Family Law

This summary also appears under Litigation

 

Issues: Sanctions; MCR 2.625(A)(2); MCL 600.2591; Appeals in the circuit court; MCR 7.102; Whether a party is entitled to costs where no actual costs are incurred; In re Costs & Attorney Fees; Failure to support an argument on appeal; People v. Kelly; "Frivolous"; Kitchen v. Kitchen; Jerico Constr., Inc. v. Quadrants, Inc.

Court: Michigan Court of Appeals (Unpublished)

Case Name: Reppen v. Reppen

e-Journal Number: 58148

Judge(s): Per Curiam – Murray, Donofrio, and Borrello

 

The court held that the trial court properly granted the plaintiff-ex-wife costs in the amount of $456. During the parties' divorce proceedings, the defendant-ex-husband filed two motions regarding custody. The referee found both of the motions meritless. The trial court adopted the referee's recommendation after the second motion and awarded plaintiff $456 in costs for having to defend a frivolous motion. On appeal, the court rejected his argument that he could not be subject to taxation of costs because he was the prevailing party on "appeal in the Circuit Court," finding his assertion to be legally inaccurate. "[A]n objection to a Friend of the Court recommendation is not an appeal in the circuit court. Accordingly, because defendant has misconstrued what constitutes an appeal, MCR 2.625(B)(4) is inapplicable and defendant is not entitled to relief." It also rejected his argument that plaintiff was not entitled to costs because she did not incur any "actual costs." It found that "calculating plaintiff's incurred costs based on one day of missed work was entirely reasonable under the circumstances. Given that the award need only be reasonable, it was not outside the range of principled outcomes for the trial court to award $456 as costs." The court next rejected his argument that plaintiff was not entitled to costs because defendant's motion was not frivolous, finding that his argument "was devoid of legal merit because it failed to allege facts warranting an order to show cause. The referee was correct that many of the allegations were related to issues previously litigated in 2010-2011." Finally, it rejected his argument that there was legal error because "defendant's motion was properly filed." Simply stated, "whether defendant's motion was properly filed did not form the basis of the court's decision to award costs, and was therefore irrelevant. Costs were awarded because defendant's motion lacked legal merit." Affirmed.

 

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