e-Journal Summary

e-Journal Number : 39600
Opinion Date : 06/10/2008
e-Journal Date : 06/12/2008
Court : Michigan Court of Appeals
Case Name : Hayford v Hayford
Practice Area(s) : Family Law, Personal Protection Orders
Judge(s) : Per Curiam - Whitbeck, O'Connell, and Kelly
Full Text Opinion
Issues:

Whether the trial court properly granted and continued a PPO against respondent-Mark Hayford (petitioner-Dirk Hayford's father); Standard of review; Pickering v. Pickering; MCL 600.2950(4); Kampf v. Kampf; Whether the PPO impermissibly modified respondent's custody of his son (petitioner); Whether the Child Custody Act is the exclusive means through which custody of the son may be modified; MCL 552.605b; MCL 722.22(d); MCL 722.27(1)(c); Bowie v. Arder; Bert v. Bert; Whether a PPO must always comply with the Child Custody Act (CCA); Brandt v. Brandt; "Catchall provision" in MCL 600.2950(1)(j); Woodard v. Custer; Whether there were sufficient acts of harassment or stalking to support the PPO (MCL 600.2950(1)(i)); MCL 750.411h(1)(c), (d), and (e); Whether the petitioner was required to be afraid or show fear; "Emotional distress" (MCL 750.411h(1)(b)); Sweebe v. Sweebe; Whether respondent's conduct was constitutionally protected; Nastal v. Henderson & Assocs. Investigations, Inc.; Rebuttable presumption the victim felt "terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested" by respondent's conduct (MCL 750.411h(4))

Summary

The court held the trial court's decision to grant and continue a PPO against respondent at the request of petitioner, his son who was 18 years of age at the time, fell within the range of principled outcomes. In November 2006, petitioner, a high school senior, was diagnosed with a potentially cancerous tumor requiring surgery. Petitioner's parents were divorced and respondent was contacted for insurance purposes. The divorce judgment stipulated respondent was required to support petitioner and provide medical care until he graduated from high school. Petitioner turned 18 years of age on December 5, 2006. Prior to the issuance of the PPO, respondent earned a living building rifles and firearms. Because a PPO is considered a domestic violence offense, respondent may permanently lose his license and livelihood. He maintained the PPO should not have been issued and sought a nunc pro tunc order declaring it invalid. Although respondent argued the PPO impermissibly modified custody of his son and the CCA was the exclusive means through which custody could be modified, the court disagreed. Since petitioner had reached majority age before seeking the PPO, the CCA was inapplicable. Further, the court recognized in Brandt a PPO need not comply with the CCA under certain circumstances. The petitioner made it clear to respondent he did not wish further contact. However, respondent's conduct demonstrated his inability to honor his son's wishes. He continued to place telephone calls to petitioner's cell phone and residence, attended a band concert at petitioner's school, placed an ad in the newspaper with petitioner's name and the names of family members and other personal information, prompting questions about the ad, contacted petitioner's physician's office many times causing the doctor to be wary of treating him, and visited the hospital before petitioner's surgery causing him stress before the operation. At most, the PPO merely temporarily modified respondent's custody rights in order to prevent further harassment as petitioner dealt with his difficult medical condition. Further, the trial court properly held petitioner experienced emotional distress based on respondent's conduct. Affirmed.

Full Text Opinion