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11/5/03

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Thursday November 6, 2003

DAILY BRIEFING

Judge refuses to dismiss suit against ex-deputy

GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) -- The parents of a victim of the Columbine High School massacre can sue a former sheriff 's deputy who falsely told them their son was killed by an officer, a judge said. Former Arapahoe County Deputy James Taylor asked state District Judge James Zimmerman to dismiss the suit on grounds he had governmental immunity. Zimmerman refused, saying Taylor had acted as a friend and not a county employee. The ruling was handed down last week. No trial date has been set. Sue Petrone and Brian Rohrbough, parents of Daniel Rohrbough, are suing Taylor on claims of outrageous conduct and negligence. Zimmerman dismissed their defamation claim. Daniel Rohrbough was among 12 students and a teacher who were shot and killed by two students in 1999. Taylor has acknowledged he told Petrone and Rohrbough a Denver SWAT team member shot and killed their son. At a June hearing, Taylor testified he had no explanation for what he told the parents. Taylor's attorney did not return a recent telephone message.

www.legalnews.com

Vol. CVIII No. 222

News you cannot get anywhere else

75 Cents

Foreclosures, tax sales discussed

Court asks government to respond to secret case

BY GINA HOLLAND

Associated Press Writer

THE WAYNE COUNTY PROBATE BAR ASSOCIATION (WCPBA) conducted a seminar on "Property Foreclosures and Tax Sales" on Wednesday, October 15, at the Renaissance Club in Detroit. David Trott (fourth from right) of Trott & Trott P.C. in Bingham Farms was the guest speaker. Enjoying the seminar were (left to right) Darren Findling of Findling Law Firm P.L.C. in Royal Oak, WCPBA treasurer; Valerie Geftos of the Law Offices Of Louis Demas P.C. in

Southgate; Teri Jordan of the Law Offices of Teri A. Jordan in Detroit; Charlene Glover-Hogan of Charlene GloverHogan P.C. in Detroit; Wayne County Public Administrator James McCann, WCPBA president; Wayne County Public Administrator Walter Sakowski, WCPBA vice-president; Karen Collingsworth-Crusse of Sugameli & Olson P.L.C. in Troy; and Southfield attorney Howard Linden.

Photo by John Meiu

Meeting hosted by NALS of Detroit, November 10

NALS of Detroit will conduct its next membership meeting on Monday, November 10, at the offices of Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, 150 W. Jefferson, suite 2500, in Detroit. The event will begin at 6 p.m. NALS of Michigan Immediate Past President Marion R. Stone will be the guest speaker. She will discuss "Community Interaction: How Can You Make a Viable Contribution?" She will share information regarding community interaction, what other chapters are doing, and how NALS of Detroit can find out where its experience and expertise can most benefit the community. The cost to attend is $12 for members and $14 for non-members. Send name, address, email address, and phone number along with a check made payable to NALS of Detroit to Kathleen Klish, c/o Miller Canfield, 150 W. Jefferson, Suite 2500, Detroit, 48226. Reservations must be made by Thursday, November 6.

Senate committee considers identity theft bills

LANSING (AP) -- State senators are considering a package of legislation intended to help victims of identity theft and make it more difficult for people to falsely access someone else's credit. ``This problem is an epidemic we need to address,'' state Sen. Mike Bishop, a Republican from Rochester and sponsor of the main bill in the package, told the Lansing State Journal. ``People who are victims of this crime don't need the hassle of spending years and thousands of dollars trying to clear their records.'' The multi-bill package would offer a criminal penalty for committing identity theft, prohibit victims from being denied credit because of the theft and ban the disclosure of Social Security numbers without consent. Using another person's identity through the illegal use of that person's name, Social Security number, driver's license number or other forms of identifying information is rapidly increasing in the United States and Michigan. Businesses and financial institutions lost nearly $48 billion in 2002 and consumer victims reported $5 billion in out-of-pocket expenses. In 2002, the Federal Trade Commission received 161,819 reports of identity theft. About 4,640 were in Michigan. Gordon K. Davis was among the Michigan victims. The 67-year-old Potterville man was more than a little confused when he opened his credit card bill last fall. He had never been to the Florida town where charges were made at a dozen gas stations and twice at a movie theater north of Miami. His credit has been restored, but he spent months battling creditors and he ended up paying $200 of the $411 in charges. ``I couldn't take it anymore,'' Davis said. ``The collection agency was calling and harassing me all the time. This whole ordeal has just turned me inside out.'' The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony on the legislation Tuesday. Some criticism of the package has been voiced, and changes to the bills could be made before they're sent to the full Senate. Judith Collins, associate professor at Michigan State University's School of Criminal Justice, said the bills fall short of real help and might even make matters worse. (See IDENTITY THEFT, Page Two)

