Issue 9 . October - December 2019 . Q1
Roger West, CVLAP-Elder for Wayne County at LLA, was on Channel 7 for his amazing work! Click on the picture above to get the full story (and Roger in action in the video!).
Family Day at the Roadshow: Kathleen Allen, Emily Miller, Linda Kellum, Ana Kolosova, Jessica Topor, Brooke Wilson, Natalie Cherry, Rebecca Shiemke,
Brittany Tucker, Kendall Dingwall, Stephanie Saad, Sharron Sanders.
Elder Day at the Roadshow: Kathleen Allen, Roger West, Laura Kubit, Tricia Mandernach, Nicole Shannon, Emily Miller, Natalie Cherry, Alison Hirschel.
ICLE Family Law Institute: Brittany Tucker, Kendall Dingwall, Jessica Topor, Ana Kolosova, Patricia Mandernach, Sharron Sanders, Rebecca Sheimke, Nickie Perera, Jamila Odeh
Court of Appeals in Lansing for oral arguments on PPO and parental rights cases: Martha Gove, Emily Miller, Nickie Perera, Jessica Maas
Not seeing your picture in the newsletter? We would love to see more of you!  Please take a moment at hearings, trainings, outreach events or just in your office to snap a photo to share. Email pics to Emily Miller ( or Kathleen Allen ( 
Staff Updates
New Staff
Toi Dennis, CVLAP-Elder
We are happy to have Toi join the CVLAP-Elder team.  She is working as a Staff Attorney in Legal Services of South Central Michigan's Ypsilanti office.  Toi was previously a solo practitioner, an adjunct professor at Baker College and appointed counsel for the 36th District House.  For more about Toi go to our Staff Page.
New Staff
Lauren Ykimoff, CVLAP-DV
Please also welcome Lauren to the CVLAP-DV grant.  She is a Staff Attorney in Legal Services of South Central Michigan's Jackson office.  Lauren was a Judicial Law Clerk for Judge Cunningham in the 56th Circuit Court and a Clerk at LSSCM.  For more about Lauren go to our Staff Page.
New Staff
Andrew Jones, CVLAP-Elder
We are happy to have Andrew join the CVLAP-Elder team.  He will be working as a Staff Attorney in Legal Services of Northern Michigan's Marquette office.  Andrew was previously a solo practitioner and worked for the public defender's office in Alger County. For more about Andrew go to our Staff Page.
Job Postings
CVLAP-DV & Elder 
CVLAP currently has open staff positions in the following offices: Battle Creek (elder), Grand Rapids (elder), Alpena (elder), Upper Peninsula (DV).  For more information or to share our postings with others go to MAP's application here
Quarter In Review 
In the 1st quarter of 2019 (October - December) CVLAP attorneys assisted 862 survivors of domestic violence and/or elder abuse, neglect or exploitation.  During this quarter we closed a total of 259 cases.  Of the closed cases, we provided extended services to 112 clients.  We are incredibly proud of our amazing staff attorneys across the state and want to share some of the good stories (see below) that exemplify the amazing and much needed advocacy that makes this project so vital.
Excellence in Advocacy
Linda Kellum, CVLAP-DV in the Battle Creek office of Legal Services of South Central Michigan, assisted a Client, who was the victim of severe domestic violence, in obtaining a divorce. Client's then husband had been physically abusive on numerous occasions, including incidents in which he hit her in the back with a metal can, punched her giving her bloody/back eyes, broke her nose and one of her knuckles and threw her belongings into a lake. During the incident leading to their separation, Client’s husband barricaded himself in their home when he learned that Client had contacted the police. He produced a shotgun hidden in the home, brandished it and then threatened to commit suicide by either shotgun or hanging. The area where Client lived was on lock down for hours while the police worked to apprehend and then take Client’s husband into custody. Client’s husband was later confined in an in-patient mental care facility for evaluation. After discharge, husband was charged with his fifth incident of domestic violence, which, if he is convicted, could lead to prison time or significant jail time. Linda filed a divorce case for the Client and represented her in that case. The divorce case was promptly resolved allowing Client safety and freedom from an abusive, possibly lethal spouse. Client’s now former husband remains in custody pending trial for his latest domestic violence charge.
 Brittany Paulk, CVLAP-Elder in the Jackson office of Legal Services of South Central Michigan, assisted a senior Client who was facing involuntary discharge/eviction from the nursing home where she had resided, and wanted to remain, for the past three years.  The nursing home claimed that Client’s health had improved (per a LOCD) and that she had not paid her bill, even though the bill was supposed to be sent by the nursing home to Medicaid to be paid.  Brittany undertook representation to correct the level of care determination and defend the eviction in order to prevent Client from becoming homeless and losing the care she required to live safely.  After entering an appearance, providing detailed briefs to the administrative court and negotiating with Counsel for the nursing home, Brittany was able to get the nursing home to voluntarily withdraw their involuntary discharge against Client as related to the billing issue.  Additionally, the nursing home’s claim that Client’s health had improved and that she no longer needed nursing home level of care was denied by the hearing officer and the case was dismissed allowing the client to remain happily in her home receiving the care that she requires.
Administrative Updates
The Michigan Supreme Court adopted comprehensive amendments to civil discovery rules that are effective January 1, 2020. To help prepare practitioners for this change, the State Bar has posted educational resources and events, including this Guidebook.
In December of 2019 the Michigan Supreme Court issued a list of revised SCAO approved forms, including:
MC319 Request for Next Friend & Order (PPO)
PC585a Petition to Allow Accounts
PC585b Order Allowing Accounts
PC631 Order re Appointment of Guardian (adult)
PC632 Order re Appointment of Temp Guardian (adult)
PC634 Annual Report of Guardian (adult)

