Personal Protection Orders

Issues: Action involving a personal protection order (PPO); MCL 600.2950(30)(c); "Stalking" defined; MCL 750.411h(1)(d); "Course of conduct" defined; MCL 750.411h(1)(a); Principle that to qualify as a "course of conduct," a respondent's acts must be "separate" and "noncontinuous"; "Harassment" defined; MCL 750.411h(1)(d); Failure to develop an argument on appeal; Mitcham v. Detroit

Court: Michigan Court of Appeals (Unpublished)

Case Name: Sleight v. Sleight

e-Journal Number: 59715

Judge(s): Per Curiam – Owens, Jansen, and Murray

 

The court held that the respondent-husband's appeal of the trial court's denial of his motion to terminate an ex-parte PPO was moot, and that, in any event, his arguments on appeal lacked merit. Thus, it dismissed the appeal as moot. In granting the PPO against respondent, the trial court found there was reasonable cause to believe that he "'may do some of the acts that can be enjoined,'" based on evidence regarding his behavior over a 2-day period, "which included repeated phone calls and text messages sent to petitioner[-wife], and threats, as well as his attempt to lock her out of the home." On appeal, the court first found respondent's appeal moot, noting the PPO had already expired. Next, it found that the trial court did not err by denying his motion to terminate the PPO, rejecting his argument that the trial court erred by concluding that he stalked petitioner. "This is a misunderstanding of the [trial] court's conclusion. What [it] determined [was] that respondent may engage in stalking in the future." It noted that "the evidence already showed a 'course of conduct' directed toward the petitioner 'that would cause a reasonable individual to suffer emotional distress and that actually causes the victim'" to suffer emotional distress. It rejected respondent's contention that his actions did not constitute a "course of conduct" because they occurred within a 24-hour time frame, noting that his actions were both "separate" and "noncontinuous." Thus, "even if the issue were not moot, we would conclude that the trial court had reasonable cause to believe that respondent was likely to commit one or more of the acts listed in" the statute.

 

Full Text Opinion
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