Friday, December 10, 2021

Changes to Driver's License Suspension Laws for Non-Payment of Child Support

Previously the Friend of the Court was permitted to take action against a non-payer of support to suspend  his or her driver's license. This was completed by sending a notice of intent to suspend the license, and if the payer failed to respond, the Friend of the Court could secure an order suspending the payer's license.

MCL 552.628 has amended this process and changed the requirements for suspending a payer's driver's license.

Effective October 1, 2021, the Friend of the Court can only seek to suspend a driver's license if the following provisions are true:

(2) For a friend of the court case, a payer's driver license may be suspended if both of the circumstances in subsection (1) are true and both of the following additional circumstances are true:
      (a) The court has conducted an ability to pay assessment and determined that the payer has an ability to pay the support but is willfully not making his or her support payments.
      (b) The office of the friend of the court determines that no other sanction would be effective in assuring regular payments on the support obligation and regular payments on the arrearage.

The Friend of the Court must assess each individual case to determine if there is another appropriate remedy to secure regular support before seeking to suspend a payer's driver's license. All other remedies must be exhausted before suspension.

The Friend of the Court Bureau has issued a Memorandum containing more detailed information regarding the amendment. 

It is important to note that these changes relate to driver's licenses only, and the requirements to suspend occupational, recreational, and/or sporting licenses remain unchanged.

Friday, December 3, 2021

MCR 1.109(D)(9)(a): Protecting Identifying Information

As of January 1, 2022, a new court rule is in effect designed to protect identifying personal information from being part of a public record in court filings. 

MCR 1.109(D)(9) Personal Identifying Information.

(a) The following personal identifying information is protected and shall not be included in any public document or attachment filed with the court on or after July 1, 2021, except as provided by these rules:
(i) date of birth,
(ii) social security number or national identification number,
(iii) driver's license number or state-issued personal identification card number,
(iv) passport number, and
(v) financial account numbers.

The State Court Administrative Office has issued two new forms: MC97 (for personal identifying information for Defendant) and MC97a (personal identifying information for anyone case related, excluding Defendant). The forms will need to be included in any new filing with the local Clerk's Office. 

The new forms are available online: MC97 and MC97a.