e-Journal Summary

e-Journal Number : 39066
Opinion Date : 04/15/2008
e-Journal Date : 04/21/2008
Court : Michigan Court of Appeals
Case Name : Robitaille v. Robitaille
Practice Area(s) : Personal Protection Orders
Judge(s) : Memorandum - Fort Hood, Talbot, and Servitto
Full Text Opinion
Issues:

Contempt of court for encouraging respondent to violate a PPO; Federated Publ’ns., Inc. v. Lansing; In re Contempt of Dudzinski

Summary

The court dismissed the appeal as moot. Petitioner appealed the trial court's order finding her in contempt of court for encouraging respondent to violate a PPO protecting her from him. On July 28, 2006, the trial court entered a modified PPO precluding the respondent from contacting petitioner except with regard to the health, education, and welfare of their children. The PPO was set to expire on October 28, 2006. In late September 2006, respondent, acting in propria persona, filed an order to show cause for violating a valid PPO, indicating petitioner was in violation of the terms of the PPO by contacting him regarding non-child related topics and repeatedly threatening to call the police and allege a violation of the PPO. During the show cause hearing, petitioner testified she did not send text messages to respondent dealing with non-child related issues. The trial court then noted the validity of the testimony was subject to verification, and any untruths would be forwarded to the police and prosecutors. Petitioner then changed her testimony to indicate she had not sent those text messages on that particular date. The trial court ultimately held petitioner in contempt of court and ordered a seven-day jail sentence, but suspended the sentence. The trial court held "[i]f no further acts of contempt occurred within 6 months, the sentence and finding of contempt shall be purged." The lower court record revealed no further evidence of contempt on petitioner's part. In light of the trial court's order purging the contempt if no additional contemptuous behavior occurred within the next six months and the expiration of the time period, there was no relief the court could grant.

Full Text Opinion