e-Journal Summary

e-Journal Number : 72122
Opinion Date : 01/14/2020
e-Journal Date : 01/31/2020
Court : Michigan Court of Appeals
Case Name : JH v. JPH
Practice Area(s) : Personal Protection Orders
Judge(s) : Per Curiam – Riordan, Jansen, and Stephens
Full Text Opinion

Entry & continuance of a PPO; Hayford v. Hayford; MCL 600.2950(30)(d); Ex parte PPO; MCR 3.310(B)(5); Pickering v. Pickering; Kampf v. Kampf; Domestic-relationship PPOs; MCL 600.2950; TM v. MZ; MCL 600.2950(1)(l); MCL 600.2950(4)(b); Credibility determinations; Lumley v. Board of Regents for Univ. of MI; Brandt v. Brandt; Due process; Thomas v. Pogats; Dobrzenski v. Dobrzenski; Cummings v. Wayne Cnty.; Notice & opportunity to defend; Unpreserved issue first raised in a motion for reconsideration; Department of Envtl. Quality v. Morley; Lenawee Cnty. v. Wagley; Plain error review; Kern v. Blethen-Coluni; In re Utrera; Procedural safeguards; MCL 600.2950(13), (14), & (18); MCR 3.707(A)(1)(b); Whether the trial court had to automatically prohibit respondent from possessing a firearm if it continued the PPO; MCL 600.2950(2); IME v. DBS; Whether an issue was moot; Mead v. Batchlor; Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN)


The court held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in entering the PPO against respondent, or in refusing to terminate it. He also did not show that his due process rights were violated and thus, did not demonstrate a plain error affecting his substantial rights. However, the “trial court erred when it stated that it had to automatically prohibit respondent from possessing a firearm if it continued the PPO.” Respondent argued that petitioner failed to present sufficient evidence for entry of the PPO and its continuance. Initially, the court noted that although the PPO had expired, the issue was not moot. Respondent asserted that the PPO entry in the LEIN inhibited “his ability to obtain work as a security guard.” Thus, the issue continued to have collateral legal consequences for him. He argued that “the conduct alleged by petitioner did not rise to the level of conduct necessary to establish ‘reasonable cause’ for issuance of the PPO.” However, the court held that testimony presented at the hearing on his motion to terminate the PPO established “reasonable cause to believe that respondent engaged in conduct that caused petitioner a reasonable apprehension of violence.” The trial court was able to consider whether he “previously committed or threatened to commit an act listed in MCL 600.2950(1).” Petitioner testified as to several instances of domestic violence during their marriage. She also “testified that respondent raped her after the parties divorced. She testified that she did not tell her current boyfriend in fear of him leaving her when she was pregnant with their child. Although there was seemingly a period of a calm between the parties, petitioner alleged several incidents beginning in 2018, in which respondent sent petitioner harassing texts, took the parties’ minor child out to dinner without notifying petitioner, and insulted petitioner in the court house elevator.” Respondent denied the allegations and asserted that petitioner’s testimony was unreliable. But the trial court found her testimony credible, and the court “affords great deference to the special opportunity of the trial court to judge the credibility of the witnesses who appeared before it.” Thus, because respondent’s argument was “not sufficient to overcome the trial court’s discretion,” the court deferred to the trial court’s credibility determination. However, the court held that the trial court committed “plain legal error when it stated that it was statutorily bound to prohibit respondent from" possessing a firearm, requiring reversal of its determination on this issue. Affirmed in part, and reversed and remanded in part.

Full Text Opinion