Category Archives: Courts

Democrats renew calls for legislative hearings on Flint water crisis

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Democrats in the state Legislature say lawmakers should get an opportunity to question people under oath about the Flint water crisis.

They’ve introduced a resolution that would give a state Senate panel subpoena power to investigate the situation. They say lawmakers have a duty to exercise their oversight powers to hold public officials accountable.


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Juvenile lifers reflect on what Supreme Court decision means for their future

DSC_0284With its ruling the Supreme court has determined that minors given life sentences before 2012 can now seek a review of their cases and make a bid for early release.

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Case dropped against man charged under controversial state crime lab THC policy

Max Lorincz and his wife Erica Chittenden. Photo by Rick Pluta

Max Lorincz and his wife Erica Chittenden. Photo by Rick Pluta

A judge has dismissed the case against a man who was charged under the State Police crime lab’s controversial THC policy.

The policy makes it harder for lab technicians to report that samples containing THC come from marijuana plants – and aren’t made artificially in a lab. Possession of synthetic THC carries tougher penalties than possession of plant-based marijuana products. Continue reading

Bangor Township joins Bay City in restricting panhandling

Michigan’s 85 year old blanket ban on panhandling, was overturned in 2013.panhaldning

Solicitation is protected under the first amendment, but cities are allowed to restrict it. That’s exactly what some Michigan communities are doing. Continue reading

Old-order Amish communities consider change

IMG_7402Residents and representatives in the Clare Gladwin county are trying to find the right balance between religious freedom and personal safety after a series of Amish buggy collisions culminated in a death this past December.

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Scientists blast State Police crime lab THC policy as man fights to get son back

Max Lorincz and his wife Erica Chittenden outside their home in Spring Lake in Ottawa County. The couple has been fighting to be reunited with their son Dante since Max was charged with possessing synthetic THC – a charge some forensic scientists say is absurd. Photo by Rick Pluta

Max Lorincz and his wife Erica Chittenden outside their home in Spring Lake in Ottawa County. The couple has been fighting to be reunited with their son Dante since Max was charged with possessing synthetic THC – a charge some forensic scientists say is absurd. Photo by Rick Pluta

Maxwell Lorincz lives in Spring Lake near Lake Michigan with his wife and their six-year-old son. At least, they did live with their son, until a year and a half ago.

They lost custody of him after Lorincz was charged with a felony for possessing synthetic THC. He’s a card-carrying medical marijuana patient. But that hasn’t helped in his fight to get his son back.

So for now, the family gets unsupervised visits for a few hours every week. Continue reading

Bill would give inmates a chance at another trial

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A bill headed to Governor Snyder’s desk would give people who are wrongfully imprisoned a chance at another trial.

The bill would remove a deadline currently in place over requests for retrial. If the bill is signed, it would also lift the deadline on requests for additional DNA testing. Continue reading

MI Supreme Court to consider church-state separation case

gavelThe Michigan Supreme Court will decide whether courts may step into resolve a dispute between dueling factions of a Baptist congregation without violating the separation of church and state.

The court agreed today to decide whether it will take the case or allow a lower court decision to stand.
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“Revenge porn” charges against a man in Charlevoix County have been dropped

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A first of it’s kind “revenge porn” case in Charlevoix County was dismissed this week.

The charges were filed against 25-year old Andrew Roche. He admitted to not only posting intimate pictures of an ex-girlfriend, he also included her name, phone number and address.
for posting intimate photos of his ex-girlfriend online. Continue reading

Michigan to receive payout from drug company lawsuit

The Pharmaceutical company Navartis has agreed to payouts to 40 states accross the US totaling $390M.

The Pharmaceutical company Navartis has agreed to payouts to 40 states accross the US totaling $390M.

Michigan will be receiving a total of five-point-four-million dollars from a pharmaceutical company as part of a nationwide settlement resolving allegations of bribery. Continue reading

Isabella County court celebrated the gift of a family on Tuesday

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As we head into the holiday season, November is national adoption month. In this time of giving adoption agencies are hoping families will give children the gift of a chance.

One court was taking the season to heart, and celebrating Michigan Adoption Day.

The Isabella County Trial Court finalized two adoptions in honor of Michigan Adoption Day on Tuesday, November 24. Continue reading

Waters of the United States rule faces copious amounts of scrutiny

Logo of the EPA

Logo of the EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency’s recent Waters of the United States rule, or WOTUS, is facing heavy scrutiny from around the country.

WOTUS is intended to clarify which water bodies are protected by the Clean Water Act. Instead it’s prompted a heated debate.
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DeBoer-Rowse complete family adoptions

gavelThe final step in the legal journey for April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse took place today (Thu.) in an Oakland County courtroom, where they finalized adoptions for their children. DeBoer and Rowse are the couple who successfully challenged Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban.
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Man found guilty of 1996 murder after wrongful conviction of another man

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A wrong was righted October 21st in Kalkaska County – at least from the legal perspective.

After one man spent 17-years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, officials said the real killer was convicted. Continue reading

Sixth Circuit: Simply showing jury wasn’t diverse not enough to reverse conviction

shutterstock_justice_300The Sixth Circuit US Court of Appeals says a defendant has to prove a racially diverse jury would be likely to reach a different conclusion if he wants his armed robbery conviction reversed.
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