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Intent of Pleadings over Form in Michigan


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Not too long ago, on here, I saw something quoted about Michigan Law having a section requiring the court to take notice of the intent of a pleading over the form when dealing with a Pro Per defendant.

 

I can't find it again...

 

I thought it was in MCL 440  something but I can't find it there either.

 

Anyone else remember seeing something like this?

 

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No, the court will treat your like an attorney. You have to write your pleadings in the proper format, with the proper arguments, backed with caselaw, laws and rules of civil procedure.

 

A judge does not have the time to decipher your written pleadings. Further, if by chance, you lose and want to appeal, the COA or Circuit Court will look at the pleadings and the court transcript. If they cannot read your pleadings or they are not in proper format, you are dead in the water.

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Took me a while, but I found it.  Was federal, not state.

 

Baldwin County Welcome Center v. Brown 466 U.S. 147,104 S. Ct. 1723,80 L. Ed. 2d 196,52 U.S.L.W. 3751.

Rule 8(f) provides that 'pleadings shall be so construed as to do substantial justice.' We frequently have stated that
pro se
pleadings are to be given a liberal construction.

Rabin v. Dep't of State, No. 95-4310, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15718.

The court noted that
pro se
plaintiffs should be afforded "special solicitude."

 

 

Of course, I did my best to make as much like a lawyer as I could.  But, based on observing how this judge handles these type cases, I suspect he is more interested in substance rather than form.

 

 

http://www.patentofficelawsuit.info/fedcort5.htm

 

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 From Claxton v. ORLANS ASSOCIATES, PC, Mich: Court of Appeals 2012 (unpublished)

 

Although some case law implies that the pleadings of pro se litigations are "to be liberally construed" and are held to "less stringent standards" than those prepared by attorneys, Estelle v Gamble, 429 US 97, 106; 97 S Ct 285; 50 L Ed 2d 251 (1976) (citation omitted), any technical leniency in no way suggests that pro se litigants may ignore or fail to follow the court rules or that their claims should be sustained despite the absence of factual support, evidence, or legal authority. Again, "[a] party may not leave it to this Court to search for a factual basis to sustain or reject its position." Great Lakes Div of Nat'l Steel Corp v Ecorse, 227 Mich App 379, 424; 576 NW2d 667 (1998).

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To me, that goes without saying...

 

There is a difference between ignoring the rules and not understanding them or making an honest mistake.

 

In my first JDB case two years ago, I made the mistake of not filing an affidavit denying the debt and such with my answer to the complaint, a technical violation of the rules.  The judge, at the MSJ hearing, accepted my argument that, since the answers were notarized and sworn they should have the same effect as an affidavit, even though they were not labeled as one, because any affidavit would have said exactly the same thing. 

 

I think that that is the type of thing it was meant to cover...

 

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  • 1 month later...

Took me a while, but I found it.  Was federal, not state.

 

Baldwin County Welcome Center v. Brown 466 U.S. 147,104 S. Ct. 1723,80 L. Ed. 2d 196,52 U.S.L.W. 3751.

Rabin v. Dep't of State, No. 95-4310, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15718.Rule 8(f) provides that 'pleadings shall be so construed as to do substantial justice.' We frequently have stated that pro se pleadings are to be given a liberal construction.

The court noted that pro se plaintiffs should be afforded "special solicitude."

 

Of course, I did my best to make as much like a lawyer as I could.  But, based on observing how this judge handles these type cases, I suspect he is more interested in substance rather than form.

 

 

http://www.patentofficelawsuit.info/fedcort5.htm

 

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Put your best lawyer / pro se foot forward. The courts didnt cut me any slack... At Alll!

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