e-Journal Summary

e-Journal Number : 53983
Opinion Date : 02/19/2013
e-Journal Date : 03/08/2013
Court : Michigan Court of Appeals
Case Name : Cooke v. Scheere
Practice Area(s) : Personal Protection Orders
Judge(s) : Per Curiam – Murphy, Donofrio, and Gleicher
Full Text Opinion
Issues:

Denial of respondent's motion to terminate a second PPO that petitioner had obtained against him; Hayford v. Hayford; Craig v. Oakwood Hosp.; Hill v. City of Warren; Pickering v. Pickering; "Collateral estoppel"; Ditmore v. Michalik; Whether the trial court abused its discretion by not entertaining further proofs after hearing respondent's testimony at the evidentiary hearing; Hartland Twp. v. Kucykowicz; MRE 611(a); MCL 600.2950a(1); Lamkin v. Engram

Summary

Because the trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying the motion to terminate the second PPO or by determining that further evidence was unnecessary, the court affirmed the denial of respondent's motion to terminate a PPO that petitioner had obtained against him. The case involved the second of two PPOs that petitioner obtained against respondent. The first PPO prohibited respondent from stalking petitioner for the period of 7/29/10 to 7/29/11. On 5/27/11, respondent was found guilty of civil contempt for violating that PPO. On 8/4/11, less than one week after the first PPO expired, petitioner filed a petition for a second PPO. The petition alleged that after the first PPO expired, respondent began repeatedly calling petitioner's telephone and sending him numerous text messages. The trial court entered the PPO on the same day. Respondent filed a motion to terminate the second PPO. To the extent that respondent argued that he should have been permitted to relitigate issues pertaining to the first PPO that expired on 7/29/11, his argument lacked merit. The second PPO was sought on the basis of conduct that occurred after the first PPO expired. Thus, the trial court properly precluded respondent from relitigating issues related to the first PPO. Respondent also failed to establish error as to the trial court's decision not to entertain further proofs after hearing respondent's testimony at the evidentiary hearing. The material issue before the trial court was whether respondent engaged in a course of conduct that constituted stalking as defined in MCL 750.411h(d), during the one-week period between the expiration of the first PPO on 7/29/11, and the entry of the second PPO on 8/4/11. The trial court could properly consider the testimony, documents, and other proffered evidence in determining whether respondent engaged in stalking. Although the parties gave conflicting testimony concerning some of the details of respondent's repeated nonconsensual contact with petitioner during the relevant time period, respondent's own testimony describing his numerous contacts with petitioner supported the trial court's finding that he engaged in stalking behavior. Thus, the trial court did not abuse its discretion by determining that further evidence was unnecessary. Also, respondent failed to establish that the trial court clearly erred by determining that he engaged in stalking or that the trial court abused its discretion by denying his motion to terminate the second PPO.

Full Text Opinion