The Michigan Supreme Court, in the waning days of 2010, granted leave to appeal in two criminal cases leaving open the possibility of allowing criminal defendants defenses previously unavailable.
In People v Harris, ___ Mich ___ (#141513, 11/30/2010) the Supreme Court granted leave to appeal to address the prior decision of People v Adams, 262 Mich App 89 (2004) that inability to pay is not a defense to the crime of felony non-support under MCL 750.165 is an incorrect reading of the statute or unconstitutional; (2) whether the trial court abused its discretion when it denied the defendant’s post-sentencing motion to withdraw his plea; and (3) whether the trial court erred when it adopted the child support arrearage amount that had been determined by family court as the restitution to be imposed in this criminal case, or whether the defendant waived that issue. The Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan and the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan are invited to file briefs amicus curiae. Other persons or groups interested in the determination of the issues presented in this case may move the Court for permission to file briefs amicus curiae.
In People v Moreno, Jr, ___ Mich ___ (#141837, 12/29/2010) the Court granted leave to appeal to address a defendant's right in his or her home to resist an illegal arrest and the availability of self defense. The parties were requested to address the following issues: (1) whether a person present in his or her own home can lawfully resist a police officer who unlawfully and forcibly enters the home, without violating MCL 750.81d; (2) if not, whether, so interpreted, MCL 750.81d is unconstitutional; and (3) whether a defendant prosecuted under MCL 750.81d for resisting a police officer who unlawfully and forcibly enters the defendant’s home may claim self-defense.