Judge rules reporter can claim Fifth Amendment and keep source secret

Latara Appleby | Reporter's Privilege | News | November 26, 2013
November 26, 2013

A Michigan judge reaffirmed yesterday that former Detroit Free Press reporter David Ashenfelter can claim Fifth Amendment protections in not revealing his source in a 2004 story.

Ashenfelter wrote in 2004 that former assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Convertino was the subject of an internal investigation for his actions during a discredited terrorism trial.

Arrested Detroit Free Press photographer awaits police reply

Amy Zhang | Newsgathering | News | July 17, 2013
July 17, 2013

The Detroit Free Press is awaiting the results of an internal Detroit Police Department investigation before deciding whether to take legal action against officers that detained a photographer and confiscated recording equipment while she was filming on public property last week.

Lower court should have protected blogger's identity, Mich. appeals court rules

Lilly Chapa | Privacy | News | April 11, 2013
April 11, 2013

The identity of an anonymous blogger sued for defamation does not have to be disclosed, according to the Michigan Court of Appeals.

The appeals court ruled last week that a lower court erred when it refused to protect the anonymous identity of the blogger known only as “Rockstar05.” The trial judge incorrectly applied law from outside the state when it should have used Michigan law addressing anonymous online commenters, the appeals court stated.

Detroit paper must provide documents and a witness regarding confidential source, judge rules

Lilly Chapa | Reporter's Privilege | News | January 18, 2013
January 18, 2013

A District Court judge ruled this week that the Detroit Free Press must hand over documents and provide a witness in a long-running case involving former federal prosecutor Richard Convertino and his quest to reveal a reporter’s anonymous source.

Judge Robert Cleland’s ruling requires the Michigan newspaper to turn over documents directly or indirectly related to Convertino and present a witness who can testify at a February deposition for the former prosecutor's lawsuit against the Department of Justice.

Mich. judge's request for sealing order in controversial suit against him denied

Kristen Rasmussen | Secret Courts | News | October 5, 2012
October 5, 2012

A Michigan family court judge yesterday denied a motion to seal records in a high-profile civil lawsuit without hearing arguments from the attorney representing several local media organizations that objected to the defendant’s request for secrecy.


August 1, 2012

Summary of statute(s): Michigan prohibits the recording, interception, use or disclosure of any conversation, whether in person, telephone or via any electronic or computer-based communication system, without the permission of all the parties. The state also prohibits the recording and disclosure of images intercepted in violation of its hidden camera laws. Violators can face both civil and criminal penalties.


May 1, 2012


Michigan court charges reality TV producer with perjury

Jamie Schuman | Reporter's Privilege | Feature | October 7, 2011
October 7, 2011

A photographer for a reality television show who filmed a police raid where a 7-year-old girl was killed has been charged with perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly lying under oath about the May 2010 incident.

Preacher will challenge ban from mosque protest

Rachel Costello | Prior Restraints | Feature | April 26, 2011
April 26, 2011

Florida preacher Terry Jones, who recently gained notoriety for burning a Quran, is challenging a Dearborn, Mich., jury verdict and court order that prevented him from staging a protest outside a mosque because he was likely to breach the peace.

Backstage concert video doesn't violate Mich. wiretap law

Kristen Rasmussen | Privacy | Feature | March 24, 2011
March 24, 2011

Rap concert organizers did not violate a police official’s privacy when they recorded the officer’s backstage comments and included them in a DVD, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled last week.

However, the 6-1 decision in Bowens v. Ary, Inc. was a narrow one limited to the event in question and stopped short of holding that police officers have no reasonable expectation of privacy when performing their public duties.