Amicus Briefing and Advocacy

As the chief elected attorney in Washtenaw County, the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office is committed to providing its perspective in cases involving issues impacting the safety, health, and well-being of Washtenaw residents. The Prosecutor’s Office takes these stances through the filing of written “amicus” briefs in courts, which provide the Prosecuting Attorney’s perspective.

In addition, the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office often joins with other prosecuting attorneys and law-enforcement leaders to provide perspective on major issues of public importance. These amicus briefs and statements are available for public to read.

Joint Statement Condemning Capitol Insurrection

On January 8, 2021, the Washtenaw County Prosecuting Attorney joined over 60 attorneys general and elected prosecutors to condemn the January 6 attach on the nation’s Capitol, and to urge all elected leaders to immediately accept the results of the 2020 election.

Joint Statement Urging End to Federal Death Penalty

On January 25, 2021, the Washtenaw County Prosecuting Attorney joined nearly 100 criminal justice leaders to urge President Biden to take immediate and definitive steps to end the federal death penalty.

Amicus Brief in Michigan Supreme Court Consumer Protection Case

On February 5, 2021, the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office filed a brief on behalf of itself and a group of other Michigan prosecutors in Cyr v. Ford Motor Company—a case involving Michigan’s consumer protection laws. The brief argued that, over time, the Supreme Court has adopted an unnecessarily restrictive reading of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act. That, in turn, has hampered prosecutors’ ability to fight consumer abuse

The brief urged the court to consider the case, and to clarify the scope of Michigan’s consumer-protection law.

The brief was joined by the Prosecuting Attorneys from Alger, Chippewa, Genesee, Ingham, and Marquette Counties.

Amicus Brief Supporting Immigrant Trust Directive

On February 15, 2021, the Washtenaw County Prosecuting Attorney joined 72 law-enforcement leaders from across the nation on an amicus brief in support of New Jersey’s Immigrant Trust Directive. The Immigrant Trust Directive prevents local law enforcement from arresting, questioning, or detaining any individual based on their immigration status—and prevents prosecutors from using a person’s immigration status against them. The brief argues that it is imperative for local law enforcement to build trust in immigrant communities, and that undermining that trust hampers the ability to ensure public safety.

Joint Letter to MSHDA Supporting Housing Access for Returning Citizens

On February 25, 2021, Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit, Sheriff Jerry Clayton, Chief Trial Court Judge Carol Kuhnke, and Chief Public Defender Delphia Simpson submitted a joint letter to the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). The letter urged MSHDA to remove any requirements, over and above those required by federal law, that preclude people with criminal backgrounds or a history of substance use from obtaining public housing vouchers.

The letter emphasized that stable housing is a key to preventing recidivism, and to ensuring the provision of mental-health and substance-use treatment. Ultimately, the letter concluded, removing barriers to housing will make our community safer.