September 18, 2014

Foley & Mansfield Wins Summary Judgment for City of Fraser

On August 26, 2014, the Macomb County Circuit granted summary judgment in favor of our client, the City of Fraser, in a case brought against Almeda University, an institution with its place of business located in Puerto Rico, in the amount of $600,000.  This case of first impression was brought against Almeda University under the recently passed Authentic Credentials In Education Act, MCL 390.1601, and  involved Almeda University issuing Bachelors and Masters degrees to police officers which were used by the officers for promotion and salary increases. The Bachelors and Masters degrees were issued to the officers based solely on submission of their life experiences - and the payment of a fee.  

The Macomb County Circuit Court found that because Almeda University was not a qualified institution under the Act necessary to issue advance degrees in the State of Michigan, Almeda "knowingly issued or manufactured a false academic credential."  In addition to the statutory damages awarded in the amount of $600,000, the Act provides for the award of actual costs and fees incurred in the matter.  A hearing on fees and costs is scheduled for September. 

Greg Meihn, Partner on Foley & Mansfield's employment team.