Issue 28  Summer 2005

Table of Contents




Elder Law

Family Law

Housing Law

Public Benefits Law



MPLP 2005 Training Agenda

MPLP 2005 Taskforces Calendar

E L D E R  L A W - Articles by Alison Hirschel, MPLP Elder Law Attorney
Upcoming Elder Law Trainings

Fall brings its usual array of superb elder law training opportunities. Some of the upcoming trainings include:

The MPLP Road Show on Sept. 26-30 at the Novi Sheraton. Elder Law Day is Tuesday, September 27.

The Annual Elder Law and Advocacy Training, AJuggling With One Ball, focusing on housing issues for seniors at the Treetops Resort in Gaylord from October 6-8.

National Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform Annual Meeting, Arlington, Virginia, at the Hilton Crystal City, October 16-19.

Governor Signs Executive Order Implementing First Three Recommendations of the Governor's Medicaid Long Term Care Task Force On June 9, several hundred consumers, policymakers, advocates, and others interested in long term care gathered at the Capitol to celebrate the official release of the recommendations of the Governor's Medicaid Long Term Care Task Force and to oppose cuts under consideration by the House and Senate to the MiChoice Home and Community Based Waiver program.

Governor Appoints Elder Abuse Task Force
In May, Governor Granholm created the Michigan Task Force on Elder Abuse to make recommendations on ways to ensure that Michigan's senior citizens are protected from abuse, fraud, neglect, and financial exploitation.

Both House and Senate Recommend Cutting MiChoice Funding Both the Michigan House and Senate have recommended further cuts in funding to the MiChoice Home and Community Based Waiver Program for FY '06. These cuts are aimed at reducing administrative costs, a controversial issue in the waiver program.

Attorney General Raises Concerns about Criminal
Background of Some Staff in Residential Care Facilities

Attorney General Mike Cox announced recently that his office conducted two studies that revealed almost 10% of the employees caring for approximately 100,000 Michigan seniors and vulnerable adults have criminal backgrounds.

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F A M I L Y   L A W - Articles by Rebecca Shiemke , MPLP Family Law Attorney

Reauthroizing the Violence Against Women Act Prompted VAWA 2000 will expire in September of 2005. If Congress does not reauthorize the Act, then the 10 years of improvements incombating violence against women will be halted.

Disappointing Supreme Court Decision for Battered Women On June 27, 2005, the United States Supreme Court announced its decision in Town of Castle Rock, Colorado v. Gonzales. In this 7-2 decision, the Court held that there is no 14th Amendment property interest in "police enforcement of restraining orders," and, accordingly, there is no Due Process violation when a police officer does not enforce a restraining order.

Recent Case Developments in Family Law

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H O U S I N G   L A W - Articles by Jim Schaafsma, MPLP Housing Attorney

Job Sprawl and Spacial Mismatch in Michigan
Among metropolitan areas in the U.S. with populations greater than 500,000, two in Michigan led the nation in "job sprawl", and the Detroit metro area has the highest rate of "spacial mismatch" between jobs and African-Americans in the country, according to a recent Brookings Institution report. The study identifies "spacial mismatch" as a measure of the physical isolation of people, in terms of where they live, from job opportunities in their metropolitan area.

By 5-4 Vote, U.S. Supreme Court Rules that Exercising Eminent Domain for Private Economic Development is a Public Use In a 5-4 decision released near the end of its recently concluded session, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the a city's exercise of its eminent domain powers to enable private development was a legitimate public use for purposes of the 5th Amendment's Takings clause.

Rethinking the American Housing Dream In a recently published op-ed piece, 2 former assistant secretaries of HUD during the Clinton administration offered the following interesting perspective on the American Dream of homeownership.

Recent Fair Housing Case Decisions

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P U B L I C . B E N E F I T S . L A W

Analysis of the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) will usher in a new era of socialized medicine in America. Beginning on January 1, 2006, Medicare will provide over 30 million people with prescription drug plans (PDP) through a new "Part D" benefit to Medicare. Medicare will contract with private insurance companies to provide this benefit.


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T E C H N O L O G Y - Articles by Scott Trudeau, MPLP Technology Manager

Handy Backup is Definitely Handy
In this issue, in lieu of my usual column, I invited Keith Morris of Elder Law of Michigan to write a short article about his experiences using the Handy Backup software to manage his computers cheaply, without tapes or other bulky or expensive media.

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