Daily Briefs . . .

State Supreme Court suspends UP judge for dismissing charges without holding a hearing


SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court has ordered a four-month suspension without pay for an Upper Peninsula judge who dismissed charges and tickets in dozens of cases without holding a hearing.

The court last week accepted a settlement between Chippewa County Judge Elizabeth Church and a watchdog agency, the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission.

Church is a Probate and District Court judge in Sault Ste. Marie. She admits misconduct, which includes reducing or dismissing charges without hearings and modifying sentences. In one case, she visited a criminal defendant in jail before trial without telling the prosecutor.

The Supreme Court suggested that Church deserves more than a suspension. But it noted her acceptance of responsibility as well as a serious medical condition. Church is barred from the courthouse during the suspension.

 

Teacher and school sued over special-ed student stuck in chair
 

GOODRICH, Mich. (AP) — The family of a special education student is suing a Genesee County school district, a few years after a teacher failed to immediately help a boy who was trapped in a chair.

The 2013 incident made headlines in 2014 when officials learned that teacher Nicole McVey was involved in making a video of the boy instead of helping him. He got stuck trying to squeeze through the back of a chair.

The boy’s family filed a lawsuit Friday in federal court, saying McVey and the Goodrich district had violated his civil rights and an anti-bullying law. The boy was 10 at the time.

The Oaktree Elementary principal resigned. McVey said she made a “significant mistake.” She was suspended for a year.

 

Legislature OKs bill to revoke paternity in cases of rape
 

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Legislation going to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk would expand a mechanism by which a mother can go to court to have the father’s paternity revoked if a child is conceived through rape.

The process is already allowed if there is a rape conviction. But advocates say women may not press charges due to fear and intimidation tactics used by perpetrators.

The bill sent to Snyder by the Senate on Tuesday allows a mother who proves by “clear and convincing” evidence that her child was conceived as a result of rape to have the perpetrator’s paternity revoked.

Without a conviction, current law only allows the woman to seek to have parenting time or custody denied.

The legislation is sponsored by Republican Sen. Rick Jones of Grand Ledge.