TIPS

ON HOW TO PROTECT AGAINST IDENTITY THEFT

-- Never leave purses or wallets in view in the car or unattended in public. -- Keep checks in a secure place and destroy them when a checking account has been closed. -- Check bank account and credit card statements regularly and challenge any purchases you did not make. -- Never give credit card, bank or Social Security information over the telephone. -- Minimize exposure of your Social Security number. -- Shred credit, debit and ATM card receipts before disposing of them. -- Check utility and subscription bills to make sure you made the charges.

Source: Lansing State Journal. By The Associated Press

State Bar president to address Dearborn Bar

The Dearborn Bar Association (DBA) will conduct its November meeting on Tuesday, November 11, beginning with cocktails (cash bar) at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 6 p.m. at City Tavern located at 14316 Michigan Avenue in Dearborn. The speaker for the evening will be State Bar of Michigan President Scott Brinkmeyer. The cost to attend is $25 per person. Reservations must be received by Friday, November 7, and may be made by calling Georgia Duengel at (313) 963-6420 ext. 1612.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Bush administration to explain the secrecy surrounding the detention of one of the immigrants arrested after the Sept. 11 attacks. The administration has refused to release the names and other details of hundreds of foreigners rounded up after the attacks, arguing that a blanket secrecy policy is needed to protect national security. One of those immigrants, known only as M.K.B., challenged his detention. But even that has been shrouded in secrecy. His appeal has reached the Supreme Court, only there is little written evidence that his case exists. Lower courts sealed all the legal filings, as well as the records of how his case was handled. The proceedings were held in secret. That is unconstitutional, federal public defender Paul Rashkind of Miami argued in the case from Florida. The Supreme Court should intervene, Rashkind wrote in an appeal, ``to preserve and protect the public's common-law and First Amendment rights to know, but also to reinforce those rights in a time of increased national suspicion about the free flow of information and debate.'' The administration told justices last month that it did not plan to file a response to the appeal. In a brief notice released Tuesday, the court said it has told the administration to give its side anyway. Government lawyers have about a month to respond or ask for more time. Because of a glitch at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, the M.K.B. records were briefly made public. A Miami legal newspaper, the Daily Business Review, reported that M.K.B. is 34-year-old Mohamed Kamel Bellahouel, an Algerian waiter who the FBI believes likely served meals to Sept. 11 hijackers Mohamed Atta and Marwan al Shehhi in the weeks before the attacks. (See IMMIGRANT CASE, Page Two)

Problem gamblers file lawsuit

DETROIT (AP) -- Two problem gamblers have filed a lawsuit claiming that Detroit's casinos failed to enforce a state program designed to keep gambling addicts out of their facilities. The lawsuit comes as the state's ``disassociated persons'' list has grown from 56 gamblers in 2001 to 508, according to the Michigan Gaming Control Board, which administers the program and is also named in the lawsuit. Gamblers who sign up for the program and return to the casino face up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000. As of July, 22 people had been arrested. Virginia Ormanian, of Wyandotte, and Norma Astourian, of Taylor, asked to be barred from the casinos in 2002, but they couldn't stay away, The Detroit News reported. ``On several occasions, plaintiffs won jackpots in such amounts that required casino personnel to obtain their names, addresses, Social Security numbers and date of births,'' stated the lawsuit, f iled on behalf of the women by lawyer Blaise Repasky. MGM spokeswoman Yvette Monet said the casino believes the lawsuit is without merit. The Michigan Gaming Control Board, meanwhile, also plans to fight the lawsuit and contends that the board has immunity from such lawsuits. Greektown and MotorCity casinos declined comment. The women accuse the MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity and Greektown casinos of breach of contract. The casinos continued extending credit, cashing checks, offering coupons and marketing their services to problem gamblers, the lawsuit states.

