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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • Jul 31, 2018 at 8:00 AM

State Supreme Court revives lawsuit over police fingerprint policy

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court is giving new life to a lawsuit that challenged Grand Rapids police officers who took photographs and fingerprints of people who lacked identification.

The case is returning to the state appeals court to determine if the photos and prints violated constitutional protections against unreasonable searches.

Lawsuits were filed on behalf of two young black males who were stopped by police. Their photos and prints were taken, although they weren't charged with crimes.

The Supreme Court said Monday that a city can be liable for authorizing certain conduct, even if the city doesn't specifically tell employees to do it.

The lawsuits against Grand Rapids were filed before a policy change in 2015. Police said fingerprints would be taken from people without ID only if their behavior was "highly suspicious."

Terri Land, husband settle campaign complaint for $66,000

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — The Federal Election Commission has accepted a $66,000 fine to settle allegations that the husband of former U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land contributed too much money to her 2014 campaign.

The FEC said Dan Hibma made $700,000 in excessive contributions. Hibma, Land and her campaign agreed to settle the case without contesting the allegations.

Land listed two contributions from her personal account in 2013 and 2014. But the FEC says Hibma wired money from an account in his name to cover the payments.

The couple said "any violation was ... unintentional." The money was refunded after Land lost the election.

Gary Peters, a Democrat, easily defeated Land, a Republican and a former Michigan secretary of state and Kent County clerk.

4 calves die after fireworks spark grass fire in Michigan

GREENLEAF TWP. (AP) — Police said four calves have died after fireworks shot from a moving vehicle sparked a grass fire along a road in rural Michigan.

The Sanilac County Sheriff's Office said it responded to a call early Saturday about the fireworks in Greenleaf Township.

The Sheriff's Office said the fire spread and killed four calves on the property. Ten calf hutches use to provide shelter for animals also were damaged.

Tips are being sought from the public about the case.

Consumers Energy sues over power line damage in Straits

MACKINAW CITY (AP) — Consumers Energy has filed a lawsuit, saying a tugboat anchor caused more than $1 million in damage when two underwater power lines were severed in April.

Spokeswoman Katie Carey said the lines have been out of service since 1990 but remain in the Straits of Mackinac near the Mackinac Bridge. The utility still is considering what to do with them.

Consumers Energy is the latest to file a lawsuit over the April 1 anchor incident. Enbridge Energy, the state of Michigan and the owner of other power lines are also suing VanEnkevort Tug and Barge, alleging damage.

Consumers Energy says the "no-anchor zone" is well known.

The lawsuit was filed last week in federal court in West Michigan. A spokesman for the tugboat company declined to comment Monday.

Michigan man who was wrongfully jailed awarded $3.5M

DETROIT (AP) — A jury has awarded $3.5 million to a suburban Detroit man for his wrongful arrest and jailing in a case of mistaken identity.

The Detroit Free Press reported that Marvin Seales, 43, of Harper Woods was given his verdict Friday. It came about six years after he was jailed for 15 days when police believed he was a fugitive wanted for attempted murder.

The fugitive had used Seales' name as an alias.

The lawsuit against Detroit and police officer Thomas Zberkot took years to resolve due to the city's historic bankruptcy. Zberkot executed the arrest warrant that landed Seales in jail.

The city has argued that Zberkot acted properly, saying that people often deny being the person wanted in a warrant.

Seales' attorney James Harrington said the wrongful jailing never would've happened if authorities listened to Seales.

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