Category Archives: Michigan

Michigan

Gun Court

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Guns are in the news lately. The USA is a big country with a lot of guns, some of which are used to kill large numbers of people, generating news reports. Some are used in confrontations that become high-profile trials, generating more news reports.

From Newtown CT to Sanford FL, the headlines have driven debate about guns and gun violence. The debate in turn drives more headlines about guns – so guns are in the news. But in the USA, guns are always in the news. Although the Sandy Hook school shooting and the George Zimmerman trial make headlines, guns … Read More

City of Seattle Crime Statistics – Up or Down?

According to an article published in The Seattle Times, on Thursday, August 15, 2013, titled “Downtown getting safer? Not according to the numbers,” by Lynn Thompson and Justin Mayo, Seattle Times staff reporters, an analysis of the City of Seattle’s online Monthly Crime Statistics map was conducted by The Seattle Times. The crime rates in downtown Seattle have recently been the subject of discussion by the Mayor, downtown business owners and others. The City of Seattle’s crime statistics map displays major crime data by month, year and police beat. Depending on how the data is sorted, the results can vary. … Read More

Property Values on the Rise?

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Has the value of your property gone up in the last year? According to an article published in The Seattle Times on Friday, March 15, 2013, entitled “Look what’s back in your house now,” property values around the country are on the rise. Depending on where you live, the market value of your home may have risen enough in the last year that you now have positive or break-even equity.

As you know, many property values declined dramatically during the last 5 years. However, according to Federal Reserve data, net equity holdings in American homes have jumped since spring 2011. … Read More

Non-Lawyer Judges: Municipal Courts

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Last month we discussed judges (Justices of the Peace and Magistrates) who are not required to have law degrees, and whose courts have jurisdiction over areas larger than a city or town. Judges of city, town, village, and other municipal courts in many states are also not required to have law degrees or be practicing lawyers. These judges only have geographical jurisdiction over their own municipality, and in many states their subject-matter jurisdiction is limited to violations of the municipality’s ordinances.

We reviewed New York’s Town Courts and Village Courts in a 2010 post; with over 1200 such courts, … Read More

Michigan to Hold Tax Auction on Foreclosed Properties

The Michigan Department of Treasury will be offering 385 state-owned properties for public auction on August 14th at the Ramada Inn in Grayling. These parcels include homes as well as vacant residential and commercial lots. Any registered person may bid on the properties being offered. Parcels are sold to the highest verbal bid accepted at the auction. Minimum bids for some of these parcels begin as low as $450.

Property tax foreclosures were established in Michigan under the General Property Tax Act (Act 206 of 1893). This bill states that property is subject of sale or forfeiture as a result … Read More

Services for Crime Victims

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With the Trayvon Martin case, including the recent second degree murder charges against George Zimmerman making national news, violent crime is at the forefront of the nation’s consciousness. The Martin/Zimmerman case has raised questions about who the true victim really was. Although we may not know the answer to that question until the case has been resolved, unfortunately there are thousands of crimes committed every day, leaving victims to deal with the  aftermath. Often there is so much focus on the perpetrators of crime that the victim gets somewhat left behind by court systems. However, more and more courts are … Read More

Access to Marriage Records

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Marriage records are an important vital record which can provide a wealth of information regarding the bride and groom as well as their families. A marriage record contains information about the bride and groom; including the date of marriage, place of marriage, the names of the mothers and fathers, and sometimes even the people who witnessed the marriage. With the exception of a few states, marriage records are generally considered as public information. Marriage records can usually be obtained from a county clerk, auditor, health agency, or probate court. Some agencies allow for online searching of their marriage records.

The … Read More

Access to Recorded Documents

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Access to recorded documents such as deeds, mortgages, liens, and other records related to ownership of property can usually found at your county recorder’s or clerk’s office. Some recorders’ offices allow online access to their records where searches can be made by name, date, document number or document type. Some provide this service free of charge, while others may charge fees. In addition to land ownership records, some recorder’s offices also allow online access to other records, such as UCC financing statements, powers of attorney filings, and business names. Additionally, some also provide online access to military discharges, wills, and … Read More

Research Laws and Codes Online

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Are you looking for local ordinances for your town, city, or county? Local ordinances used to be very difficult to find, but as more and more local governments are putting their laws online, access has become much easier. City and county laws apply to many aspects of our daily lives. Many local laws deal with maintaining public safety, health, and general welfare. Ordinances are generally organized into local codes, such as traffic code, business regulation and taxation code, general offenses code, and building code. This can make your search for a particular law much easier.

Perhaps you are consistently being … Read More

What is the Inspection Score of Your Favorite Restaurant?

Have you ever wondered about the safety of the food that you eat at your neighborhood restaurant? Ever wonder when it was last inspected? Well, depending on where you live, you may be able to search online for the latest inspection scores for the restaurants in your area.

All states and counties have rules and regulations about the safe handling of food including periodic inspections of the establishments. Generally, the inspection scores are the result of routine inspections covering critical and non-critical items. Many states and counties have created websites which provide the results of the inspections. Some of the … Read More