180 Day Rule Dead Court Rule Walking

In a move consistent with the regular decimation of the civil rights of Michigan residents, the Michigan Supreme Court has struck another blow…the obliteration of the 180-Day Rule.  In the recent decision of People v. Lown (488 Mich. 242), the Court ruled that a defendant who is incarcerated in the Michigan Department of Corrections need not go to trial within 180-Days any more.  The rule that an incarcerated defendant be brought to trial within that time period was often called the “speedy trial rule.”  The new, judicially created rule, merely requires the prosecution to make a “good faith effort.”  What does this mean in practical terms?  The 180-Day rule is dead.  The court is never going to find that the prosecutor did not make a “good faith effort” and thus, irrespective of delay or the reason for delay, cases will not be dismissed for any reason as it relates to delays in prosecution.  Prosecutor’s will not have any incentive to promptly proceed with cases and they will be free to delay cases for the purpose of harassing incarcerated defendant because the rule no longer has any teeth.


What right is next…right to remain silent? Right to testify?  There are so many rights that are ripe to be ignored, reduced and nullified.  My prediction is the “right to present a defense.” Trial courts in Michigan are waiting to find ways of limiting defendant’s rights to present a defense and the appellate courts appear anxious to accommodate the trial courts.  Until my next blog…


Mr. Loren DicksteinMichigan Criminal Defense Attorney
2000 Town Center, Suite 2350
Southfield, MI  48075-1188
(248) 263-6800