On January 19, 2023, shareholder/attorney, Mark Nawrocki, on behalf of the MAIPF, was successful in the Michigan Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals released its published decision in King -v- MAIPF, Page. On March 7, 2020, Emanuel was driving the King’s Nissan Pathfinder with his wife Tiffany King as a passenger, when they were involved in a motor vehicle accident. The Nissan Pathfinder was registered and insured with Travelers Insurance with a Georgia policy. The Kings filed a first-party claim with the MAIPF and Travelers Insurance and a third-party claim against Page, the operator of the other vehicle involved in the accident. Without consent from the MAIPF, the King’s dismissed Travelers insurance, which the Court of Appeals indicated was not permissible without all the parties consent. The Kings argued that despite the Kings and their vehicle being in Michigan for over a year prior to the accident, the vehicle was not required to be registered or insured in Michigan as it was registered and insured in Georgia. The Trial Court disagreed and granted the Defendants dispositive relief and dismissed the case. The Kings appealed.
In the Court of Appeals, Plaintiffs argued that there was a genuine issue of fact as to whether the Kings were “domiciled” in Georgia or Michigan at the time of the accident. The Court concluded that “domicile” had nothing to do with the issue at hand and was only applicable to determining priority when deciding if a person was domiciled with a resident relative, pursuant to Sec 3114(1). Plaintiff conceded that Tiffany King was a resident of Michigan, but held that Emanuel was a resident of Georgia. Mr. Nawrocki argued that regardless if they were residents of Michigan or Georgia, they were still barred from benefits. If the Kings were Michigan residents, then pursuant to Sec. 3101, 3102, and 3113(b) the kings were barred from obtaining No-Fault benefits as they were required to register and obtain Michigan insurance after the vehicle being in Michigan for 30-days. Alternatively, if Emanuel King was a Georgia resident, then he is barred from No-Fault benefits pursuant to Sec. 3113(c), which bars non-residents. The Court of Appeals agreed and upheld the trial court’s dismissal of the King’s claim.