MSC to hear oral arguments

 A dispute between Ford Motor Company and the Michigan Department of Treasury about calculating overpayment interest, whether agencies involved in auto repossession engaged in soliciting a claim for collection, as well as cases regarding restitution, court costs, expert testimony, and several criminal cases will be heard by the Michigan Supreme Court in oral arguments this week.


The Court will hear Ford Motor Company v Department of Treasury. During a tax audit, Ford Motor Company and the Michigan Department of Treasury disagreed on the amount of money owed. Was Ford Motor Company’s response to the Department of Treasury’s audit letter a “petition…for refund” or “claim for refund” for purposes of calculating overpayment interest? Alternatively, was Ford Motor Company’s request for an informal conference with the Department of Treasury, in spite of its later withdrawal of that request, such a petition or claim?

Also before the Court is George Badeen v Par, Inc. A “forwarding company” or “forwarder” is retained by a bank or lending institution to handle collection services on delinquent accounts. The forwarder, which is unlicensed, will then hire a licensed collection agency to carry out the actual repossession of collateral from the delinquent borrower. Is a forwarder acting as a “collection agency” under the Occupational Code, MCL 339.901(b), such that it is required to be licensed?

Also to be argued: People v Ryan Christopher Smith, People v Levon Lee Bynum, People v Gordon Benjamin Wilding, People v Matthew McKinley, and People v Frederick Cunningham.

The Court will hear oral arguments in its courtroom on the sixth floor of the Michigan Hall of Justice on April 2 and 3, starting at 9:30 a.m. each day. Oral arguments are open to the public; the Court also live streams its hearings at http://courts.mi.gov/Courts/MichiganSupremeCourt/oral-arguments/live-streaming/Pages/live-streaming.aspx

Summaries of the cases are posted on the “One Court of Justice” website; see http://courts.mi.gov/Courts/MichiganSupremeCourt/oral-arguments/Pages/default.aspx for the oral argument schedule.

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