Michigan Court of Appeals Rules “Substantial Compliance” With Statutory Notice Provision Sufficient to Give Governmental Entity Sufficient Notice of Defect Under “Highway Exception” to Governmental Immunity

Although the Court of Appeals does not use the term “substantial compliance” in this case, it rules that there was enough information in the plaintiff’s communications to the City of Detroit to provide the city with proper notice of a defect in a sidewalk within the meaning of MCL 691.1404 (the notice provision concerning the “highway exception” to governmental immunity).

I have written many times on the issue of “strict” as opposed to “substantial” compliance with the notice provision.  I have also contended the jurisdictional prerequisite for a trial court to exercise subject-matter jurisdiction over a suit against the government, which include notice provisions, require strict compliance.

Any effort to collect distended factual information and evidence and use that conglomeration to effectively rule that the governmental entity “should have had” notice, rather than a showing that it actually did have the requisite notice with the degree of precise specificity required by the statute is, in my judgment, an unwarranted exercise of jurisdiction by courts of suits against the government.  Notwithstanding this jurisdictional principle of governmental immunity, which is adhered to in Michigan, the Supreme Court has rejected attempts to make an end run around a plaintiff’s strict compliance with the notice provision.

Yet, trial courts and the Court of Appeals continue to find ways to improvidently exercise jurisdiction over these cases.  The Court’s short opinion is attached here:  Curtis v. City of Detroit

About cjtucker06

Owner of law firm since July 2014; Handles all types of appellate matters and assists other lawyers with complex litigation and insurance coverage issues; Admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the State Bar of Michigan; Expertise in prosecuting and defending appeals with several significant successes in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Michigan Supreme Court and the Michigan Court of Appeals; Author of briefs amicus curiae in the Michigan Supreme Court for the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel and the Insurance Institute of Michigan; Represents Insurance Companies, Major International Business, Governmental Entities, Law Enforcement Officers and County Sheriffs. Board of Directors, Michigan Defense Trial Counsel Amicus Committee Co-Chair, Michigan Defense Trial Counsel Military - Retired Major in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps of the United States Army, Brigade Judge Advocate and Staff JAG officer for the Maneuver Training Center, Camp Grayling, Michigan; Recipient of the Army's Meritorious Service Medal (the highest medal of honor available to Soldiers serving in non-combat roles); 2012 Graduate of the Judge Advocate Officer Advanced Course, at The Judge Advocate Legal Center and School, Charlottesville, Virginia. United States Navy Reserves, Combat Warfare Qualification, January 1989 to July 2003 Former law clerk to Justice Stephen J. Markman, Michigan Supreme Court, Research Attorney, Michigan Court of Appeals. Insurance Coverage Associate Plunkett Cooney; Environmental Law Attorney at Squire Sanders, now Squire Patton Boggs; Master's Degree in Environmental Law; Environmental Law Scholar, ALI/ABA Washington, D.C., Juris Doctorate, Vermont Law School, Environmental Editor, Vermont Law Review; Treasurer and Finalist, Moot Court Advisory Board.
Gallery | This entry was posted in Governmental Immunity, Insurance and Indemnity, May It Please the Court, Michigan Court of Appeals Unpublished Opinions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s