August 16, 2018
Here’s a quick update on the legal news from Michigan.
Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of Medical Marijuana over Zoning Laws
A medical marijuana caregiver was growing marijuana in a commercial section of Byron Township. The Township had a zoning law prohibiting medical marijuana use in commercial sections, limiting medical use to residential areas only. A zoning law is a law which prescribes defines how a city is structured. For example, a city may create a zoning law that all industrial activities must take place in a certain part of the city.
The case reached the Court of Appeals. The Court ruled that the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act took precedence over city zoning laws. This ruling means cities and townships cannot “zone out” legal medical marijuana use. Patients and caregivers may use medical marijuana (consistent with the Act) in places without restriction from a zoning ordinance.
This case is decided months before Michigan voters go to the polls to decide whether use and possession of recreational marijuana will be legal.
Federal Court Order University of Michigan to Hold Live Hearing in Sexual Misconduct Case
University sexual misconduct cases have long been the “Wild West” of the legal system. Empowered by the federal Title IX law, universities investigate alleged instances of harassment and misconduct. A university may conduct the investigation in the way they deem fit, so long as it is consistent with Title IX policies. This gives universities wide latitude to create the policy and procedure of the investigation, which may or may not be consistent with the Due Process protections afforded in a criminal trial.
In a University of Michigan sexual misconduct case, the University had created a system in which the accused was not allowed to ask question of the accuser in a live, open forum. The accused student sued the University in the Eastern District of Michigan. The Court ruled that the student must be given a live hearing in which questions may be asked of the accuser. The Court did rule, however, that the questions must go through a third-party.
This case the potential to transform university Title IX cases throughout Michigan. Many universities throughout the state do not allow for a live hearing. It would be expected that attorneys representing students will now demand live hearings. The case in federal court has not concluded either. The final opinion of the Court could provide further protections to students accused of misconduct. Stay turned for further articles once this case proceeds further.
Sam Bernstein of ArborYpsi Law is a criminal defense in Ann Arbor, MI. Sam can be reached at 734.883.9584 or by e-mail at [email protected] ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.
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