MICHIGAN LAW REVISION COMMISSION
Thirty-Third Annual Report to the Legislature
for Calendar Year 1998
To the Members of the Michigan Legislature:
The Michigan Law Revision Commission hereby presents its thirty-third annual report
pursuant to section 403 of Act No. 268 of the Public Acts of 1986, MCL § 4.1403.
The Commission, created by section 401 of Act No. 268 of the Public Acts of 1986,
MCL § 4.1401, consists of two members of the Senate, with one from the majority and one from
the minority party, appointed by the Majority Leader of the Senate; two members of the House
of Representatives, with one from the majority and one from the minority party, appointed by the
Speaker of the House; the Director of the Legislative Service Bureau or his or her designee, who
serves as an ex-officio member; and four members appointed by the Legislative Council. The
terms of the members appointed by the Legislative Council are staggered. The Legislative
Council designates the Chairman of the Commission. The Vice Chairman is elected by the
The legislative members of the Commission during 1998 were Senator Bill Bullard, Jr. of
Highland; Senator Gary Peters of Bloomfield Township; Representative Michael Nye of
Litchfield; and Representative Ted Wallace of Detroit. As Legislative Council Administrator,
Dianne M. Odrobina was the ex-officio member of the Commission. The appointed members of
the Commission were Richard McLellan, Anthony Derezinski, Maura Corrigan, and George
Ward. Mr. McLellan served as Chairman. Mr. Derezinski served as Vice Chairman. Professor
Kevin Kennedy of the Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University served as Executive
Secretary. Gary Gulliver served as the liaison between the Legislative Service Bureau and the
Commission. Brief biographies of the 1998 Commission members and staff are located at the
end of this report.
The Commission's Work in 1998
The Commission is charged by statute with the following duties:
1. To examine the common law and statutes of the state and current judicial
decisions for the purpose of discovering defects and anachronisms in the law and to recommend
2. To receive and consider proposed changes in law recommended by the American
Law Institute, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, any bar
association, and other learned bodies.
3. To receive and consider suggestions from justices, judges, legislators and other
public officials, lawyers, and the public generally as to defects and anachronisms in the law.
4. To recommend such changes in the law as it deems necessary in order to modify
or eliminate antiquated and inequitable rules of law, and to bring the civil and criminal law of
this state into harmony with modern conditions.
5. To encourage the faculty and students of the law schools of this state to
participate in the work of the Commission.
6. To cooperate with the law revision commissions of other states and Canadian
7. To issue an annual report.
The problems to which the Commission directs its studies are largely identified through
an examination by the Commission members and the Executive Secretary of the statutes and
case law of Michigan, the reports of learned bodies and commissions from other jurisdictions,
and legal literature. Other subjects are brought to the attention of the Commission by various
organizations and individuals, including members of the Legislature.
The Commission's efforts during the past year have been devoted primarily to three
areas. First, Commission members provided information to legislative committees related to
various proposals previously recommended by the Commission. Second, the Commission
examined suggested legislation proposed by various groups involved in law revision activity.
These proposals included legislation advanced by the Council of State Governments, the
National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, and the law revision
commissions of various jurisdictions within and without the United States. Finally, the
Commission considered various problems relating to special aspects of current Michigan law
suggested by its own review of Michigan decisions and the recommendations of others.
As in previous years, the Commission studied various proposals that did not lead to
legislative recommendations. In the case of certain uniform or model acts, the Commission
sometimes found that the subjects treated had been considered by the Michigan Legislature in
recent legislation and, therefore, did not recommend further action. In other instances, uniform
or model acts were not pursued because similar legislation was currently pending before the
Legislature upon the initiation of legislators having a special interest in the particular subject.
In 1998, the Commission studied the five topics listed below. The Commission
recommends immediate legislative action on the second and third topics.
The five topics are:
(1) Proposed Government Ethics legislation.
(2) The Impact of the 2000 Decennial Census on Population-Based Statutes.
(3) Recent Court Opinions Suggesting Legislative Action.
(4) The Headlee Amendment.
