Court Rule Amendments

Habitual Offender Notice

The Supreme Court has amended (in ADM File No. 2013-39, September 21, 2016) Mich. Ct. R. 6.112, effective January 1, 2017, by removing the provision in subsection (G) that held the harmless error rule was inapplicable to an untimely filing of a notice to seek habitual offender enhancement.  Now, a timely objection and a showing of prejudice will be required to challenge an untimely filing.  Additionally, in amended subsection (H), the trial court may allow amendment of a habitual offender notice “before, during, or after trial,” unless the amendment would “unfairly surprise or prejudice the defendant.”

Expanded Use of Videoconferencing Technology

The Supreme Court, in ADM File No. 2013-18, has also expanded permissive use of videoconferencing technology.  The rules affected are: 2.004, 3.705, 3.708, 3.904, 4.101, 4.201, 4.202, 4.304, 4.401, 5.140, 5.404, 5.738a (deleted), 6.006, and 6.901.   Several areas where the expanded use is permitted, with consent of the parties, are contempt and personal protection order violation hearings [3.708], and delinquency, child protective and guardianship proceedings [3.904(A), (B)].  Unless otherwise prescribed by the rules, a court may allow videoconferencing technology either sua sponte or upon request of a participant, subject to Mich. Ct. R. 2.407.

by Neil Leithauser
Associate Editor