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Michigan Laws Making News

What Laws Are Impacting Grand Rapids Area Residents

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Law In The News

New law could help low-income families avert tax foreclosure

March 2, 2020

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a law Monday that will help low-income families avoid home foreclosures for unpaid taxes.

The law allows local governments to forgive penalties and interest for families that meet an income test.

Read more at Michigan Radio

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"Real ID Law" takes effect in October

February 25, 2020

"Real ID is a part of the federal government’s response to 9/11," said Jake Rollow, Director of Communications for the Michigan Department of State.

Rollow says the Real ID Act's requirements have been delayed for years.

"It’s a law that’s been in place for a long time,” Rollow said. “And it’s now coming into the final phase which is full enforcement.'



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After Police Brutally Beat & Hospitalized James King, The Government Closed Ranks and Is Using a Legal Shell Game To Avoid Accountability

February 19, 2020

"In 2014, James King was a law-abiding college student who was brutally beaten and choked unconscious by members of a joint state/federal police task force after they misidentified him as a suspect sought in connection with a non-violent petty crime. Ever since that day, the government has used every tool at its disposal to ensure those officers are not held accountable to the Constitution.

As IJ Attorney Patrick Jaicomo explained, “The Fourth Amendment prevents the government from undertaking unreasonable searches and seizures. Here, at every step of the way, the officers were unreasonable in searching and seizing James, including when they beat him. We filed this lawsuit in 2016. It’s now 2020 and the government still hasn’t even filed an answer addressing all the claims that we’ve raised. Instead, they’ve spent the past four years filing different motions with courts, arguing under technicalities why they shouldn’t be held accountable rather than explaining why what they did actually wasn’t wrong.”

One of those technicalities is called “qualified immunity,” a special legal protection the Supreme Court created in the 1980s to protect government officials. Under qualified immunity, officers can violate the Constitution unless previous court rulings have explicitly prohibited that exact action by the police—a standard that has become nearly impossible to meet."

Read more at the Institute For Justice


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New Local Ban-the-Box Restrictions on Background Checks

February 17, 2020

Effective December 1, 2019, applicants for employment in the City of Grand Rapids have more protections. In a newly enacted “Human Rights” chapter of the city code, Grand Rapids deems it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a current or prospective employee with respect to hire; tenure; terms, conditions or privileges of employment; or any matter directly or indirectly related to employment, unless such act is based on a “bona fide occupational qualification.”

Read more at Lexology


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