Publications

It’s first hour. Do we know where our children are?

Does Michigan have a truancy problem? Ah, there’s the rub. Without a standard system of reporting, not to mention a standard definition of truancy or chronic absenteeism, we can’t yet intelligently speak of such a problem. One of the fruits of this Michigan School-Justice Partnership is the introduction of a four-bill package (Senate Bills 405-408) in the Michigan Senate. The first of the bills sets forth...
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The Denial of Standing for Grandparents to Seek Visitation

To a certain extent the Michigan Child Custody Act, which is the exclusive means for awarding parenting time, respects the unique value of the grandparent/grandchild relationship. It is noteworthy, for example, that the act refers to "parenting time" and "grandparenting time," but no other comparable terms, such as "uncle-ing" or "aunt-ing" time. Most important...
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Criminal Corporal Punishment: Not a fine line at all

Rest assured, in Michigan law the demarcation between appropriate discipline and criminal child abuse is actually very clear. The statuute which defines criminal child abuse explicitly excludes all "reasonable" discipline. It states that the law criminalizing child abuse "does not prohibit a parent or guardian, or other person permitted by law or authorized by the parent or guardian, from taking steps to reasonably discipline a child, including the use of reasonable force." And, thankfully...
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Changes aim to improve reliability of child abuse registry

It is a critical component of the Michigan Child Protection Law, the goals of which include protecting children from abuse and providing supportive services to families. Accordingly, the law mandates the reporting — and recording — of individuals suspected of neglecting or abusing children. The benefit of this system should be clear, at least in its intention. Indeed, it must be agreed that...
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