(5) Proposed Administrative Procedures Act.
Proposals for Legislative Consideration in 1999
In addition to its new recommendations, the Commission recommends favorable
consideration of the following recommendations of past years upon which no final action was
taken in 1998:
(1) Revisions to the Michigan "Lemon Law", 1995 Annual Report, page 7.
(2) Consolidated Receivership Statute, 1988 Annual Report, page 72.
(3) Condemnation Provisions Inconsistent with the Uniform Condemnation Procedures
Act, 1989 Annual Report, page 15.
(4) Judicial Review of Administrative Action, 1990 Annual Report, page 19.
(5) Amendment of Uniform Statutory Rule against Perpetuities, 1990 Annual Report,
(6) Amendment of the Uniform Contribution among Tortfeasors Act, 1991 Annual
Report, page 19.
(7) International Commercial Arbitration, 1991 Annual Report, page 31.
(8) Tortfeasor Contribution under Michigan Compiled Laws §600.2925a(5), 1992
Annual Report, page 21.
(9) Amendments to Michigan's Estate Tax Apportionment Act, 1992 Annual Report,
(10) Amendments to Michigan's Anatomical Gift Act, 1993 Annual Report, page 53.
(11) Ownership of a Motorcycle for Purposes of Receiving No-Fault Insurance Benefits,
1993 Annual Report, page 131.
(12) The Uniform Putative and Unknown Fathers Act and Revisions to Michigan Laws
Concerning Parental Rights of Unwed Fathers, 1994 Annual Report, page 117.
(13) Amendments to the Freedom of Information Act to Cover E-Mail, 1997 Annual
Report, page 133.
(14) The Uniform Conflict of Laws-Limitations Act, 1997 Annual Report, page 151.
(15) Amendments to MCL § 791.255(2) to Create a Prison Mailbox Rule, 1997 Annual
Report, page 137.
(16) Amendments to MCL § 600.2405 to include Paralegal Expenses as an Item of
Recoverable Costs in Civil Litigation, 1997 Annual Report, page 139.
(17) Uniform Unincorporated Nonprofit Association Act, 1997 Annual Report, page
Current Study Agenda
Topics on the current study agenda of the Commission are:
(1) Declaratory Judgment in Libel Law/Uniform Correction or Clarification of
(2) Medical Practice Privileges in Hospitals (Procedures for Granting and Withdrawal).
(3) Health Care Consent for Minors.
(4) Health Care Information, Access, and Privacy.
(5) Uniform Statutory Power of Attorney.
(6) Uniform Custodial Trust Act.
(7) Legislation Concerning Teleconference Participation in Public Meetings.
(8) Michigan Legislation Concerning Native American Tribes.
(9) Revisions to Michigan's Administrative Procedures Act and to Procedures for
Judicial Review of Agency Action.
(10) The Executive Organization Act of 1965.
(11) Intergovernmental Agreements under the Michigan Constitution, Art III, § 5.
The Commission continues to operate with its sole staff member, the part-time Executive
Secretary, whose offices are in the Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University, East
Lansing, Michigan 48824. The Executive Secretary of the Commission is Professor Kevin
Kennedy, who was responsible for the publication of this report. By using faculty members at
the several Michigan law schools as consultants and law students as researchers, the
Commission has been able to operate at a budget substantially lower than that of similar
commissions in other jurisdictions. At the end of this report, the Commission provides a list of
more than 70 Michigan statutes passed since 1967 upon the recommendation of the Commission.
The Legislative Service Bureau, through Mr. Gary Gulliver, its Director of Legal
Research, has generously assisted the Commission in the development of its legislative program.
The Director of the Legislative Service Bureau continues to handle the fiscal operations of the
Commission under procedures established by the Legislative Council.
The Commission continues to welcome suggestions for improvement of its program and
Richard D. McLellan, Chairman
Anthony Derezinski, Vice Chairman
Senator Bill Bullard, Jr.
Senator Gary Peters
Representative Michael Nye
Representative Ted Wallace
Dianne M. Odrobina