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Urgent Call to Action for All RPOA Members, Landlords, Property Managers and Their Attorneys

Proposed Court Rule Changes Would Enshrine COVID Emergency Orders

The Michigan Supreme Court is proposing changes to the court rules that would enshrine the emergency COVID eviction court orders and rule changes into permanent court rules as they apply to summary proceedings (evictions). Comments are being accepted on the proposed rules until the end of this month, October 31, 2022. The RPOA is encouraging all rental property owners and managers and their attorneys to provide comments and oppose the changes. For a copy of the proposed rule changes, go here To submit comments on the proposed rule changes, go here.

In short, the proposed rule changes would:

  • Continue the use of the pretrial hearing.

  • Disallow a default judgment at the pretrial hearing unless the tenant has been served personally.

  • Extend the time in which a tenant can request a jury trial. Currently, the Tenant must demand a jury trial in their first appearance, or it is waived. The extension of time creates an opportunity for tenants and their counsel to significantly delay proceedings and judgment.

  • Add additional language to the “fit for the use intended” language, adding that the owner must certify that their property is in compliance with “local health and safety laws.”

  • Allow judges to issue a stay for up to 30 days while a tenant seeks housing assistance.

Even the Michigan District Judges Association is opposed to the proposed rules, primarily on the basis of “the proposed amendment permanently enshrines irreconcilable conflicts between the court rule and the governing statute, MCL 600.5701. Indeed, the proposed MCR 4.201(K) (mandating an adjournment for at least seven days from the first appearance date) mandates that courts do exactly that which the statute, MCL 600.5735(6)(prohibiting adjournments beyond 7 days of the first appearance date absent the stipulation of the parties) expressly prohibits.”

The RPOA is working with a group of stakeholders and joining them in pursuit of multiple strategies to defeat the proposed rule changes. Again, please submit and have your attorneys submit opposing comments as soon as possible and before October 31, 2022.

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