The meeting will be held at the State Bar Building, 306 Townsend Street, Lansing. Lunch will be served at 12:00 noon and the meeting will begin at 12:30.
I. Welcome and introductions and organizational matters.
Because there are a number of criminal justice reform initiatives that appear to be moving, we have asked Heather Garretson, the coordinator of the ACLU's Smart Justice Project, to join the Planning Body. (Welcome Heather.)
II. Reports and discussion.
There are a number of areas that have been very active over the past three months. Rather than have a formal presentation, we plan to have a group discussion that includes both an update on the new administration and a report on the numerous new initiatives.
If you want to add a topic, please contact Bob Gillett at firstname.lastname@example.org . If you have written materials on any of our topics, please send them to Bob and to Wilson Suprapto email@example.com electronically.
A. Longer Topics
1. Access to Justice Initiatives in the new state government (All). This will include a follow up from our January discussion (about where the leadership will be on legal aid and access to justice issues in the new administration). It will also include an update on a number of issues that have been active over the past few months---the Court Funding Commission; the new Guardianship Task Force; Expungement; Bail Reform; and Juvenile Justice Reform. We'll also receive a report on ABA Day and other criminal justice reform efforts.
(a) On the Court Funding Commission, the Interim Report of the Commission was released on April 8. Here is a link to the report.
(b) On Guardianship, on March 25 Attorney General Dana Nessel and Michigan Supreme Court Justices Richard Bernstein and Megan Cavanagh announced the creation of an Elder Abuse Task Force. Here is a link to the materials announcing the Task Force and its goals.
(c) On Expungement, there is a work group developing legislation on an expanded expungement bill. Safe and Just Michigan is coordinating advocacy on this issue. Here is a link to a recent article by J. J. Prescott and Sonja Starr that is an empirical study of expungement.
(d) On Bail Reform, there are three significant developments:
( i ) On April 17, the Governor, through Executive Order 2019-10, created a bipartisan, inter-branch task force to study and make recommendations on jail and pre-trial detention. Here is a link to the press release about the task force.
( ii ) On April 14, the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit against the 36th District Court alleging that the bail practices in that court create a "wealth-based detention program" in violation of the constitution. Here is a link to the ACLU webpage describing the suit (that includes links to the Complaint and other documents).
( iii ) The Planning Body Advisory Committee to the SCAO Pilot Project (discussed at our January meeting) is now in place. The committee - Stefani Carter, Heather Garretson, Bob Gillett, Katie Hennessey, Libby Hines, Loren Khogali, and Jon Sacks - will meet with SCAO staff and SCAO's evaluation contractor in May. Here is a link to a description of the SCAO Pilot Project .
(e) On Juvenile Justice Reform, the Michigan Supreme Court/SCAO approved a study by the National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) to assess the juvenile indigent defense system in Michigan. The NJDC team has already begun its court observations. Also, it appears very possible that raise the age legislation may move this year as part of the overall criminal justice reform effort.
2. Michigan Indigent Defense Commission (Loren Khogali). We'll receive an update on MIDC funding for improvements to local indigent defense systems. Also, we'll receive an update on the RFP for trial defender services in Wayne County.
3. Eviction Update (Marilyn Mullane, Ted Phillips, Bob Gillett). This will include an update on two matters:
(a) a report on the follow up from the Eviction Summit held in Detroit on March 12;
(b) an update on the eviction data work being done by MAP in conjunction with the University of Michigan Poverty Solutions program.
4. Legal Challenges to Integrated Bar Associations (Katie Hennessey). Subsequent to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME, there have been numerous challenges to mandatory bar associations. These include the case of Fleck v. Wetch which is before the 8th Circuit on remand from the Supreme Court. There are recent suits in Texas and Wisconsin directly challenging those bar's support of access to justice initiatives. We're providing links to the Michigan and the Missouri amicus briefs in the Fleck case.
B. Shorter Updates
1. Immigration update. (Susan Reed, Miriam Aukerman, others.)
2. Voices Training (Ashley Lowe, Ann Routt). There will be a Michigan training by staff from Voices for Civil Legal Aid on April 24.
3. Justice For All Task Force (Angela Tripp, Jennifer Bentley).
4. Client cell phones in court (Bob Gillett, Katie Hennessey). We expect that the proposed rule submitted by the Planning Body in September 2018 will be taken up by the Court as part of its May administrative docket.
5. Fee Waiver Court Rule (Katie Hennessey, Bob Gillett). The Court issued a revised fee waiver rule on January 23, 2018. We're interested in feedback on the rule.
6. Cy Pres (Bob Gillett, Jennifer Bentley). The Planning Body proposal submitted in January 2018 is expected to be discussed at the Court's April administrative meeting. The U.S. Supreme Court is interested in cy pres - but avoided the issue in its recent decision in Frank v. Gaos. See link to a memo from Bill Boies (pro bono counsel to NLADA in the Gaos case).
7. Racial Justice Training Institute (Nicole Goodson, Lorray Brown). We'll receive a report on the activities of the Michigan team since the October 8 Summit and their plans for 2019.
8. Juvenile Life without Parole (Val Newman, Jon Sacks).
9. E-filing update (Ang Tripp).
10. Unemployment Law update (John Philo, Steve Gray, David Blanchard).
11. State Bar ATJ Policy Work (Peter Cunningham, Ashley Lowe). This will include an update on legislative issues, the Discovery Court Rules, Unbundling, etc.
12. Amicus update (Ann Routt). Here is a link to an updated amicus report.
13. Michigan Legal Help Program (Ang Tripp).
14. Native American Issues (Jim Keedy, Cami Fraser).
15. Civil Right to Counsel (Bob Gillett). See the link to the update from John Pollack.
III. 2019 Meeting Dates
The proposed 2019 dates are:
- July 25 (Detroit)
- October 24 (Lansing)