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156648 - People v Gregory Carl Washington

The People of the State of Michigan,

 

Jason W. Williams

 

Plaintiff-Appellant,

 

v

(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)

 

 

(Wayne – Fresard, P.)

 

Gregory Carl Washington,

 

John F. Royal

 

Defendant-Appellee.

 

Summary

In 2004, a jury convicted defendant of second-degree murder and other offenses. On direct appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the convictions but remanded for resentencing. While defendant’s application for leave to appeal was pending in the Supreme Court, the trial court resentenced defendant, in violation of MCR 7.215(F)(1)(a) (providing that a Court of Appeals judgment is not effective until the disposition of the application for leave to appeal in the Supreme Court) and MCR 7.305(C)(6)(a) (providing that an application in the Supreme Court stays any proceedings on remand that were ordered by the Court of Appeals). Ten years later, after a second direct appeal and an initial motion for relief from judgment, defendant filed a successive motion for relief from judgment, arguing that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to resentence him in 2006. The trial court granted relief and ordered resentencing. The prosecutor appealed, and the Court of Appeals affirmed in a published opinion. The appeals court held that although defendant’s claim was not properly brought as a successive motion for relief from judgment—because it did not assert a retroactive change in the law or a claim of new evidence, see MCR 6.502(G)—defendant asserted a jurisdictional defect, which may be raised at any time. The Supreme Court has directed oral argument on the prosecution’s application for leave to appeal to address whether the trial court’s action of resentencing defendant while an application for leave to appeal was pending was a jurisdictional defect, and, if so, whether defendant could properly raise the jurisdictional defect in a successive motion for relief from judgment. ​