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Blogs | October 1, 2015
2 minute read

MSC to hear mini-oral argument on whether a challenge to a criminal contempt order is an impermissible collateral attack

The Michigan Supreme Court granted mini-oral argument in In re Contempt of Dorsey, No. 150298, to consider whether a challenge to a trial court’s order holding an individual in criminal contempt amounts to an impermissible collateral attack on the trial court’s order requiring the individual to submit to drug testing.

After multiple delinquency proceedings against her son, the family court found that Kelly Dorsey’s substance abuse problems had contributed to her son’s delinquency and ordered Dorsey to submit to random drug testing.  Later that year, Dorsey went to a drug testing facility, but refused to submit to a test. After a show cause hearing was held, the family court held Dorsey in criminal contempt of court. Dorsey appealed.

On appeal, Dorsey challenged the drug testing order on Fourth Amendment grounds and the contempt order on the grounds that insufficient evidence was presented to convict her of criminal contempt. The Michigan Court of Appeals held that the family court had violated the Fourth Amendment by ordering Dorsey to submit to drug testing in connection with her son’s delinquency proceedings. However, the court denied relief to Dorsey for violating her contempt order because she did not contest the validity of the order until she had violated it nearly a year after it was issued, thus waiving her argument that the order was unconstitutional.

The Michigan Supreme Court has ordered oral argument to consider whether to grant the application for leave to appeal.