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156270 - William Henderson v Civil Service Commission

William R. Henderson and All Others Similarly Situated,


Mary Ellen Gurewitz

Marshall Widick





(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)



(Ingham – Collette, W.)


Civil Service Commission and Department of Corrections,


Christopher Braverman





Plaintiffs are among the 2,500 employees of the Department of Corrections whose positions were abolished, resulting in their reclassification to a lower pay grade while still performing the same duties. Plaintiffs, through their union, administratively challenged the reclassification. Ultimately, the Civil Service Commission issued a final determination that upheld the reclassification. On judicial review, the circuit court held that the reclassification was arbitrary and capricious, and unsupported by competent, material, and substantial record evidence. Defendants appealed. The Court of Appeals reversed in a published opinion, holding that review of a final agency determination, where a hearing is not required, is limited to whether the decision is authorized by law. The Supreme Court has ordered oral argument on plaintiffs’ application for leave to appeal to address: (1) whether the “authorized by law” scope of review under Const 1963, art 6, § 28, applied to plaintiffs’ judicial review of the Civil Service Commission’s final decision made without a hearing; (2) if so, whether the Court of Appeals gave proper meaning to the “authorized by law” constitutional standard; and (3) whether the Court of Appeals correctly applied that scope of review to plaintiffs’ challenge.​