blog, articles & publications

Bloom Sluggett Celebrates 2018 'Super Lawyers' Rankings

Bloom Sluggett is pleased to announce that Jeff Sluggett and Cliff Bloom have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 Super Lawyers rankings. Super Lawyers is an annual listing of outstanding attorneys from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Congratulations to both Cliff and Jeff!  Read More

Bloom Sluggett Welcomes Danielle Dawson :: Federal Litigation & Employment Lawyer

We're pleased to announce the addition of attorney Danielle Dawson to our legal team. Danielle’s focus is on federal litigation, criminal law enforcement, and employment law.  Read More

Jeff Sluggett Named 2019 Lawyer of the Year

Jeff Sluggett has been named the 2019 "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for his work in the field of municipal law. In addition, Sluggett was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019 for the Grand Rapids metro area.  Read More

Michigan Court of Appeals Strikes Down Zoning Restriction on Protected Medical Marihuana Activity

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently struck down a municipal zoning provision which made it a local violation for registered caregivers licensed under Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Act (“MMMA”) to partake in medical marihuana activities in a commercial zoning location.  In Deruiter v Township of Byron, the township permitted medical marihuana related use of property by a registered caregiver only as a “home occupation.”  Read More

Bloom Sluggett, PC, Secures a Major Victory for its Client and also Muncipal Zoning Boards of Appeals in Michigan.

On July 3, 2018, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a Bloom Sluggett, PC (“BSPC”) client, which had obtained a dimensional nonuse variance for a dwelling from the Chickaming Township’s Zoning Board of Appeals (the “ZBA”).  Read More

Cliff Bloom’s Water / Riparian Law Articles

Cliff Bloom is general legal counsel for the Michigan Lake & Stream Associations, Inc. and the Michigan Riparian Magazine.  Cliff authors a regular column for the Michigan Riparian Magazine and many of those columns can be read on our firm’s website at www.bloomsluggett.com.  In addition, many of his articles regarding water law and riparian issues can also be accessed at the Michigan Riparian Magazine website at www.mi-riparian.org  Read More

Email Warning/Disclosure Regarding the Michigan Open Meetings Act

Most municipal officials in Michigan know that under the OMA, members of a public body (such as a city commission, village council, township board, zoning board of appeals, board of review or planning commission) cannot deliberate toward any decision outside of a public meeting if a quorum is involved in those discussions or deliberations.  Furthermore, the Michigan courts have gone so far as to hold that even “one-on-one” deliberations between two members of a public body can constitute a prohibited deliberation (and a violation of OMA) where a “round robin” occurs.    Read More

Important Open Meetings Act Decisions

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently issued two unpublished opinions which may affect a public body’s obligations related to meeting in closed sessions under Michigan’s Open Meetings Act, MCL 15.261 et seq. (“OMA”).  The cases, Andrich v. Delta College Board of Trustees and Estate of Timothy Ader v Delta College Board of Trustees decided on June 5, 2018, found that when a Michigan public body elects to go into a closed session to “consult with its attorney regarding trial or settlement strategy in connection with specific pending litigation” under MCL 15.268(e), the OMA requires the public body to identify beforehand on the record the specific litigation that it will be discussing.  Similarly, the decision further suggests that public bodies must be as transparent as possible when recording the minutes related to the content of the closed session meetings.  For instance, in Andrich, the closed session at issue resulted in the Board of Trustees’ acceptance of its legal counsel’s recommendation that the Board agree to a settlement within designated dollar parameters, which was subsequently formalized by resolution of the Board once back in open session.  However, the minutes of the open meeting reflected only that the Board accepted counsel’s unknown recommendation.  The Court found that, “to more fully comply” with the OMA, the Board should have informed the public in open session that it had authorized its counsel to settle the case “within certain parameters” without disclosing what those parameters were.  Read More

Michigan Department of Treasury Proposed Assessing Reform

The Michigan Department of Treasury released on May 3rd an “assessing reform proposal” that is intended to be introduced in the Legislature prior to its summer break. The stated goal of the proposed legislation is to improve the assessment profession through quality control. As drafted, the proposed bill could force many small assessing districts to “consolidate” their assessing departments, either with other assessing districts or under the county’s umbrella.

For an assessing district that does not use county assessing services, the State Tax Commission (“STC”) would mandate “substantial compliance” with various “quality standards,” including requiring the assessor of record to have attained either MMAO(4) or MAAO(3) level certification, to be responsible for assessing a certain minimum number of parcels and generated tax revenue (with some exceptions), and to provide full time service to an assessing district as an employee or contractor (with some exceptions).
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Recodified Tax Increment Financing Act

The Michigan legislature recently enacted Public Act 57 of 2018, otherwise known as the “Recodified Tax Increment Financing Act” (the “RTIFA”), which serves to streamline Michigan’s statutory tax increment financing scheme.  Read More