Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

White v. Highland Park Election Comm'n

Court of Appeals of Michigan

October 8, 2015

DESMOND M. WHITE, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
HIGHLAND PARK ELECTION COMMISSION, HIGHLAND PARK CITY CLERK, and HIGHLAND PARK CITY COUNCIL, Defendants-Appellees and CITIZENS UNITED AGAINST CORRUPT GOVERNMENT, Plaintiff,

          Wayne Circuit Court. LC No. 15-010104-AW.

         For DESMOND M WHITE, Plaintiff-Appellant: ANDREW A PATERSON, NOVI, MI.

         For HIGHLAND PARK ELECTION COMMISSION, Defendant-Appellee: NIKKIYA T BRANCH, DETROIT, MI.

         Before: MURRAY, P.J., and TALBOT and K. F. KELLY, JJ. MURRAY, P.J.

          OPINION

         Christopher M. Murray, P.J.

         Plaintiff, Desmond M. White, appeals as of right the trial court's final order dismissing plaintiffs' verified complaint for a writ of mandamus and declaratory relief. We affirm.

          [312 Mich.App. 572] In this election-related case, plaintiff White challenged multiple policies and acts of defendant Highland Park Election Commission, but most of the issues raised in the complaint were resolved between the parties prior to the circuit court's rulings at issue on appeal. What was left for the circuit court to decide was whether MCL 168.674(2) required the Commission to appoint one or more Republican election inspectors. The parties agreed that, of all those who had submitted applications to the Commission to be appointed an election inspector, none had designated themselves as a Republican Party representative. Based upon that undisputed fact, and relying upon both MCL 168.674(2) and (3), the trial court held that: (1) plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the political party composition of the election inspectors because state law gave that right to the county chairs of a major political party, and (2) in any event, the Commission did not violate MCL 168.674(2) because no Republican representatives had submitted applications to be election inspectors.

         We agree with the trial court that plaintiff White lacked standing to sue for a perceived violation of MCL 168.674(2). Standing exists, according to the Court in Lansing Schools Ed Ass'n v Lansing Bd of Ed, 487 Mich. 349, 372; 792 N.W.2d 686 (2010), when there exists a legal cause of action or a plaintiff meets the requirements of MCR 2.605. Lansing Schools Ed Ass'n sought to return Michigan standing jurisprudence to what it was prior to Lee v Macomb Co Bd of Comm'rs, 464 Mich. 726; 629 N.W.2d 900 (2001) and Nat'l Wildlife Federation v Cleveland Cliffs Iron Co, 471 Mich. 608; 684 N.W.2d 800 (2004). Prior to those decisions our Court had stated, amongst many other principles, that a plaintiff must assert her own legal rights and cannot rest her claim on the legal rights or interests of third parties. See, e.g., In re EP, 234 Mich.App. 582, 598; [312 Mich.App. 573] 595 N.W.2d 167 (1999), rejected on other grounds by In re Trejo Minors, 462 Mich. 341; 612 N.W.2d 407 (2000).

         Here, MCL 168.674(2) provides no legal cause of action, neither to plaintiff White nor to any other member of the public, to enforce its provisions. Nor does plaintiff White, who as to this issue is no different than all other members of the public (and she did not even allege that she was a resident of Highland Park, where the electors would have been working), have a substantial interest in seeing the statute enforced. Lansing Schools Ed Ass'n, 487 Mich. at 372. Indeed, the statute explicitly gives the right to enforce the political party designations to the major political party county chairs, MCL 168.674(3), which is consistent with other parts of the statute that allow those same county chairs to submit names on behalf of their parties to city election officials for use as election inspectors. See MCL 168.673a and MCL 168.674(1). As noted, the statute does not provide for a civil cause of action, but instead provides county chairs with the ability to file administrative appeals to challenge certain inspector appointments. MCL 168.674(3) and (4). In essence, the Legislature has created a form of public enforcement through ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.