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July 22, 2019

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Constitutionality of Detroit's Emergency Manager Challenged

Within days of Kevyn Orr’s appointment as Detroit’s Emergency Manager, a group of elected officials, union representatives, civil rights activist and clergy brought a lawsuit against Gov. Rick Snyder and Treasurer Andy Dillon in federal court, challenging the constitutionality of Public Act 436.  As previously posted, under Public Act 436, an emergency manager (an “EM”) has extraordinary powers over the municipality, including the power to break or modify union contracts; however, any plan implemented by an EM may not attempt to modify debt service payments on public debt. 

The Complaint asserts that Public Act 436 is an unconstitutional encroachment in the due process right of an elected, republic form of government.   The plaintiffs also contend that the new law establishes a “new form of government in Michigan” and citizens “will have effectively lost their right to vote”, which is in violation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act because it disenfranchises voters. 

A link to the Complaint may be found here.

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About this Author

William W. Kannel, Bankruptcy Attorney, Mintz Levin Law Firm
Member

Bill’s practice focuses primarily on commercial law, workouts, and corporate reorganization. He has represented various institutional lenders, indenture trustees, bondholders, and other creditors, debtors, and trustees in all manner of insolvency proceedings in courts throughout the United States.

His industry experience encompasses municipalities, airlines, hospitals and other health care facilities, retail, telecom, energy and clean tech, waste disposal, military housing, hotels, and educational institutions.

He has substantial experience in all phases of bankruptcy...

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Adrienne Walker, Mintz Levin Law Firm, Boston, Bankruptcy Law Attorney
Of Counsel

Adrienne has significant experience in workouts, restructuring, and bankruptcy matters. She represents corporate debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, lessors and lessees, and trustees in federal, state, and out-of-court restructurings. Her clients represent a variety of industries, including retail, textile manufacturers, biopharmaceutical, computer software, aviation, jewelry, and automotive.

She is also experienced in creditors' rights, commercial litigation, and commercial arbitration. Adrienne’s recent experience includes successfully counseling corporate debtors as they navigate the complexities of Chapter 11, often in connection with a Section 363 sale of the client’s business. In addition, she routinely represents secured creditors and derivative contract parties in maximizing return on their agreements.

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