Wayne County Circuit Court; Case No. 73-248-068-CA; Unpublished
Judge Horace Gillmore; Declaratory Judgment
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: Not Applicable; Link to Opinion
Compulsory Insurance Requirements for Owners or Registrants of Motor Vehicles Required to Be Registered [§3101(1)]
General / Miscellaneous [§3101]
Obligation of Non-Resident Owner/Registrant to Insure a Vehicle [§3102(1)]
Criminal Penalty for Operating Uninsured Vehicles [§3102(2)]
Allowable Expenses for Funeral and Burial Expenses [§3107(1)(a)]
Replacement Service Expense Benefits: Nature of the Benefit [§3107(1)(c)]
General / Miscellaneous [§3107]
Disqualification for Nonresidents [§3113(c)]
General / Miscellaneous [§3114]
General / Miscellaneous [§3116]
General / Miscellaneous [§3121]
General / Miscellaneous [§3123]
General / Miscellaneous [§3125]
General / Miscellaneous [§3127]
General / Miscellaneous [§3135]
Legislative Purpose and Intent
This was a taxpayer suit seeking a declaratory judgment that the no-fault law is unconstitutional. After finding the parties were proper parties in interest having sufficient standing to prosecute the case in the form of a declaratory judgment the court held:
1. The no-fault law does not unconstitutionally impinge on the right to travel.
2. Section 3101(1), requiring compulsory automobile insurance, is constitutional.
3. The abolition of tort liability for personal injuries contained in §3135 does not violate due process or equal protection.
4. The property damage provisions, §3121, §3123, §3125, and §3127, are an unconstitutional abrogation of tort remedies. Therefore, tort remedies remain for property damage until further legislative action.
5. Section 3101 (2), which excludes motorcycles from the law and from benefits, is unconstitutional as a violation of equal protection.
6. The criminal penalties contained in §3102(2) for failure to purchase insurance are constitutional.
7. The one thousand dollar limitation on funeral and burial expenses contained in §3107(a) is constitutional
8. The provisions on §3107(b), differentiating between benefits payable to people who work and receive income and those who work and do not receive income, do not constitute a violation of equal protection.
9. The portion of §3107(b) which requires payment for replacement services before reimbursement can be claimed, violates equal protection. Henceforth, replacement services must be paid as other PIP benefits.
10. The provisions of §3109(1), providing for a subtraction from PIP benefits of benefits paid under the laws of any state or federal government, is violative of equal protection. Hereinafter, there shall be no such deduction.
11. The provision of §3109(3), requiring the insurance commissioner to approve deductibles in excess of three hundred dollars in PIP benefits for those people other than the named insured, his spouse, or relative living in the same household, is an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority. However, a 1974 amendment to this provision, §3109(a), was held to provide sufficient standards to the commissioner.
12. The provisions of §3113(c), denying a transient non-resident recovery of PIP benefits, and also depriving such transient of tort recovery below the threshold of §3135(1), is violative of due process and equal protection.
13. Section 3102(1), which requires a non-resident owner of a motor vehicle not registered in Michigan to maintain PIP benefits if he operates the vehicle in Michigan for more than 30 days a year, is not violative of due process or equal protection, nor does it constitute an unconstitutional burden on interstate commerce.
14. Section 3116, allowing reimbursement out of tort recoveries to insurance carriers who pay PIP benefits, is not unconstitutional //the section is construed to mean that like benefits must be reimbursed when like benefits have been recovered previously.
15. Section 3114, which requires that PIP benefits be recovered from the operator of a motor vehicle operated in the business of transporting passengers for hire, is constitutional.
16. All of the sections which the court held to be unconstitutional were held to be severable.