Rule 7.215 Opinions, Orders, Judgments, and Final Process for Court of Appeals

(A) Opinions of Court. An opinion must be written and bear the writer’s name or the label “per curiam” or “memorandum” opinion. An opinion of the court that bears the writer’s name shall be published by the Supreme Court reporter of decisions. A memorandum opinion shall not be published. A per curiam opinion shall not be published unless one of the judges deciding the case directs the reporter to do so at the time it is filed with the clerk. A copy of an opinion to be published must be delivered to the reporter no later than when it is filed with the clerk. The reporter is responsible for having those opinions published as are opinions of the Supreme Court, but in separate volumes containing opinions of the Court of Appeals only, in a form and under a contract approved by the Supreme Court. An opinion not designated for publication shall be deemed “unpublished.”

(B) Standards for Publication. A court opinion must be published if it:

(1) establishes a new rule of law;

(2) construes as a matter of first impression a provision of a constitution, statute, regulation, ordinance, or court rule;

(3) alters, modifies, or reverses an existing rule of law;

(4) reaffirms a principle of law or construction of a constitution, statute, regulation, ordinance, or court rule not applied in a reported decision since November 1, 1990;

(5) involves a legal issue of significant public interest;

(6) criticizes existing law; or

(7) resolves a conflict among unpublished Court of Appeals opinions brought to the Court’s attention; or

(8) decides an appeal from a lower court order ruling that a provision of the Michigan Constitution, a Michigan Statute, a rule or regulation included in the Michigan Administrative Code, or any other action of the legislative or executive branch of state government is invalid.

(C) Precedent of Opinions.

(1) An unpublished opinion is not precedentially binding under the rule of stare decisis. Unpublished opinions should not be cited for propositions of law for which there is published authority. If a party cites an unpublished opinion, the party shall explain the reason for citing it and how it is relevant to the issues presented. A party who cites an unpublished opinion must provide a copy of the opinion to the court and to opposing parties with the brief or other paper in which the citation appears.

(2) A published opinion of the Court of Appeals has precedential effect under the rule of stare decisis. The filing of an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court or a Supreme Court order granting leave to appeal does not diminish the precedential effect of a published opinion of the Court of Appeals.

(D) Requesting Publication.

(1) Any party may request publication of an authored or per curiam opinion not designated for publication by

(a) filing with the clerk 4 copies of a letter stating why the opinion should be published, and

(b) mailing a copy to each party to the appeal not joining in the request, and to the clerk of the Supreme Court.

Such a request must be filed within 21 days after release of the unpublished opinion or, if a timely motion for rehearing is filed, within 21 days after the denial of the motion.

(2) Any party served with a copy of the request may file a response within 14 days in the same manner as provided in subrule (D)(1).

(3) Promptly after the expiration of the time provided in subrule (D)(2), the clerk shall submit the request, and any response that has been received, to the panel that filed the opinion. Within 21 days after submission of the request, the panel shall decide whether to direct that the opinion be published. The opinion shall be published only if the panel unanimously so directs. Failure of the panel to act within 21 days shall be treated as a denial of the request.

(4) The Court of Appeals shall not direct publication if the Supreme Court has denied an application for leave to appeal under MCR 7.302.

(E) Judgment.

(1) When the Court of Appeals disposes of an original action or an appeal, whether taken as of right, by leave granted, or by order in lieu of leave being granted, its opinion or order is its judgment. An order denying leave to appeal is not deemed to dispose of an appeal.

(2) The clerk shall send a certified copy of the opinion or order, with the date of filing stamped on it, to each party and, in an appeal, to the court or tribunal from which the appeal was received. In criminal cases, the clerk shall provide an additional copy of any opinion or order disposing of an appeal or of any order denying leave to appeal to the defendant’s lawyer, which the lawyer must promptly send to the defendant. An opinion or order is notice of the entry of judgment of the Court of Appeals.

(F) Execution and Enforcement.

(1) Routine Issuance. Unless otherwise ordered by the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court or as otherwise provided by these rules,

(a) the Court of Appeals judgment is effective after the expiration of the time for filing an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, or, if such an application is filed, after the disposition of the case by the Supreme Court;

(b) execution on the Court of Appeals judgment is to be obtained or enforcement proceedings had in the trial court or tribunal after the record has been returned (by the clerk under MCR 7.210[H] or by the Supreme Court clerk under MCR 7.311[B]) with a certified copy of the court’s judgment or, if a record was not transmitted to the Court of Appeals, after the time specified for return of the record had it been transmitted.

(2) Exceptional Issuance. The court may order that a judgment described in subrule (E) has immediate effect. The order does not prevent the filing of a motion for rehearing, but the filing of the motion does not stay execution or enforcement.

