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Municipal Law News

September 2, 2020

In this issue:




MSC Holds City Attorney Records and Communications Subject to FOIA Disclosure

Alexander J. Thibodeau

The Michigan Supreme Court (MSC) recently held in Bisio v City of Clarkston, ___NW3d___; 2020 Mich. LEXIS 1237 (July 24, 2020), that non-privileged documents and communications involving a city attorney may be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), MCL 15.231 et seq.

Plaintiff Susan Bisio filed a FOIA request with the City of the Village of Clarkston (“City”) seeking correspondence between the City’s attorney and a developer of vacant property within the City. The City denied the request on the basis that a public record was not subject to the FOIA under MCL 15.232(i) because it must be created or obtained by a public body and the City Attorney is not a public body...

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   Alexander Thibodeau

Alexander J. Thibodeau

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   Voting Booths   

Firm Launches Blog During Election Year

Foster Swift has launched a Michigan Election Law Blog to address election and campaign finance law topics, questions, and concerns.

The blog seeks to expand readers’ understanding of campaign and election laws, which in turn will help them better navigate and participate in the democratic process – whether as a candidate, committee, municipality or other public body, non-profit, or for-profit business.

Current topics include:

  • Election Guidelines for Public Bodies with MCFA compliance
  • Rules for Absentee Ballots During COVID-19
  • Election Day Rules...

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Decision Regarding Surplus Proceeds from Tax-Foreclosed Properties

Alexander J. Thibodeau

The Michigan Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Rafaeli, LLC v Oakland County, Docket No. 156849 (July 17, 2020), presents a substantial change to the manner in which Michigan municipalities must deal with surplus proceeds from tax-foreclosed properties. Put simply, foreclosing units of government which sell property to satisfy a tax debt must disburse all surplus proceeds back to the title owner at the time of the foreclosure.

It is a violation of the Michigan Takings Clause to retain the surplus proceeds in excess of what is necessary to satisfy the tax burden. To the extent that the General Property Tax Act (GPTA) allows this, it has been ruled unconstitutional...

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Grand Rapids






St Joseph


Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC E-Newsletters are intended for general information for our clients and friends. This newsletter highlights specific areas of law and is not legal advice. The reader should consult an attorney to determine how this information applies to any specific situation.

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