Whether the trial court properly denied respondent-husband's motion to rescind an ex parte PPO against him; Pickering v. Pickering; In re Clark Estate; Whether the issue was moot; City of Warren v. Detroit; "Collateral consequences"; Mead v. Batchlor; Hayford v. Hayford; Spencer v. Kemna; MCL 600.2950a(17)
Concluding the trial court never stated a basis under MCL 600.2950 for the issuance of the PPO and absent a legally justified rationale for the issuance of the PPO, the court held the trial court's decision to issue a PPO constituted an abuse of discretion as it was outside the range of principled outcomes. While filing divorce proceedings against the respondent, petitioner sought an ex parte PPO against him. She was granted an ex parte PPO on May 8, 2008, which provided for petitioner and their children. Respondent filed a timely motion to rescind. An evidentiary hearing was held and both parties testified. The trial court found the incidents alleged by petitioner to be "normal for couples experiencing marital difficulties." It also found there were no assaults and neither petitioner nor her children were in danger from respondent. The trial court indicated her fears were based on her perception, rather than reality. Despite not finding legal grounds for the issuance of the PPO, the trial court ordered a modified PPO, reasoning the order did not prohibit respondent from committing any acts not already prohibited by law. Although the trial court found petitioner believed her concerns were real, it also found her concerns were unfounded. Thus, the issue on appeal was whether the trial court erred in continuing the PPO despite petitioner's failure to meet her burden of persuasion. The court held the trial court erred in entering a PPO against respondent. The court concluded a wrongfully issued PPO could have "collateral consequences" well after the PPO has expired. Respondent said he was looking for federal employment after his retirement from the Coast Guard. The court concluded he sufficiently demonstrated the potential for future adverse consequences to employment in his chosen field and the court had a remedy. Thus, the appeal was not moot. Having found the trial court erred by entering the modified PPO, the court vacated the PPO and remanded the case to the trial court for a new order to update and remove reference to the PPO from the LIEN.
Full Text Opinion
State Bar of Michigan
306 Townsend St
Lansing, MI 48933-2012