e-Journal Summary

e-Journal Number : 72001
Opinion Date : 12/19/2019
e-Journal Date : 01/13/2020
Court : Michigan Court of Appeals
Case Name : BS v. JB
Practice Area(s) : Personal Protection Orders
Judge(s) : Per Curiam - Letica, Gadola, and Cameron
Full Text Opinion
Issues:

Petition for a personal protection order (PPO); MCL 600.2950a(1); Principle that the petitioner must allege two or more separate noncontinuous acts of stalking under MCL 750.411h that are distinct from one another & are not connected in time & space; Pobursky v. Gee; “Stalking”; MCL 750.411h(1)(d); “Harassment”; MCL 750.411h(1)(c)

Summary

The court held that the trial court did not err by denying respondent’s motion to terminate a PPO entered in favor of petitioner. The trial court granted petitioner’s petition for an ex parte PPO and later denied respondent’s motion to terminate it, finding there were two incidences supporting the PPO occurring on the same day. It also found respondent violated the terms of the PPO when he mailed petitioner his motion to terminate, but it did not sanction him for the violation. On appeal, the court declined to address respondent’s constitutional challenge because he could not demonstrate that the trial court’s alleged error affected his substantial rights. Specifically, the trial court “based its ruling on three incidents of ‘harassment’—respondent’s middle finger gesture, respondent’s bite, and respondent’s numerous text messages.” Respondent did not "contest two of these incidents on appeal. Although the text messages were non-threatening, [petitioner] classified them as harassing and respondent [did] not dispute this characterization.” Thus, the court concluded that, “even assuming that respondent’s middle finger gesture was protected conduct under the First Amendment, respondent cannot demonstrate that the [trial] court’s ruling prejudiced him because there remained two uncontested, independent grounds for denying his motion to terminate the PPO.” Affirmed.

Full Text Opinion