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DIVORCE 36: Defendant finds new evidence of infidelity and files motion for a new trial.

In his motion for a new trial, defendant claimed to possess text messages—found sometime after trial concluded—apparently demonstrating (1) sexual infidelity by plaintiff, (2) that plaintiff suffered from undisclosed health concerns, and (3) that plaintiff was deceitful during her trial testimony.

Instead of conducting even a minimal inquiry into whether the evidence that defendant presented satisfied the requirements for a new trial under MCR 2.611(A)(1)(f), the trial court denied defendant’s motion because it believed that the judge that presided over the hearing was capable of properly deciding the case.

But neither the Judge’s judicial qualifications nor the Judge’s high level of comfort are relevant considerations for whether defendant presented newly discovered evidence warranting a new trial.

The trial court needed to review the substance of defendant’s motion and decide whether it satisfied the requirements for a new trial under MCR 2.611(A)(1)(f). By refusing to do so and instead relying on irrelevant considerations, the trial court abused its discretion.

It was at least plausible that defendant’s newly discovered evidence, if considered and found credible, could have impacted the trial court’s marital property distribution and, therefore, required full consideration.

The goal in distributing marital assets in a divorce proceeding is to reach an equitable distribution of property in light of all the circumstances.

One or more of the insinuations of plaintiff’s marital infidelity, undisclosed health issues, or deceitfulness, if borne out, could reasonably result not only in a different custody determination, but also in the trial court altering its decision that it was equitable to equally split the net equity of the marital home.

In order to protect your parental and financial rights, it is important to have an experienced and understanding divorce attorney by your side at every step of the way.

At the Plymouth and Ann Arbor law firm of Aldrich Legal Services, our attorneys have the skill and experience you need to address all family law issues that may arise during your divorce.

Contact Aldrich Legal Services

FAMILY LAW 77: Court awarded plaintiff sole legal custody; defendant was unwilling to work with plaintiff.

For joint custody to work, parents must be able to agree with each other on basic issues in child rearing including health care, religion, education, day to day decision making and discipline and they must be willing to cooperate with each other in joint decision making. If two equally capable parents are unable to cooperate and to agree generally concerning important decisions affecting the welfare of their children, the court has no alternative but to determine which parent shall have sole custody of the children.

CRIMINAL 19: Sentencing guidelines are advisory.

The sentencing guidelines are advisory, and although a trial court must determine the applicable guidelines range and take it into account when imposing a sentence, the court is not required to sentence a defendant within that range.

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PROBATE 44: Petition for Mental Health Treatment

Michigan’s Mental Health Code governs the civil admission and discharge procedures for a person with a mental illness. Specifically, MCL 330.1434 sets forth the procedure and content requirements for a petition for mental health treatment.

Should you get your criminal record expunged?

Originally posted on 04/12/2017 If you have been convicted of a crime, have served your sentence, and have followed all court recommendations, you should be able to put your past behind you and move on with life. Moving forward is critical...

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