PC638a Order re Term/Mod of Guardian for Minor
PC686 Consent by Parent to Guardian of Indian Child

PC689 Objection to Appointment of Public Administrator 
For family law practitioners, please remember to use the revised Domestic Relations Verified Financial Information Form (MCC 320).  The form must be served: 
serve it on the other party within 28 days after the defendant files a response to the complaint
serve it on the other party within 28 days after the date of service of defendant’s initial responsive pleading to the complaint   
Training & Webinar Opportunities
Below are links (click on the pictures) to various organizations that provide training opportunities on issues that affect survivors of domestic violence and elder, abuse, neglect and exploitation. 
Elder Justice Updates
Legislative and Task Force Updates

Video Surveillance Cameras in Nursing Homes

SB 77, introduced by Sen. Jim Runestad, would require nursing homes to permit residents or their representatives to monitor the resident using an electronic monitoring device under certain circumstances.  Many families who are concerned about possible neglect or abuse in the nursing home are eager to utilize these devices to monitor their family member’s care when they are not present to safeguard the resident.  However, there are also concerns about residents’ privacy and dignity, especially when they are receiving care.  Under the proposed legislation, nursing homes would be barred from denying admission to or discharging a resident who wants to use electronic monitoring devices.  These devices could only be installed if the resident consents, if there is a notice in the facility that monitoring devices were present, and if other residents’ and visitors’ privacy are protected.  While the Health Care Association of Michigan, the trade group that represents for-profit nursing homes, strenuously objected to the bill, the Elder Law and Disability Rights Section of the Bar  and the Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman Program (MLTCOP) testified in support of the bill at a recent Senate hearing.  MLTCOP expressed concern about some aspects of the substitute bill for SB 77 and noted that that Minnesota recently passed particularly thoughtful electronic monitoring legislation that balances concerns about monitoring care to improve resident safety with protections of residents’ privacy and dignity.

Elder Abuse Task Force Proposed Legislation to be Released Soon
Since the spring, the Attorney General’s Elder Abuse Task Force worked to develop legislative proposals that addressed many of the most troubling practices and concerns in the probate system.  The Task Force drafted amendments to the Estates and Protected Individuals Code that include:
  • Requirements for certification of most professional guardians
  • Procedures for scheduling a hearing in guardianship cases including facilitating attendance of the alleged incapacitated person
  • Facilitating the attendance of the person at a conservatorship  hearing
  • Duties of a guardian ad litem in guardianship and conservatorship hearings
  • Factors that make an individual suitable to serve as guardian and requirements for appointing an individual with priority unless that person is not suitable or willing to serve
  • Requirements regarding the filing of an inventory and accountings by a guardian
  • Protection of items of sentimental as well as monetary value.
  • Protections against guardians removing individuals from their homes and requirements for  court approval of necessary moves
  • Requirements for the completion of an independent evaluation
  • Utilization of temporary guardians
  • Protections against unnecessary restrictions on a person’s communicate, visit or interact with another person
  • Permitting petitions for removal of a conservator, appointment of a successor conservator, modifying the terms of conservatorship or terminating the conservatorship to be made by informal letter to the court and
  • Requirements regarding rights of family members
We expect these proposals to be issued as bills with bipartisan sponsors in the very near future.  Moreover, the Task Force continues to work on other issues and priorities that may result in additional legislation concerning powers of attorney, requirements for appointed counsel in guardianship appeals, the creation of a state office and board that oversee compliance with requirements related to guardianship and conservatorship, family consent laws that would permit families to consent to treatment in certain situations that might otherwise require the imposition of a guardian, and changes to the statutory definitions of facilities that offer long term supports and services.   In addition to the legislative proposals that have been or are being developed, the Task Force continues to pursue other goals including the creation of a court watcher program in probate court and additional training on elder abuse for law enforcement and caregivers.
Domestic Violence Update

