The Failure of Public Act 222: Sewer Backup Legislation

In 2001 the State of Michigan enacted Public Act 222 (MCL 691.1416 seq.) to provide a statutory exception to governmental immunity for sanitary sewer backups onto real property. Prior to Act 222, the legal theory used by plaintiffs to recover for sewer backup events was the Trespass-Nuisance exception. That common law action carried strict liability for property damages upon a simple showing that sewage or water in a basement came […]

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Advantages of Intergovernmental Agreements for Municipal Services and Programs

Many municipalities throughout Michigan are still reeling from the affects decreased housing values have had on tax revenues. Counties, Cities, Townships and Villages have all been forced to adjust budgets and, in many situations, cut back on services provided to residents. One of the few good things that have resulted is the increased intergovernmental cooperation in providing services. Many municipalities are entering into intergovernmental agreements between two or more entities […]

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Supreme Court Decides on Fourth Amendment Cases

The search-and-seizure provisions of the Fourth Amendment are all about privacy. To honor this freedom, the Fourth Amendment protects against “unreasonable” searches and seizures by state or federal law enforcement authorities. However, law enforcement may override your privacy concerns and conduct a search of you, your home, office, personal or business documents, bank account records, etc. if they have probable cause to believe they can find evidence that you committed […]

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