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Types of Appeals Heard by the Michigan Supreme Court

Michigan Supreme Court Appeals

The Michigan Supreme Court serves as the court of "last resort" in Michigan. It is the highest court in the state, and the only court higher is the United States Supreme Court. The Michigan Supreme Court hears cases where there is some question about how the law was applied or should be applied. The court also oversees the operations of the trial courts.

The Michigan Supreme Court receives more than 2,000 new case filings each year, but only a fraction of the appeals are heard. The Supreme Court hears (in order of most frequently heard cases):

  • Appeals for review of Michigan Court of Appeals decisions;
  • Cases alleging attorney or judicial misconduct;
  • Matters over which the Michigan Supreme Court has original jurisdiction.

Experienced Appellate Lawyer to Handle Michigan Supreme Court Cases

The types of cases heard by the Michigan Supreme Court are often complex and require careful preparation and presentation by a skilled appellate lawyer. Additionally, the process of preparing an appeal for review consideration requires the expert written skills of an appellate lawyer equipped to present the case in such a way as to increase the chances of it being accepted by the court for review.

The legal team at Grabel & Associates has more than 100 years of combined criminal defense experience with extensive trial law and appellate law experience. For a free consultation to learn how we can put our experience to work for you, email our law firm or call toll-free, 1-800-342-7896 today. The statute of limitations for filing an appeal is limited; the sooner you call, the better we are able to help you with an appeal.

Applications and Time Limitations for Filing Appeals with the Michigan Supreme Court

Applications for appeals of criminal case decisions must be filed within 56 days after a Court of Appeals decision has been entered.

Applications for leave to appeal before a decision has been made by the Court of Appeals are discouraged and will only be granted in cases of the highest public importance and only when the need for immediate action by the Michigan Supreme Court is evident. Applications are limited to 50 pages.

Motions for reconsideration of orders must be filed within 21 days.

Examples of the Types of Cases Heard by the Michigan Supreme Court

The paragraph below is an example of a case that went to the court because there was question about whether a judge acted appropriately or outside of the law:

“...The defendant pleaded guilty to second-degree home invasion in exchange for the prosecution’s agreement to dismiss other charges. At the plea hearing, the trial judge was agreeable to sentencing the defendant under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, MCL 762.11, if the defendant qualified for such status. But at the sentencing hearing, the judge declined to impose a HYTA sentence; the judge vacated the plea agreement, reinstated the original charges, and set the case for trial. The defendant was convicted as charged. The Court of Appeals vacated the convictions, holding that the judge acted improperly by unilaterally vacating the plea agreement. Was the trial judge required to give the defendant the opportunity to affirm his guilty plea when she declined to impose the sentence proposed at the plea hearing? Should the question of the defendant’s right to affirm his guilty plea be evaluated under MCR 6.310(B)(2)(a) or MCR 6.310(B)(2)(b)? Even if the defendant had the right to affirm his guilty plea, did he waive that right by failing to object when the trial court vacated his plea and scheduled a trial?"

Another example case involved a defendant who entered a retail store intending to rob it, suggested to a clerk that he had a weapon, but fled without taking anything. The defendant pleaded guilty to armed robbery, but after sentencing, he sought to withdraw his guilty plea. The defendant argued that he could not be guilty of armed robbery because he did not take anything from the store. The trial court denied the motion, concluding that the defendant’s attempt to commit a larceny was sufficient to support the armed robbery conviction. The Court of Appeals affirmed the defendant’s conviction in a split published opinion. Is a completed larceny necessary to sustain an armed robbery conviction?

More Information About the Michigan Supreme Court

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