Legal Authority

Michigan law - both common and statutory - authorizes the Attorney General to protect charitable assets within the state. The sale or conversion of nonprofit entities to for-profit ones creates a risk that charitable assets will be diverted for private benefit.  See Michigan Nonprofit Corporation Act, MCL 450.2301 (prohibiting the use of charitable assets for non-charitable purposes).  Because of the risk to charitable assets, the Charitable Trust Section currently reviews these transactions. 

Some of the largest and most significant nonprofit assets sales involve hospitals.  Although Michigan law does not give the Attorney General a specific role in overseeing nonprofit hospital sales, the Attorney general oversees these sales using his broad authority to protect charitable interests within the state.  See, e.g., Supervision of Trustees for Charitable Purposes Act, MCL 14.251 et seq.