and taxation.
Dafna Linzer writes (excerpt):
. . . Heterosexual couples claim a tax deduction for alimony payments, but that benefit is not available to [...]

Being in middle of “constant push and pull” between parents is worse than testifying against one parent?

Date December 6, 2007

The Michigan Court of Appeals is publishing Surman v Surman (Case No. 276615, 12/4/2007), which addresses children as witnesses (excerpt):
While courts should seek to avoid, trial court may call child to testify in court about his or her allegations of abuse during child custody proceeding divorcing parents from being pushed to the center of their [...]