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CRIMINAL 18: Defendant was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

This case stems from an interaction between defendant and police officers, which resulted in a police officer chasing defendant on foot.

The chase spanned two to three blocks. During the chase, defendant ran between neighboring houses. Officer Oliver observed defendant throw a gun over a fence while running between houses. Shortly after Officer Oliver saw defendant throw a gun, the foot chase ended, and defendant was taken into custody. Police officers searched the yard that defendant threw the gun into and recovered a pistol.

Felon in Possession of Firearm

Defendant was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Defendant claimed there was insufficient evidence to support that he possessed the firearm.

Circumstantial evidence and the reasonable inferences that arise from the evidence can constitute satisfactory proof of the elements of the crime.

On the issue of whether defendant possessed a firearm, Officer testified that while he was chasing defendant, he saw defendant throw a gun over a backyard fence. Another officer testified that he found a gun in a backyard near the location where he was told defendant had thrown a gun. When viewing this evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, a rational trier of fact could have found beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant possessed the firearm that was recovered by police.

Court Determines Credibility of Officer Testimony

Defendant argues that Officer testimony was not corroborated by the footage from the officer’s body camera, and that the prosecution did not present any fingerprint or DNA evidence connecting defendant to the gun. But it is for the trier of fact to determine the credibility of Officer testimony and the weight to give the evidence presented at trial.

Facing Criminal Charges

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FAMILY LAW 83: A trial court can terminate a parent’s rights and permit a stepparent to adopt a child.

A trial court has discretion to terminate a parent’s rights and permit a stepparent to adopt a child when the conditions of MCL 710.51(6) are met. MCL 710.51(6)(b) requires the petitioner to establish that the other parent had the ability to visit, contact, or communicate with the children, and substantially failed or neglected to do so for a period of two years.

PROBATE 53: The trust agreement included an Incontestability Provision.

A settlor’s intent is to be carried out as nearly as possible. Generally, in terrorem clauses are valid and enforceable. However, a provision in a trust that purports to penalize an interested person for contesting the trust or instituting another proceeding relating to the trust shall not be given effect if probable cause exists for instituting a proceeding contesting the trust or another proceeding relating to the trust.

FAMILY LAW 82: Court stated it would terminate the personal protection order (PPO) after the parties present documentation of the initiation of the divorce proceedings.

However, the trial court concluded that these matters should, in fact, be in the province and the jurisdiction of the Family Division and in that respect, having issued a personal protection order, the Court stated it would terminate the personal protection order after the parties present documentation of the initiation of the divorce proceedings.

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PROBATE 51: Trust filed a petition to determine title to credit union account.

The probate court explained that the owners of the account are S and J. When S passes, J becomes the owner of the account. J is the one who had the authority to make the designation. Nowhere in any documents is there a designation by J that SJ be the owner -- or the beneficiary of the account. The designation made by his father was no longer binding because he was no longer the owner at the time J passed away.

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Could I lose my job over a drunk driving arrest?

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FAMILY LAW 77: Court awarded plaintiff sole legal custody; defendant was unwilling to work with plaintiff.

For joint custody to work, parents must be able to agree with each other on basic issues in child rearing including health care, religion, education, day to day decision making and discipline and they must be willing to cooperate with each other in joint decision making. If two equally capable parents are unable to cooperate and to agree generally concerning important decisions affecting the welfare of their children, the court has no alternative but to determine which parent shall have sole custody of the children.

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