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PROBATE 49: Petition for mental health treatment requires two independent medical examinations.

Petitioner, respondent’s brother, filed a petition for mental health treatment with the trial court because he believed that respondent posed a danger to himself and others.

Independent Examinations

Attached to the petition were two clinical certificates, one from Dr. F and one from Dr. A. Both were psychiatrists and had examined respondent together when he was brought into the hospital. Both doctors found that respondent suffered from paranoid delusions and noted it in their respective clinical certificates. Following a hearing on the petition, the trial court found that respondent’s judgment was impaired and that he needed treatment. The trial court ordered respondent to be hospitalized up to 60 days and assisted through outpatient treatment for up to 180 days.

Mental Health Code

Respondent argues that the Mental Health Code, MCL 330.1001 et seq., requires that two separate, independent examinations be conducted before a hearing can be held on a petition for involuntary treatment. Specifically, respondent asserts that MCL 330.1435(4) requires that an individual subject to a petition receive two examinations because it states after each examination.

The provision respondent cites simply does not apply in this case. It applies to cases in which less than two clinical certificates are filed with the petition.

In this case, petitioner filed a petition, which was accompanied by two clinical certificates—each prepared by a psychiatrist after personal examination of the individual, within 72 hours before the filing of the petition. Both clinical certificates reflect that the two psychiatrists examined respondent at 11:00 a.m. on February 18, 2021, the day before the petition was filed. MCL 330.1434 contains no language requiring multiple examinations, and it contains no language indicating that it was the Legislature’s intent to impose such a requirement.

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REAL ESTATE 89: RM had not included any language in the deed providing that the property was a joint tenancy with full rights of survivorship, the property instead became a tenancy in common.

RM drafted the deed without seeking counsel and mistakenly believed that, if either she or FK died, the property would fully pass to the surviving tenant. FK’s will provided that if his wife predeceased him—which she did—the personal representative of his estate should sell any residual property that he owned and divide the cash proceeds equally among his surviving children.

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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