e-Journal Summary

e-Journal Number : 41399
Opinion Date : 12/23/2008
e-Journal Date : 01/05/2009
Court : Michigan Court of Appeals
Case Name : Dooley v. Hartsell
Practice Area(s) : Personal Protection Orders
Judge(s) : Per Curiam - Murray, Markey, and Wilder
Full Text Opinion

Motion to terminate an ex parte PPO; Pickering v. Pickering; Radeljak v. DaimlerChrysler Corp.; MCL 600.2950a(9); MCR 3.705(A)(4); MCR 3.706(D); MCL 600.2950a(6); Mootness; Michigan Chiropractic Council v. Commissioner of Office of Fin. & Ins. Servs.; Attorney Gen. v. Public Serv. Comm'n; Mead v. Batchlor; Whether the trial court abused its discretion when it allegedly showed deference to the predecessor judge who originally issued the PPO


The trial court properly denied the respondent's motion to terminate an ex parte PPO against him. He contended the PPO should not have been issued ex parte because petitioner misrepresented to the trial court he was in fear of immediate and irreparable injury from respondent. Petitioner provided the trial court with specific and uncontroverted factual assertions satisfying the requirements of MCL 600.2950a(9) and allowing for the grant of an ex parte PPO. In the questionnaire attached to his motion, petitioner specifically reported on March 10, 2007, respondent attempted to run him off the road. Petitioner also testified twice during that month, he and his wife were in the car when respondent started driving his car toward them in an "aggressive" manner. Not only was petitioner's physical well being threatened when respondent attempted to run him off the road, and drove at him and his wife, but the behavior also threatened the loss of, or damage to, his automobile. Additionally, while respondent had been belligerent toward petitioner for years, the increase in his threats and hostility during March 2007 allowed the trial to court to find any delay resulting from effectuating notice on respondent would have placed petitioner in danger of immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage. Therefore, the finding the PPO was properly issued in the first instance was clearly not a decision lying outside a principled range of outcomes. Respondent attempted to show the PPO was invalid because petitioner waited three months before seeking to protect himself by serving it on him. More specifically, he argued this delay indicated petitioner did not have the fear of immediate and irreparable injury required by statute for a PPO. This argument lacked merit. MCR 3.705(A)(4) and MCR 3.706(D) explicitly provide failure to serve a PPO does not affect the validity of the order. The PPO was in fact enforceable against respondent from the moment it was signed by the judge, regardless of service. Therefore, petitioner did not need to serve respondent in order to protect himself, and his delay in doing so should not be deemed evidence petitioner did not satisfy the requirements of MCL 600.2950a(9). Also, respondent misstated the applicable standard. MCL 600.2950a(9) requires an objective showing of specific facts - a standard petitioner clearly satisfied - and not a subjective showing of fear. Affirmed.

Full Text Opinion