(G) Entry, Issuance, Execution on, and Enforcement of All Other Orders. An order other than one described in subrule (E) is entered on the date of filing. The clerk must promptly send a certified copy to each party and to the trial court or tribunal. Unless otherwise stated, an order is effective on the date it is entered.

(H) Certain Dispositive Orders and Opinions in Criminal Cases; Expedited Notice to Prosecutor. In a criminal case, if the prosecuting attorney files a notice of a victim’s request for information and proof that copies of the notice were served on the other parties to the appeal, then, coincident with issuing an order or opinion that reverses a conviction, vacates a sentence, remands a case to the trial court for a new trial, or denies the prosecuting attorney’s appeal, the clerk of the court must electronically transmit a copy of the order or opinion to the prosecuting attorney at a facsimile number or electronic mail address provided by the prosecuting attorney in the notice.

(I) Reconsideration.

(1) A motion for reconsideration may be filed within 21 days after the date of the order or the date stamped on an opinion. The motion shall include all facts, arguments, and citations to authorities in a single document and shall not exceed 10 double-spaced pages. A copy of the order or opinion of which reconsideration is sought must be included with the motion. Motions for reconsideration are subject to the restrictions contained in MCR 2.119(F)(3).

(2) A party may answer a motion for reconsideration within 14 days after the motion is served on the party. An answer to a motion for reconsideration shall be a single document and shall not exceed 7 double-spaced pages.

(3) The clerk will not accept for filing a motion for reconsideration of an order denying a motion for reconsideration.

(4) The clerk will not accept for filing a late motion for reconsideration.

(J) Resolution of Conflicts in Court of Appeals Decisions.

(1) Precedential Effect of Published Decisions. A panel of the Court of Appeals must follow the rule of law established by a prior published decision of the Court of Appeals issued on or after November 1, 1990, that has not been reversed or modified by the Supreme Court, or by a special panel of the Court of Appeals as provided in this rule.

(2) Conflicting Opinion. A panel that follows a prior published decision only because it is required to do so by subrule (1) must so indicate in the text of its opinion, citing this rule and explaining its disagreement with the prior decision. The panel’s opinion must be published in the official reports of opinions of the Court of Appeals.

(3) Convening of Special Panel.

(a) Poll of Judges. Except as provided in subrule (3)(b), within 28 days after release of the opinion indicating disagreement with a prior decision as provided in subrule (2), the chief judge must poll the judges of the Court of Appeals to determine whether the particular question is both outcome determinative and warrants convening a special panel to rehear the case for the purpose of resolving the conflict that would have been created but for the provisions of subrule (1). Special panels may be convened to consider outcome-determinative questions only.

(b) Effect of Pending Supreme Court Appeal. No poll shall be conducted and a special panel shall not be convened if, at the time the judges are required to be polled, the Supreme Court has granted leave to appeal in the controlling case.

(c) Order. Immediately following the poll, an order reflecting the result must be entered. The chief clerk of the Court of Appeals must provide a copy of the order to the Clerk of the Supreme Court. The order must be published in the official reports of opinions of the Court of Appeals.

(4) Composition of Panel. A special panel convened pursuant to this rule consists of 7 judges of the Court of Appeals selected by lot, except that judges who participated in either the controlling decision or the opinion in the case at bar may not be selected.

(5) Consideration of Case by Panel. An order directing the convening of a special panel must vacate only that portion of the prior opinion in the case at bar addressing the particular question that would have been decided differently but for the provisions of subrule (1). The special panel shall limit its review to resolving the conflict that would have been created but for the provisions of subrule (1) and applying its decision to the case at bar. The parties are permitted to file supplemental briefs, and are entitled to oral argument before the special panel unless the panel unanimously agrees to dispense with oral argument. The special panel shall return to the original panel for further consideration any remaining, unresolved issues, as the case may require.

(6) Decision. The decision of the special panel must be by published opinion or order and is binding on all panels of the Court of Appeals unless reversed or modified by the Supreme Court.

(7) Reconsideration; Appeal. There is no appeal from the decision of the Court of Appeals as to whether to convene a special panel. As to the decision in the case at bar, the time limits for moving for rehearing or for filing an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court run from the date of the order declining to convene a special panel or, if a special panel is convened, from the date of the decision of the special panel, except that, if the case is returned to the original panel for further consideration in accordance with subrule (5), the time limits shall run from the date of the original panel’s decision, after return from the special panel. If a motion for reconsideration is filed, it shall be submitted to the special panel, which, if appropriate, may refer some or all of the issues presented to the original panel.