Legislative and Rule Updates
Address Confidentiality Program
SB 70 would create an address confidentiality program for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and trafficking.  The program would be housed in the Attorney General’s office, which would keep the victim’s residential address confidential and assign her a mailing address for all purposes, including service of court papers.  Any mail sent to the participant’s residential address would be forwarded to her confidential address.  Should the bill pass, victims who wish to maintain a confidential address will no longer need to pay for a post office box or rely on family or friends to receive mail. The package of bills that supports SB 70 address issues related to driver’s licenses, jury service and elections and voting procedures.  In addition, the House Judiciary committee recently voted out House ACP bills (HBs 5054-5058) that complement the Senate bills.  The Senate bills will be scheduled for committee hearing soon.
SB 5296 would provide that a complaint for divorce filed with the court will not be available to the public until proof of service on defendant has been filed with the court.  This bill is intended to address the practice of “trolling” where attorneys search court records for recent divorce filings and contact the defendant before service to offer the attorney’s services.  This practice can negatively impact domestic violence survivors who file but plan out when to serve the other party in a way that will minimize harm.  It also allows defendants with advance notice to avoid ex parte orders entered to protect marital assets or access to children. 
MCR 3.229
This rule addresses filing confidential materials in domestic relations actions.  Effective immediately, the person filing confidential materials must label the document confidential and the filer waives any claim of confidentiality to any document filed under this rule that is not identified by the filer as confidential.
MCR 8.115
This rule addresses the use of “portable electronic devices,” which includes smart phones, in courtrooms and courthouses and is effective May 1, 2020.  Among other provisions, the rule prohibits photography, audio or video recording or live streaming in a courtroom unless allowed by the judge. It permits attorneys, parties or the public to use a device in a courtroom to retrieve or store information (notetaking), access internet, send/receive texts and reproduce public court documents in a clerk’s office.  Even if allowed, usage is subject to a judge’s authority to terminate if disruptive or distracting to a proceeding or contrary to the administration of justice.  If a person violates the rule, the presiding judge may confiscate the device, or the person may be subject to contempt of court.
Domestic Violence Initiative
Rebecca Shiemke - Consulting Attorney
Emily Miller - Managing Attorney
Kathleen Allen - Supervising Attorney
Ruby Robinson - Supervising Attorney
Stephanie Saad - Staff Attorney
Brooke Wilsner - Staff Attorney
Nickie Perera - Staff Attorney
Brittany Tucker - Staff Attorney
Linda Kellum - Staff Attorney
Cat Villanueva - Staff Attorney
Sharron Sanders - Staff Attorney
Jessica Topor - Staff Attorney
Marie Nelson - Staff Attorney
Sokainah Mahmutovic - Law Graduate
Ana Kolosova - Staff Attorney
Patricia Mandernach - Law Graduate
Jamila Odeh - Law Graduate
Kendall Dingwall - Staff Attorney
Lauren Ykimoff - Staff Attorney
Elder Justice Initiative
Alison  Hirschel - Consulting Attorney
Emily Miller - Managing Attorney
Kathleen Allen - Supervising Attorney
Nicole Shannon - Systemic Advocacy
Roger West - Staff Attorney
Mireille Phillips - Staff Attorney
Natalie Cherry - Staff Attorney
Brittany  Paulk - Staff Attorney
Laura Kubit - Staff Attorney
Kristina Martin - Staff Attorney
Amanda Eicher - Staff Attorney
Andrew Jones - Staff Attorney

Toi Dennis - Staff Attorney 
The Crime Victims Legal Assistance Project is funded by a Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (“VOCA”) grant from the Michigan Crime Victims Services Commission of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to the Michigan Advocacy Program.
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Michigan Advocacy Program / CVLAP Elder + DV · P.O. Box 8294 · Ann Arbor, MI 48107 · USA

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