Case Details


Attorney General Has Broad Common Law Powers.

Filing State



Michigan Court of Appeals




Fieger v. Cox, 274 Mich. App. 449 (Mich. Ct. App. 2007)


Attorney General ‘s decision to prosecute is exempt from judicial review unless he acted unconstitionally, illegally or ultra vires.

Case Description

The Attorney General investigated an attorney for election law violations. The attorney’s claims that the Attorney General had exceeded his authority in pursuing the campaign finance investigation. After describing the broad powers of the Michigan Attorney General, which include both common law powers and those derived from statute, the court noted that “unless there is some reason to conclude that the prosecution’s acts were unconstitutional, illegal, or ultra vires, the prosecutor’s decision whether to proceed with a case is exempt from judicial review.” There was no such showing here. The court acknowledged that the attorney had alleged that the Attorney General’s motives in pursuing the case were political, but the court stated, “in the absence of some illegality or abuse of authority by the Attorney General, his alleged motives do not constitute a valid subject for judicial review.”