Can a defendant in a civil matter in Michigan give a power of attorney for someone else to appear for them? And can someone with a power of attorney for a defendant sign documents, motion, etc. to be filed with the court?Any particular statue or rule that governs this?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Michigan
Dear JACUSTOMER - Unless the person is a licensed attorney he or she cannot appear in any court on behalf of someone else. This is true in every court in the US. Only attorneys are licensed to appear on behalf of someone else. A power of attorney does not confer a law license on a non lawyer and has nothing to do with being an attorney at law. It is simply a document that allows one person to sign for another or to access things like bank accounts but not to act on their behalf in any legal capacity. These are rules from the state and federal courts and under the unathorized practice of law statutes in effect in every state. It is similar to the licensing laws for doctors or dentists or any other profession. You must be licensed in virtually all professions in order to represent or treat others. Everyone is permitted to represent themselves in legal matters or treat themselves medically however the law is the one profession where more people try to do it on their own as opposed to the other professions.
Thank you for your answer, but I do not think that you addressed the part of the question about whether someone with a power of attorney could sign and file court documents/motions for another and have them be considered validly filed with the court?And also the part about what statute or rule governs that.Thank you for your help
I believe I said it was the unauthorized practice of law and the licensing statutes that are in effect in every state. Signing and filing court documents is the same as entering an appearance in court so it is a form of representation of a client and is not permitted unless the person is a licensed lawyer. Here is the link to the ABA website on the issue of unauthorized practice of law.
Thank you for your answer. The page says to click accept, but I do not see any link that reads "accept." Maybe that will come up after I rate the answer?Also, I followed the link you sent me about practicing law without a license, and it only said that a lawyer could not do that. There does not appear to be a prohibition on a man or woman who is not a lawyer. What do you know about that?
Lawyers are licensed like other professions and what the rue says is that no lawyer without a license in the jurisdiction may practice unless licensed in that jurisdiction. So first you have to be licensed to be a lawyer and then you have to be licensed in that jurisdiction. If you want to try to have someone do this you can do so since it's not a crime but the court will simply reject the pleading. It's not the same a holding yourself out to be a lawyer when you are not. That is a crime. Yes, if you say you are satisfied in the ratings it will be an automatic accept. Thanks for using our service - Dave
25 years experience in general law, including real estate, criminal, traffic, and domestic relations
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).