Cases

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Transparency

Mackinac Center Sues Highland Park for Policy Personnel and Salary Records

On March 29, the Mackinac Center filed a public records request to the city of Highland Park for the salary and personnel records for Lieutenant James McMahon.

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Transparency

Mackinac Center Sues University of Michigan Over Salary FOIA

On Jan. 12, 2021, the Mackinac Center filed a FOIA request for the names of all employees of the University of Michigan's Office of Institutional Equity in 2019 and 2020. On Feb. 2, the university released the names and base salary of the employees but failed to provide the bonus and overtime pay requested.

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Transparency

Mackinac Center Sues City of Flint for Public Salaries

In early January, the Mackinac Center made a routine FOIA request to the City of Flint asking for the gross salaries of the city's public employees. As of mid-March, the Center has not received any correspondence or records from the city.

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Transparency

Mackinac Center Sues the City of Warren over Salary FOIA

The Mackinac Center submitted a FOIA request to the city of Warren that asked for the salaries and names of every city employee. The city responded to the request with the estimated costs, but said it would omit employees' names. It failed to cite a reason for the exemption, a requirement of Michigan's FOIA law.

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Transparency

The Mackinac Center Sues on Behalf of a University of Michigan Donor

In March, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni filed a public records request to find out how that gift had been spent. U-M estimated it would take less than seven hours to produce the documents, but despite 200 days passing by and hundreds of dollars being spent, the full records have still not been given.

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Transparency

Suing Michigan State University For Documents Related To Controversial Firing

The Mackinac Center paid over $500 and waited over five months for a public records request sent to Michigan State University. The university estimated that the request would take approximately 17 hours to complete, but has yet to provide the public documents.

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COVID-19 Transparency

Mackinac Center Sues University of Michigan for Data on State's Shutdown Orders

In May, the Mackinac Center filed a public records request with the University of Michigan in order to get documents and data which allegedly supported Gov. Whitmer's spring shutdowns. The information was denied for months and, when ultimately provided, was heavily redacted or withheld.

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Free speech Labor Transparency

Mackinac Center Settles Case Against Michigan Licensing Board For COVID Documents

In June 2020, the Mackinac Center filed a public records request with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs concerning businesses that allegedly violated the governor's executive orders related to COVID-19.

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Property rights

Family Fights Home Equity Theft to Protect the American Dream

Though they paid property taxes each year, they unknowingly underpaid their 2014 taxes by $144. By 2017, Wayne County tacked on another $359 in interest, penalties and fees, foreclosed on their property, sold it for $108,000 and kept every cent beyond what they owed—as allowed by current state law.

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COVID-19 Labor

Operation Haircut Misdemeanor Dropped Following Michigan Supreme Court Decision

In the wake of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's many executive orders, an event organizers called Operation Haircut took place on the Capitol lawn on May 20, 2020. During this protest, hairstylist Sarah Huff was cited and is now facing a misdemeanor.

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COVID-19

Mandated Workplace Safety Measures are Unconstitutional

As businesses who differ from the official pace for reopening society begin to act in civil disobedience, the governor has claimed the power to increase penalties for violation of executive orders.

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COVID-19 Healthcare

Gov. Whitmer's unilateral extension of COVID-19 state of emergency deemed illegal and unconstitutional by Michigan Supreme Court

Three medical practices and one patient were unable to schedule important medical procedures due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

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Free speech Labor

Mackinac Center Sues UAW for Fake Union Scheme

Beginning in 2014, the union forced Jim Shake to contribute to “Local X” — supposedly a local UAW union, for which Shake and Mackinac Center Legal Foundation attorneys could find no record.

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Education

How the Espinoza Case Could Affect Michigan

The Institute for Justice is representing 3 families discriminated against by the Montana Department of Revenue, which adopted a rule limiting the use of tax-credit scholarships to non-religious schools.

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Free speech Labor

The State Bar of Michigan Violating the First Amendment

Lucille Taylor has been a practicing attorney in the state of Michigan since 1972. Each year, she is forced by the state to pay an annual bar association fee and be a member of the State Bar of Michigan.

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Transparency

Lara FOIA Case

On May 13, the Mackinac Center requested files related to an individual licensed by the state. LARA said they would respond by June 5. More than two months later, the agency had not provided the documents and ignored a follow-up response.

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Free speech Labor

New Jersey Workers Sue Unions for Failing to Respect Their Choice to Opt Out

While Jody Lutter, Lisa Grega and Michael Kopie may have drastically different occupations, they are all facing the same problem; window periods that limit their ability to opt out of their union.

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Free speech Property rights

Michael Dorr

Michael Dorr owns a beautiful cottage in Saint Clair Shores. Like many young entrepreneurs, Dorr recognized a need in his community and decided to fill it. This need was for safe home rentals at a reasonable price.

