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Stephen Borrello

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Stephen L. Borrello
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Current Court Information:
Michigan Fourth District Court of Appeals
Title:   Judge
Position:   District 4
Salary:  $
Active:   2003-2019
Past position:   Partner, Gilbert, Smith & Borrello, PC
Past term:   1990-2003
Personal History
Undergraduate:   Albion College
Law School:   Detroit College of Law
Candidate 2012:
Candidate for:  Court of Appeals
State:  Michigan
Election information 2012:
Incumbent:  Yes
Election date:  11/6/2012
Election vote:  100%ApprovedA

Stephen L. Borrello is a judge on the Michigan Fourth District Court of Appeals. He was appointed to this position in 2003 and elected in 2004. His current term expires on January 1, 2019.[1]


Judge Borrello received his B.A. degree from Albion College and his J.D. from the Detroit College of Law.[1]


Judge Borrello worked from 1988 to 1990 as an assistant prosecuting attorney. He then worked as an attorney and partner at the law firm of Gilbert, Smith & Borrello, P.C. until his appointment to the Court of Appeals. He is currently an adjunct professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Saginaw Valley State University.[1][2]

Awards and associations

In 1997, Borrello was appointed co-chair of Senator Levin's Select Committee for the Appointment of Federal Judges to the Eastern District of Michigan. In 1999, he was appointed to the Michigan Board of State Canvassers, where he served until 2003. He was also a member of the 1996 Electoral College.[2]


Publications include:

  • OSHIA Update in Michigan (NBI Press 1995)
  • Basic Labor Law (NBI Press 1996)
  • Avoiding Secondary Activities, a Labor Leader's Manual
  • Public Sector Labor Law
  • Prevailing Wage Update and Practitioner's Guide[2]

2012 election

Judge Borrello was re-elected after running unopposed in the general election on November 6, 2012.[3][4]

See also: Michigan judicial elections, 2012

Notable cases

First Amendment ruling

In a 2-1 decision, the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Eastern Michigan University. During a National Public Radio newscast, disc jockey Terry Hughes commented favorably on the war in Iraq rather than running the hourly newscasts. He is quoted as saying, "We are supposed to be running news during the program. But that's not going to happen. . . . We know that if you want a current and accurate assessment of what's going on, you sure as hell ain't listening to us." According to court documents, he instead referred listeners to Fox News. The appellate court agreed with the trial court, that Hughes had committed insubordination. Judge Stephen Borrello dissented, saying, "Due to the nature of his job as host of the music show, plaintiff's on-air speech was an integral part of his job . . . Nevertheless, the fact that speaking on the air was generally part of his job duties does not compel the conclusion that the specific speech at issue was made pursuant to his employment duties."[5]

Court ruling on home-schooled athletes

A unanimous decision from the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that home-schooled students do not have the same rights as public-schooled students. Home-schooled students do not have a right to play for sports teams of schools in their district. The court consulted the Michigan Supreme Court's decision "that students at nonpublic schools without extracurricular activities must be allowed to enroll in that public school activity." According to state law, schools are required to allow students to develop their intellectual capacities. Sports do not fall under that. Judge Stephen Borrello, joined by Judge Patrick Meter, said Michigan state laws do not require schools to allow home-schooled students to join sports programs. Judge Michael Talbot concurred in the decision. "But plaintiffs have not asserted that interscholastic sports develop either their children's intellectual capacities or vocational skills," the court said. "The Court did not opine or even suggest that nonpublic school students were entitled to participate in extracurricular interscholastic athletic events, and nothing in (its) opinion dictates that conclusion. Unlike a state requirement that all students be taught by certified teachers that the Supreme Court found did violate religious rights, the sports rules do not inescapably compel conduct that the parents find objectionable for religious reasons," the Court of Appeals said. "Rather, by exercising their right to practice their religion through homeschooling their children, plaintiffs made a choice between homeschooling their children and having them participate in extracurricular interscholastic athletic competition," the court said.[6]

Fourth Amendment dissent

In a 2-1 decision, the Court of Appeals overturned a district court ruling that suppressed evidence that had been obtained by using dogs to sniff outside a house for drugs. Police used the drug dogs' signal to obtain a search warrant to enter the residence, where they found marijuana and a gun. According to the Toledo Blade, Judges E. Thomas Fitzgerald and William B. Murphy, citing U.S. Supreme Court precedent, said a canine sniff is not a search as defined under Fourth Amendment law. They said there is no reasonable expectation of privacy at the entrance to property that is open to the public, including the front porch of a home. In his dissent, Judge Stephen Borrello wrote, "A person's home is not some abstract place or location for which it is unclear whether the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy."[7]

See also

External links


MichiganMichigan Supreme CourtMichigan Court of AppealsMichigan Circuit CourtMichigan District CourtsMichigan Probate CourtsUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of MichiganUnited States District Court for the Western District of MichiganUnited States bankruptcy court, Eastern District of MichiganUnited States bankruptcy court, Western District of MichiganUnited States Court of Appeals for the Sixth CircuitMichigan countiesMichigan judicial newsMichigan judicial electionsJudicial selection in MichiganMichiganTemplate.jpg