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People v. Brown

Court of Appeals of Michigan

October 15, 2019

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
CLEOPHAS ANDREW BROWN, Defendant-Appellee.

          Oakland Circuit Court LC No. 2018-266476-FH

          Before: Meter, P.J., and O'Brien and Swartzle, JJ.

          PER CURIAM.

         The prosecution appeals by leave granted[1] the trial court's opinion and order granting defendant's motion to dismiss his carrying a concealed weapon (CCW) charge, MCL 750.227(2). We reverse.

         I. FACTS

         Defendant received a concealed pistol license (CPL) on August 6, 2013. On August 30, 2013, defendant was arrested and charged with operating while intoxicated (OWI). On September 12, 2013, the Oakland County Gun Board (the Board) issued a written notice to defendant informing him that his CPL "is SUSPENDED" because of the OWI charge. The letter requested that defendant attend a November 19, 2013 meeting of the Board where they would discuss the suspension. On October 29, 2014, defendant's OWI charge was dismissed without prejudice, but was later reinstated on November 5, 2014. Defendant chose not to appear at the November 19, 2013 meeting, where the Board unanimously voted to uphold the suspension of defendant's CPL. Defendant was eventually convicted of OWI on May 20, 2015. Because of this conviction, the Board revoked defendant's CPL on June 6, 2015.

         On November 24, 2017, at approximately 6:00 p.m., Oakland County Sheriff Deputies Robert Elinski and Eric Rymarz were dispatched to a scene involving a motor vehicle accident and OWI investigation. After identifying defendant as the individual involved in the accident, Deputies Elinski and Rymarz were informed that defendant had a pistol in his possession and did not possess a valid CPL. Deputy Elinski ran a Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN) search on defendant's CPL status, which confirmed that his CPL had been revoked. Defendant was arrested at the scene. A few days later, Deputy Rymarz contacted the Oakland County Clerk's Office about defendant's CPL, and received a fax of a LEIN entry dated November 24, 2017, and time-stamped 6:02 p.m., which provided, in relevant part:

11/24/17 | 18:02:37.72 | LGWCCW | NOTICE OF REVOKED CPL LICENSE BY PEACE OFFICER.
* * *
REVOKED LICENSE TO CARRY A CONCEALED PISTOL (CPL)
THIS INDIVIDUAL IS NOT ELIGIBLE TO CARRY A CONCEALED PISTOL.
LICENSE REVOCATION DATE: 06/06/2015
***SERVED VERBAL NOTICE OF REVOKED CPL LICENSE BY PEACE OFFICER.

         Defendant was eventually charged with three crimes stemming from the November 24, 2017 arrest: (1) CCW, MCL 750.227; (2) OWI, second offense, MCL 257.625; and (3) possessing a firearm while under the influence, MCL 750.237(2). Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the CCW charge, arguing that he could not be held criminally liable for CCW because he did not receive written notice that his CPL had been revoked as required by the concealed pistol licensing act (CPLA), MCL 28.421 et seq. Defendant also contended that the LEIN entry was inconclusive in establishing whether defendant actually received verbal notice of his CPL's revocation before November 24, 2017. The prosecution argued in response that the LEIN entry demonstrated that defendant was served with verbal notice of his CPL's revocation before his November 24, 2017 arrest, and that verbal notice was sufficient under the CPLA. The trial court granted defendant's motion to dismiss the CCW charge, holding that defendant could not be "criminally liable for CCW" because the prosecution "failed to produce evidence that ...


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