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Detroit Bankruptcy, Same Sex Marriage Appeals and Child's Testimony

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on July 16, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The Sixth Circuit is progressing with cases related to same sex marriage, as it consolidated appeals for all cases pending in that circuit. Meanwhile, the court has heard appeals related to Detroit's bankruptcy, and a habeas case resting on elementary tenets of criminal procedure.

Let's take a look at the most recent happenings in the Sixth Circuit.

Detroit Bankruptcy Challenges

Syncora Capital Assurance, Inc., a creditor of the city of Detroit, sought "to stop the city from using its casino tax revenue rather than preserve the funds potentially to pay back creditors including Syncora," reports The Wall Street Journal. The district court held up the appeal, and the Sixth Circuit said that the trial court's decision was improper, says The Wall Street Journal.

The court stated, "Without a final decision on that question, the city will not know what amount its coffers will contribute to the bankruptcy estate, the creditors cannot know the size of the pie they are being asked to share, and the bankruptcy court cannot be confident that it is considering a legally and financially viable plan." Only after this challenge can the "trial on the city's debt-cutting plan" proceed.

Same Sex Marriage Appeals

Though news sources reported last month that oral arguments for the same sex marriage appeals would be consolidated and heard on August 6, on Monday, the Sixth Circuit issued an order formally announcing that plan. The cases involving Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky law relate to the states' refusal to recognize lawful same sex marriages performed in other states, while the Michigan case relates to the state's ban on same sex marriages, reports Equality on Trial.

Right to Cross-Examine Witnesses

In 1992 Charlene Puffenbarger was murdered, but it wasn't until 2004, that her ex-boyfriend Willard McCarley was indicted, tried and convicted for her murder. Her then three-year old son, allegedly witnessed the murder, but was unable to remember the statements, that he made at the time of the investigation, during the trial. As a result, his statements were read into evidence.

McCarley filed a habeas corpus appeal, and the Sixth Circuit found that he deserved relief because during trial he was not able to cross-examine the child, reports Courthouse News Service. The court stated, "Had the jury not heard and considered D.P.'s statements identifying McCarley as the perpetrator, the state's case would have been almost entirely circumstantial."

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