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State Court of Appeals hears Marenisco's Ojibway case


January 15, 2020


Marenisco — The Michigan Court of Appeals heard statements Tuesday from both sides of a case in relation to the 2018 closure of Ojibway Correctional Facility in Marenisco.

“It lasted about 10 minutes,” said Marenisco Township Supervisor Richard Bouvette, who was speaking by phone while traveling back from the Lansing session.

Bouvette said three state judges now will decide on the issue, which resulted when the Marenisco Township Board of Trustees sued the Michigan Department of Corrections in the fall of 2018.

The action occurred directly after MDOC had announced weeks earlier that it would close the prison on Dec. 1 of that year.

The township claimed that MDOC had rushed the prison closure without adequate notice to the community, nor proper consideration of what economic impact it would have here.

In November of that year, however, Michigan Court of Claims Judge Stephen Borrello declared that the township had not provided adequate proof to stop the prison closure.

When the township then turned to the Michigan State of Appeals, local officials expected to have the case heard no later than last summer.

Now, after the Tuesday court session, Bouvette said he was assured that the Court of Appeals “usually” issues a decision within about 90 days of hearing statements.

If so, Marenisco might get word by mid-April.

Regarding his impression of Tuesday’s session, Bouvette said, “It was hard to tell. You can only go by body language.”

He said he hopes for a fair decision, and that waiting is his only option now.

“We’ll see,” Bouvette said. “That’s all I can say.”


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