e-Journal Summary

e-Journal Number : 52955
Opinion Date : 10/16/2012
e-Journal Date : 10/26/2012
Court : Michigan Court of Appeals
Case Name : Grimes v. Peake
Practice Area(s) : Personal Protection Orders
Judge(s) : Per Curiam – Murray, Cavanagh, and Stephens
Full Text Opinion
Issues:

Denial of motion to terminate a PPO; Hayford v. Hayford; MCL 600.2950(1) & (4); MCL 600.2950(12); Adjournment; MCR 2.503(C); Deference to the trial court's credibility determinations; Pickering v. Pickering; Applicability of MCL 600.2950a(7) and MCR 3.705(A)(2); Effect of the fact the PPO was issued under MCL 600.2950 rather than MCL 600.2950a; MCL 600.2950(7); MCR 3.703(D)(1)(b); "Harmless error"; MCR 2.613(A); Whether the trial court should have held the petitioner in contempt; Davis v. Detroit Fin. Review Team; "Plain error" review; Rivette v. Rose-Molina; MCL 600.2950(24); Alleged violation of MCR 2.114; MCR 2.114(D)-(F); Motion for relief from judgment; Heugel v. Heugel; MCR 2.612(C)(1)(b); Effect of the fact the appeal was pending; Ypsilanti Fire Marshal v. Kircher (On Reconsideration); MCR 7.208(A); Violation of MCR 2.119(A)(2); Violation of MCR 2.119(F)(1); Violation of MCR 2.119(A)(1)(b)

Summary

Noting that threatening to kill is an act listed in MCL 600.2950(1), the court held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in continuing the PPO. Further, the issuance of the ex parte PPO did not violate MCL 600.2950a(7) and MCR 3.705(A)(2) because the PPO was issued under MCL 600.2950, rather than MCL 600.2950a. The court also rejected the respondent's claims that the trial court should have held the petitioner in contempt and imposed sanctions against her under MCR 2.114. Finally, the court concluded that the trial court properly denied respondent's motion for relief from judgment on procedural grounds. Thus, the court affirmed the trial court's order denying his motion to terminate the PPO and its order denying his emergency motion for relief from judgment/reconsideration. At the 7/20/11 hearing, petitioner indicated that she had text messages showing that respondent threatened her, but because her phone would not turn on, the trial court continued the hearing until 7/27/11 and instructed petitioner to bring the text messages. The court noted that there was no legal reason why the trial court was not allowed to adjourn the hearing and continue it a week later. At the 7/27/11 hearing, petitioner testified that respondent followed her on the way home from work, yelling expletives and blocking her in her driveway. She also produced text messages she asserted were from respondent. According to the messages read into the record by petitioner, respondent sent her text messages stating that she "better not go to sleep" and that he would kill her. Respondent asserted that some of the messages were actually sent by petitioner. However, the trial court found that respondent threatened petitioner, and in light of petitioner's testimony and the text messages read by the trial court, the court held that this finding was not clearly erroneous. The court noted that unlike MCL 600.2950a(7), MCL 600.2950(7) does not require the trial court to state in writing its reasons for issuing a PPO. Further, since the proceedings were not under MCL 600.2950a, the trial court was not required to comply with the portion of MCR 3.705(A)(2) requiring that it state in writing the reasons for issuing the order. Respondent also argued that the trial court violated MCR 3.703(D)(1)(b) by failing to contact another county where petitioner alleged that there was another pending action between the parties before the district court in that county. The trial court implicitly admitted that it did not contact that district court. "Because it was required to do so under MCR 3.703(D)(1)(b), this was error." However, at the 7/20/11 hearing, respondent's counsel informed the trial court of the prior order relating to the parties and that petitioner was put on probation due to "assaultive and domestic matters." While the trial court did not contact the other jurisdiction before issuing the PPO, it obtained the relevant information before continuing the PPO. "Because it continued the PPO even after acquiring this information, any error was harmless."

Full Text Opinion