e-Journal Summary

e-Journal Number : 55214
Opinion Date : 08/06/2013
e-Journal Date : 08/15/2013
Court : Michigan Court of Appeals
Case Name : Ziegler v. Ziegler
Practice Area(s) : Personal Protection Orders
Judge(s) : Per Curiam - Jansen, Cavanagh, and Markey
Full Text Opinion

Whether the trial court properly denied the defendant's request to terminate the PPO; Pickering v. Pickering; Minority Earth Movers, Inc. v. Walter Toebe Constr. Co.; Rivette v. Rose-Molina; Whether issues related to the initial entry of the PPO are moot; Visser v. Visser; Issuance of a PPO; MCL 600.2950(1); MCL 600.2950(4); Petitioner bears the burden of proof; Kampf v. Kampf; An ex parte PPO; MCL 600.2950(12); MCR 3.705(A); The statutes and court rules providing for notice and an opportunity to be heard; Whether defendant challenged the procedural grounds for the entry of the PPO


The court held that the trial court erred to the extent that it entered a PPO conflicting with its ruling. However, because the PPO has since expired and defendant is no longer prohibited from entering any property, the court was unable to grant him any relief as to this issue. Defendant's wife sought a PPO after a series of unfortunate events in the parties' lives. Defendant moved to set aside the PPO arguing that the allegations were "[f]alse and incorrect," but challenged only minor details of the petition. He primarily opposed the order because it affected his ability to see his children and prevented him from entering the family home. At a hearing on his motion, the trial court agreed that defendant would be permitted to enter the former family home because the property was vacated by plaintiff, but its order denying his motion did not clearly remove or modify that restriction in the original PPO. To the extent he challenged the entry of the PPO on procedural grounds, his claims were not preserved where he did not raise them in the trial court. Defendant contended that the petition was defective because it was not signed under oath or supported by affidavits, but the court held that plaintiff's request for a PPO was supported by a written petition, which was sufficient. The petition alleged that defendant had access to guns and that he had threatened to commit suicide in front of the children due to the loss of his job and the possibility of bankruptcy and divorce. He was also upset with petitioner because she called emergency services and tried to keep him out of the family home. This evidence created reasonable cause to believe that the petitioner harbored a reasonable apprehension of violence. It also established that notice of an impending PPO might precipitate adverse action before the PPO could be issued. Thus, the trial court did not abuse its discretion by issuing an ex parte PPO. The evidence presented at the hearing to terminate the order did not show that the reasons for the issuance of the PPO were resolved such that there was no further apprehension of violence. Thus, the trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying the motion to terminate the PPO.  Affirmed.

Full Text Opinion