Rule 9.112 Requests for Investigation

(A) Availability to Public. The administrator shall furnish a form for a request for investigation to a person who alleges misconduct against an attorney. Use of the form is not required for filing a request for investigation.

(B) Form of Request. A request for investigation of alleged misconduct must

(1) be in writing;

(2) describe the alleged misconduct, including the approximate time and place of it;

(3) be signed by the complainant; and

(4) be filed with the administrator.

(C) Handling by Administrator.

(1) Request for Investigation of Attorney. After a preliminary review, the administrator shall either

(a) notify the complainant and the respondent that the allegations of the request for investigation are inadequate, incomplete, or insufficient to warrant the further attention of the commission; or

(b) serve a copy of the request for investigation on the respondent by ordinary mail at the respondent’s address on file with the State Bar as required by Rule 2 of the Supreme Court Rules Concerning the State Bar of Michigan. Service is effective at the time of mailing, and nondelivery does not affect the validity of service. If a respondent has not filed an answer, no formal complaint shall be filed with the board unless the administrator has served the request for investigation by registered or certified mail return receipt requested.

(2) Request for Investigation of Judge. The administrator shall forward to the Judicial Tenure Commission a request for investigation of a judge, even if the request arises from the judge’s conduct before he or she became a judge or from conduct unconnected with his or her judicial office. MCR 9.116 thereafter governs.

(3) Request for Investigation of Member or Employee of Commission or Board. Except as modified by MCR 9.131, MCR 9.104-9.130 apply to a request for investigation of an attorney who is a member of or is employed by the board or the commission.

(D) Subpoenas.

(1) After the request for investigation has been served on the respondent, the commission may issue subpoenas to require the appearance of a witness or the production of documents or other tangible things concerning matters then under investigation. Upon request filed with the board, the board chairperson may quash or modify the subpoena if compliance would be unreasonable or oppressive. Documents or other tangible things so produced may be retained by the grievance administrator, copied, or may be subjected to nondestructive testing. Subpoenas shall be returnable before the administrator or a person designated by the administrator.

(2) A person who without just cause, after being commanded by a subpoena, fails or refuses to appear or give evidence, to be sworn or affirmed, or to answer a proper question after being ordered to do so is in contempt. The administrator may initiate a contempt proceeding before the board chairperson or his or her designee, or under MCR 3.606 in the circuit court for the county where the act or refusal to act occurred. In the event of a finding of contempt by the respondent, the respondent’s license to practice law may be suspended until he or she complies with the order of the board chairperson or his or her designee.

(3) A subpoena issued pursuant to this subrule and certified by the commission chairperson shall be sufficient authorization for taking a deposition or seeking the production of evidence outside the State of Michigan. If the deponent or the person possessing the subpoenaed evidence will not comply voluntarily, the proponent of the subpoena may utilize MCR 2.305(D) or any similar provision in a statute or court rule of Michigan or of the state, territory, or country where the deponent or possessor resides or is present.

(4)   Upon receipt of a subpoena certified to be duly issued under the rules or laws of another lawyer disciplinary or admissions jurisdiction, the administrator may issue a subpoena directing a person domiciled or found within the state of Michigan to give testimony and/or produce documents or other things for use in the other lawyer disciplinary proceedings as directed in the subpoena of the other jurisdiction. The practice and procedure applicable to subpoenas issued under this subdivision shall be that of the other jurisdiction, except that:

(a)   the testimony or production shall be only in the county where the person resides or is employed, or as otherwise fixed by the grievance administrator for good cause shown; and,

(b)   compliance with any subpoena issued pursuant to this subdivision and contempt for failure in this respect shall be sought as elsewhere provided in this subchapter.