Rule 7.121 Appeals From Concealed Weapon Licensing Boards

(A)   Scope. This rule governs appeals to the circuit court from a final determination of a concealed weapon licensing board refusing to restore rights under MCL 28.424 or denying, failing to issue, revoking, or suspending a license to carry a concealed pistol. Unless this rule provides otherwise, MCR 7.101 through MCR 7.115 apply.

(B)   Appeal of Right.

(1)   Time Requirements. Time requirements are governed by MCR 7.104(A).

(2)   Manner of Filing.

(a)   Claim of Appeal – Form. The claim of appeal shall conform with the requirements of MCR 7.104(C)(1), except that:

(i)   the license applicant is the appellant, and

(ii)   the board is the appellee.

(b)   Claim of Appeal – Content. The claim of appeal must:

(i)   state:

[A]   “[Name of appellant] claims an appeal from the decision on [date] by [name of the county] Concealed Weapon Licensing Board,” or

[B]   “[Name of appellant] claims an appeal from the failure of the [name of the county] Concealed Weapon Licensing Board to issue a decision on the application for a license by [date],” and

(ii)   include concise statements of the following:

[A]   the nature of the proceedings before the board, including citation to the statute authorizing the board’s decision;

[B]   citation to the statute or Const 1963, art 6 § 28 authorizing appellate review;

[C]   the facts on which venue is based.

(c)   Signature. The claim of appeal must be signed as stated in MCR 7.104(C)(3).

(d)   Other Documents. In addition to the documents required under MCR 7.104(D), the claim of appeal shall include a copy of the board’s decision and any materials accompanying the board’s decision. If the appeal is from the board’s failure to issue a timely decision, the claim of appeal shall state the date on which the application was filed and shall include a statement addressing whether the application complied with MCL 28.425b(1), (5), and (9).

(e)   Service. The appellant shall serve the claim of appeal on all parties.

(f)   Request for Certified Record. Within the time for filing a claim of appeal, the appellant shall send a written request to the board to send a certified copy of the record to the circuit court.

(3)   Appearance. The appellee shall file an appearance that complies with MCR 7.104(F) within 14 days after service of the claim of appeal.

(C)   Hearing De Novo from Denial of License for Grounds Specified in MCL 28.425b(7)(n).

(1)   Briefs. The court may require briefs and may enter an order setting a briefing schedule. Unless otherwise ordered, briefs must comply with MCR 7.111.

(2)   Hearing. The court shall hold a hearing de novo that comports with MCL 28.425d(1). Any determination that the appellant is unfit under MCL 28.425b(7)(n) shall be based on clear and convincing evidence.

(3)   Decision. The circuit court shall enter an order either affirming the board’s denial or finding the applicant qualified under MCL 28.425b(7)(n) and ordering the board to issue a license.

(D)   Procedure in All Other Appeals.

(1)   Briefs. Unless otherwise ordered, the parties must file briefs complying with MCR 7.111.

(2)   Oral Argument. If requested in accord with MCR 7.111(C), the court shall hold oral argument within 14 days after the appellee’s brief was filed or due. The court may dispense with oral argument under MCR 7.114(A).

(3)   Decision. The court shall confine its consideration to a review of the record. If the court determines that the denial of a license was clearly erroneous, the court shall order the board to issue a license as required by the act. If the court determines that the board erroneously refused to restore rights pursuant to MCL 28.424(3), the court shall order the board to restore the applicant’s rights. If the court determines that the board erroneously revoked or suspended a license, the court shall order the board to reinstate the license. If the court determines that the board failed to issue a license pursuant to MCL 28.425b(13), the court shall order the board to act on the application within 14 days. The court shall retain jurisdiction to review the board’s decision.

(E)   Notice of Decision. The circuit court shall serve the parties with a copy of its order resolving the appeal.

(F)   Costs and Attorney Fees.

(1)   Arbitrary and Capricious Board Decision. If the court determines that the decision of the board to deny issuance of a license to an applicant was arbitrary and capricious, the court shall order the state to pay 1/3 and the county in which the concealed weapon licensing board is located to pay 2/3 of the actual costs and actual attorney fees of the applicant in appealing the denial.

(2)   Frivolous Appeal. If the court determines that an applicant’s appeal was frivolous, the court shall order the applicant to pay the actual costs and actual attorney fees of the board in responding to the appeal.