Local Success: May 2016

Below are trial court victories of our subscribers as reported on SADO’s Forum—an online community for criminal defense attorneys. Subscribers are encouraged to submit their stories of success on SADO’s Forum and/or directly to Associate Editor Neil Leithauser at nleithauserattorney@comcast.net. SADO’s CDRC Subscription information is available by contacting Heather Waara at hwaara@sado.org.

Monica Wilson won a right to a restitution hearing for her client in the 22nd Judicial (Washtenaw County) Circuit Court.

Todd H. Nye won suppression of evidence seized during a prolonged traffic stop.  The initial traffic stop was lawful, but the State trooper then wanted to verify that the marijuana in the vehicle – the presence of which was admitted by occupants, both of whom were registered MMMA cardholders -- was in compliance with the requirements of the Act.  87-A District Court Judge Patricia A. Morse found that the totality of the circumstances did not provide the officer with articulable suspicion of a crime, and ordered both the statements of the occupants and the physical evidence suppressed.

Michael Dagher-Margosian won dismissal of a contempt of court charge imposed for failure of the client to appear in court in the 2A Judicial District Court (Lenawee County).

Richard Catalino won a not guilty verdict following a bench trial in the 60th Judicial District Court (Muskegon) in a case charging a moving violation causing death.  Mr. Catalino successfully argued that the statute, MCL 257.601d(1), did not apply to a private parking lot [Note: the statute has been amended, effective June 13, 2016, to now include areas “designated for the parking of motor vehicles”].

Kenneth M. Malkin obtained an order in the 18th Judicial (Bay County) Circuit Court, in an appeal from the district court, that the illegal transportation of marijuana statute did not amend the provisions of the MMMA, and the defendant was therefore entitled to the protections of the Act.

David R. Cripps won a not guilty verdict from a jury in a case involving a charge of second-degree murder in the 3rd Judicial (Wayne County) Circuit Court.  That victory followed a not guilty verdict Mr. Cripps won for a client in April 2016 in Wayne County case charging felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon, and felony firearm violations.

Mitchell T. Foster secured removal of his client from the Sex Offender Registry after Mr. Foster obtained dismissal in the 6th Judicial (Oakland County) Circuit Court of four felony counts of unlawful imprisonment of a child.

SADO attorneys had a number of successes in May 2016.  Assistant Defender Jessica L. Zimbelman won a plea withdrawal in an OWI3 case in the 13th Judicial (Grand Traverse County) Circuit Court where the client did not receive the agreed-to participation in sobriety court based on immigration status.  The client faced possible deportation due to the conviction.

Assistant Defender Susan M. Meinberg represented a client in a second parole interview and review.  The client had served twenty-two years on second-degree murder and escape convictions and had been denied parole where the client acted pro se and a circuit judge reversed a parole decision. The client has now been released from prison.

Assistant Defenders Jacqueline J. McCann and Sofia V. Nelson won dismissal of probation violation allegations in the 25th Judicial (Marquette County) Circuit Court after the court found that probation and the prosecution had not acted with diligence.

Assistant Defenders Chari K. Grove and Katherine L. Root won a 5 year minimum sentence reduction for their client at a resentencing in the 3rd Judicial (Wayne County) Circuit Court.  Ms. Grove also obtained a new trial, through a 6.500 motion for relief from judgment, for a client in an armed robbery case after Ms. Grove established multiple grounds (e.g., failing to investigate alibi witnesses, failure to object to prior conviction evidence, and failing to present significant medical testimony), of ineffective assistance of counsel.

by Neil Leithauser
Associate Editor