City of Pontiac Retired Emps. Ass'n v. Schimmel, No. 12-2087 (6th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Like many Michigan municipalities, Pontiac has experienced significant economic difficulties, especially since 2008. Michigan’s Governor appointed Schimmel as Pontiac’s emergency manager. Acting under Michigan’s then-existing emergency manager law (Public Act 4), in 2011, Schimmel modified the collective bargaining agreements of Pontiac’s retired employees and modified severance benefits, including pension benefits, that Pontiac had given retirees not covered by collective bargaining agreements. The retired employees claim that Schimmel and Pontiac violated their rights under the Contracts Clause, the Due Process Clause, and the Bankruptcy Clause. The district court denied the retirees an injunction. The Sixth Circuit vacated and remanded for expedited consideration of state law issues. Michigan voters have since rejected Public Act 4 by referendum, which may have rendered Schimmel’s actions void.The court also questioned whether two-thirds of both houses of the Michigan Legislature voted to make Public Act 4 immediately effective. The court noted that similar issues face many Michigan municipalities.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on May 5, 2014.