The Mama’s & Papa’s memorialized how many of us feel about Monday’s in their hit song, “Monday Monday”. Rockind Law just experienced a different feeling on Monday, April 9, 2018: we obtained a dismissal of an Operating While Intoxicated case, a victory in a Personal Protection Order case and got an application for leave to appeal granted in the Court of Appeals for a righteous medical marijuana patient. Monday Monday Indeed!!
OWI – Dismissal
We were set for jury trial in the case and appeared for a final jury pre-trial conference. After advising the Court and prosecutor of our intention to proceed to trial, we obtained a copy of the proposed jury instructions, witness list, etc. and left the building. We were ready for trial and made everyone aware of it: this trial was going. Within 2 hours of leaving the courthouse, we were advised that the state was dismissing the case. The state knew that we were ready and that I’d be trying the case. Facing the prospect of a trial with me, the state elected to dismiss rather than proceed. “The best victories are obtained without having to deliver a blow.” Such was the case here. Our client walked out with an Order of Dismissal.
Personal Protection Order Victory
Our client was the subject of what we believed was a misuse and abuse of the personal protection order statute: his paramour and business associate wanted him out of the business for a tactical, financial advantage and filed a PPO action in order to keep him out. This tactic worked right up until she was forced to testify. Within minutes of her taking the oath, the judge began to see that there was no basis for a personal protection order. At one point, the judge even shared that “it appears that you obtained this PPO as an end around to get him out of the business.” Later, after all the proofs were in, the judge made that exact finding — “this PPO was obtained solely as a means to get a leg up in a civil, business dispute.” Our client walked out with an Order of Dismissal.
Leave To Appeal Granted
Medical marijuana case are tricky and the Courts have admittedly issued contrary rulings in regards to what protections medical marijuana patients have and don’t have. However, a “new” conflict has arisen that could effect medical marijuana patients by the thousands and has impacted one of our clients: the definition of useable marijuana vs. unusable marijuana. While the Court of Appeals decided a case (People v Manuel) that clearly spells out that unusable marijuana doesn’t count towards immunity protections, etc. under MCL 333.26424, e.g., 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana, a judge recently ruled that the opinion runs contrary to another, older case (People v Carruthers). The trial court literally ruled that he believed that the Carruthers decision (much less favorable and offering very little protection for patients) was correctly decided and that he was not bound by the newer decision in Manuel (which offered much more protection). This was even after another panel in the Court of Appeals dismissed a case relying on Manuel over Carruthers. So, when we received the ruling, we appealed to the Court of Appeals asking th
em to accept the application for leave to appeal. In other words, we had to get their permission to take the case. Guess what? They did!!! We have the chance to make law, i.e., to make it clear, that protects medical marijuana patients and caregivers without fear of this conflict.
Monday Monday Indeed!!