Michigan Upholds Prosecutors’ Duty to Investigate Crimes

Prosecutors Must Provide Exculpatory Evidence to DefendantsThis may come as a surprise, but in criminal cases, prosecuting attorneys are required to investigate the possibility that defendants are innocent. They have a constitutional duty to turn over evidence tending to prove a defendant’s innocence even when that information was known to some other government entity, like the police. For a long time that duty required the information to be otherwise unavailable, but not anymore. (more…)

Cities Can’t Ban Michigan Medical Marijuana Use

City Ordinances Can't Prohibit Medical Marijuana UseThe Michigan Supreme Court has ruled that local governments cannot penalize what the state has protected under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. The case could have a broad impact across the state and could allow qualified patients to gain more protection under the statute. (more…)

Court Tells Spouse She Must Testify

Can the prosecutor make you testify in court?It used to be very hard for prosecutors to get one spouse to testify against the other in criminal proceedings. Over time changes to the law have made it easier. Now a recent Court of Appeals decision has swung the gate wide open, at least in certain kinds of cases. (more…)

Michigan Supreme Court to Decide Grandparents’ Rights

Can Grandparents get visitation if the Parent's rights have been terminated?Michigan’s highest court is scheduled to hear the appeal of an opinion that shocked many family lawyers in the state. The question the state Supreme Court will decide is whether grandparents have visitation rights only through their children (the parents), or whether there is an independent right for grandmas and grandpas to spend time with their grandchildren. (more…)

My Divorce Is All His (or Her) Fault!

Does fault matter in a divorce?

“Couple In Love Having Break Up” by smarnad on freedigitalphotos.net

You may have heard that Michigan has “no-fault divorce” laws. But does that mean that what he (or she) did to break up the marriage doesn’t matter? Shouldn’t your good efforts count for something? (more…)

12 Days of Christmas Parenting Time

ID-100213191The holiday season can be a stressful period for anyone, but when you add to it a contentious custody situation, the result can be a very blue Christmas for you and your children. By the 12th day of Christmas, your experience may be: (more…)

What the Ferndale Marijuana Ordinance Does and Doesn’t Change

file6311270526402On November 5, 2013, 69% of Ferndale residents approved an ordinance that decriminalizes the possession, use, and transfer of up to one ounce of marijuana by someone at least 21 years old on private property. But as with all local ordinances, there is a question about what will actually change in the city. (more…)

Parenting Time: What’s Best for the Children?

??????????????????????????????????When a court divides parenting time in divorce or custody cases, it is the parents’ voices that are heard in the court room. No one is there to speak directly for the children except in rare cases where the judge has appointed a guardian ad litem. Even so, it is up to the court to determine not what is best for the parties, but what is in the best interests of the children. (more…)

Straight Talk on Gun Control: The Debate

Last week, Attorney Lisa J. Schmidt, presented Straight Talk on Gun Control at the Ferndale Public Library. A previous post described the legal landscape of gun regulations in 2012. This post will address the debate over whether more regulation is needed, and what lies ahead for Congress. (more…)

“I Can’t Pay Child Support, That’s Impossible!” Michigan’s Highest Court Says Maybe Not.

Think it’s impossible for you to make your child or spousal support payments?  You might be surprised just what lengths the Michigan Supreme Court wants you to go to before you give up. (more…)