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Free speech Labor

New Jersey Wants to Make it Harder for Public Workers to Leave Their Union Despite the Janus Decision

Michael Thulen, Michael Porter and Terence Gaudlip are three public employees in the state of New Jersey. They believe it is their right to leave a union and end financial support to it at any time.

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Transparency

Professor Sues Wayne State University for Failure to Respond to FOIA Requests

Dr. Marc Edwards, as part of his work related to the Flint water crisis, submitted several FOIA requests to Wayne State University in 2017. The university chose to ignore FOIA law.

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Free speech Labor

Airline Employees Sue Union For Same Constitutional Protection As Public Employees

Lin Rizzo-Rupon, Noemieo Oliveira and Susan Marshall didn't choose to join their union, but are currently forced to support it in order to keep their jobs.

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Transparency

Holding the University Of Michigan Accountable

After waiting more than 100 days for the University of Michigan to fulfill a simple Freedom of Information Act request, the Mackinac Center filed a lawsuit against the university, asking the court to enforce the state’s open records law.

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Education Free speech Labor

Fighting For a Teacher’s Right to Work

Four years after Michigan passed right-to-work and three contract agreements later, it’s time the MEA and all its local affiliates admit that right-to-work applies to teachers, too. So the MCLF is helping science teacher Ronald Robinson in his fight to exercise his freedom.

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Transparency

Suing the State to See Flint Water Documents

Open government requires timely information, so the MCLF filed a lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). The reason: The department was taking months to respond to a simple public records request related to the Flint water crisis.

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Free speech Property rights

Protecting Business Owners’ Right to Free Speech

First Amendment rights are violated when people are forced to subsidize speech they disagree with. The Mackinac Center is representing a resort owner fighting against a tourism bureau that is making him subsidize marketing campaigns he opposes.

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Education Free speech Labor

Mackinac Center Secures Teacher’s Right to Work

The MCLF filed suit on behalf of Adam Neuman, a Brighton High School teacher, against the Brighton Education Association and the Brighton Area Schools Board of Education. The contract violated two state laws and infringed on Neuman’s freedoms.

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Education Free speech Labor

Securing Teachers’ Right to Work

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation filed unfair labor complaints on behalf of Miriam Chanski, as well as several other plaintiffs, against the Michigan Education Association over the union's misreading of Michigan's right-to-work law.

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Transparency

City Drops Its Illegal Fees after MCLF Suit

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy filed a lawsuit against the city of Westland for an illegal fee on people seeking public information. As a result, they agreed to restructure the fees they charged for public documents.

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Free speech Labor

Lawsuit Forces Teamsters To Drop Anti-RTW Policy

The MCLF filed a lawsuit on behalf of four city of Dearborn employees against Teamsters Local 214 over the union's misreading of Michigan's right-to-work law. As of December 2013, Teamsters Local 214 abandoned its anti-RTW discriminatory policy.

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Education Free speech Labor

Union Violates Teacher's Right to Leave His Union

Michael Fernhout, fifth grade teacher in Wyoming, Michigan, decided it was time to opt out of his union. “I wanted out because even though unions do a lot of work, I wasn’t benefiting from it… [and] the membership fees were astronomical.”

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Education Free speech Labor

Union is violating teacher’s right-to-work

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation sued on behalf of teacher Joshua Khon. A union claims that he still has to pay a service fee, despite Michigan’s right-to-work law, because of an unusually-long and strangely-structured agreement made between the union and the school district.

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Education Free speech Labor

Freeing Teachers from Decade of Forced Unionism

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation sued on behalf of three teachers in the Taylor School District over a side agreement the union and school board reached that would force teachers to financially support the union for 10 years.

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Free speech Labor

Home Help Providers Saved From Illegal Dues

The Foundation sued to end the SEIU-HM and MQCCC's illegal diversion of so-called "union dues" from federal Medicaid checks received by home help providers, who are often tending disabled family members.

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Education Free speech Labor

MCLF Protects Grad Students from Forced Unionism

The Foundation prevented the Michigan Employment Relations Commission from violating its previous ruling that research assistants are students, not public employees. The motion was filed on behalf of Melinda Day, a graduate research assistant.

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Free speech Labor

District, Union Drop Illegal Contract Language Following Suit

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation sued 10 Kent County school districts and the Kent County Education Association to remove illegal contract language.

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Free speech Labor

MCLF Defends Home-Based Day Care Workers

The Foundation sued to end the DHS' illegal diversion of so-called "union dues" from state subsidy checks received by Michigan's home-based day care providers who watch children from low-income families.

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