Altior Law attorneys Matthew Smith and Kenneth Neuman recently secured an appellate win in the August 25, 2022 to-be-published Michigan Court of Appeals opinion in Pinebrook Warren, LLC, et al v City of Warren, et al. The case arose from the Warren City Council’s issuance of medical marihuana licenses based on an ordinance-mandated scoring and recommendation process by a separate review committee. In the wake of the Warren City Council’s selection of 15 successful licensees, 16 unsuccessful applicants sued to invalidate the City Council’s award of licenses claiming that the formulation of recommendations by the review committee were conducted in violation of the Open Meetings Act. Following the trial court’s determination that the OMA had been violated, Altior Law represented 8 of the original licensees on appeal arguing that the review committee was a purely advisory body not subject to the OMA.
In a 2-to-1 split decision, the Michigan Court of Appeals agreed and reversed, holding that the review committee’s scoring and making advisory recommendations upon which only City Council could act by issuing licenses did not rise to the level of a “public body” subject to the OMA. The Court rejected arguments by the unsuccessful applicants that the City Council had impermissibly delegated its authority, where the Warren ordinance expressly created and authorized the review committee’s advisory conduct. Having concluded that the review committee was not subject to the OMA, the Court directed the reinstatement of the medical marihuana licenses issued to Altior Law’s clients.
Altior Law congratulates Matt and Ken on another appellate win on behalf of the firm’s clients, in a to-be-published opinion.