Wealth transfer focus of seminar, November 13

Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss P.C. is hosting Wealth Transfer 2003 at the Cranbrook House in Bloomfield Hills on Wednesday, November 13. The announcement was made by Jaffe Raitt partner Ira Jaffe. Areas to be discussed include succession planning, tax consequences, business and family objectives, charitable planning/foundations, establishing management continuity and establishing and maintaining a family office. Presenting at the seminar will be Ira Jaffe and Arthur Weiss with Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, & Weiss; Melissa Cragg with Fisher Group LLC; Joel Tauber, chairman of Keywell Corporation; and Morry Weiss, chairman of American Greetings. The seminar is free of charge. For additional information or to reserve a seat, contact Sue Robinson at (313) 961-8380.

THE DETROIT CITY COUNCIL held a discussion concerning the newly proposed Zoning Ordinance on Thursday, October 9, at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center in Detroit. were (from left to right) Jay Juergensen, Zoning Advisory Group member; Detroit City Council members Alberta Tinsley-Talabi and Sheila M. Cockrel; Zoning Advi-

sory Group members Mary Steffy, Robert G. Brown, Russell Baltimore, Marilyn Drake Thompson, Donald Brownell, Reba Hawkins, Sandy Kanakis, and Ann Kerwin; Robert Glenn, City Planning Commission member; and Detroit City Council members Joann Watson and Alonzo W. Bates.

Photo by John Meiu

New zoning ordinance proposed for Detroit

The City of Detroit recently took a significant step toward the first comprehensive revision of zoning and land use regulation since 1968. The subject of an afternoon-long City Council discussion that took place on Thursday, October 9, was the recommendation of the City Planning Commission to revise, reorganize, and update the wording of Detroit's Zoning Ordinance while retaining the existing zoning maps Recognized for their six-year role in helping to create the draft ordinance were members of the Zoning Advisory Group: Russell Baltimore, Robert G. Brown, Reba Hawkins, Jay Juergensen, Sandy Kanakis, Ann Kerwin, Marilyn Drake Thompson, Gloria Rocha, Dan Reeves, and Mary Steffy. The City Council presented testimonial resolutions to these ten and additionally honored zoning official emeritus, Donald Brownell, and the two members of the City Planning Commission, who worked with the Advisory Group ­ David Cason and Robert Glenn. The Zoning Advisory Group collaborated with the city's own Interdepartmental Working Group comprised of staff from the Buildings and Safety Engineering Department, Planning and Development Department, Law Department, Department of Environmental Affairs, Board of Zoning Appeals, and City Planning Commission. Outside consultation was provided by a team headed by Clarion Associates of Denver in conjunction with Duncan Associates of Chicago, the Planning and Zoning Center of Lansing, JJR of Detroit, and Community Development Services of Detroit. Reviewers of the proposed Zoning Ordinance have applauded its user-friendly format and sensitive balancing of neighborhood concerns for residential protection with a more predictable regulatory scheme for business, more in line with common practice throughout the State. City Council will continue its discussion of the proposed Zoning Ordinance with city departments at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, November 19. A public hearing at City Council will be scheduled for early 2004. Implementation of the Ordinance is hoped for by Spring 2004. Interested parties can obtain a detailed summary of the proposed ordinance and a copy of the text through the City Planning Commission office by calling (313) 2246225, and can review these documents online at: http://www3.ci.detroit.mi.us/legislative/ BoardsCommissions/CityPlanningCommission/.

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