Court dismisses injury claim because notice of injury served by first-class mail, not registered mail
This week the Court of Appeals dismissed Elounda Watts' injury claim against the City of Flint because the notice she served on the City was not sent by registered mail. The pertinent statute says that the notice "may be served on any individual" by registered mail. Prior case law had explicitly held that the method of service was not "jurisdictional" so a claimant wasn't prejudiced if the notice was served without a registered mail receipt.
In this case, the City admitted that it received Watts' notice, but argued that notice by first-class mail breached the terms of the statute, resulting in a breach of the notice requirement and rendering permanent dismissal of the lawsuit mandatory. Since the Republican majority of Michigan's Supreme Court held that "substantial compliance" with notice requirements is inadequate and that the municipality need not show any prejudice, the Court of Appeals ruled that Watts' claim must be dismissed. Because she didn't pay the extra money necessary to send her notice by registered mail...even though receipt was admitted. This is what passes for Republican justice in the modern age.