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Family Law 84: Trial court must issue a PPO if it determines that there is reasonable cause.

Petitioner filed a petition for an ex parte PPO on July 13, 2020. In her petition, petitioner alleged that on July 12, 2020, she had a physical altercation with respondent where he attempted to prevent her from contacting anyone with her phone and took her to another room by her wrists. Petitioner stated that the police were called, and they sent a report of domestic assault to the prosecutor. Petitioner also alleged that respondent used intimidation and fear to get his way during their marriage, and once threatened to kill her if she called the police on him.

Ex Parte PPO

The trial court issued an ex parte PPO for petitioner against respondent

Respondent subsequently filed a motion to terminate this PPO, denying petitioner’s allegations and asserting that her petition was premised on a lie regarding the facts of the July 12, 2020 altercation. Respondent attached the relevant police report, which showed that the reporting police officer sought a charge of domestic assault against petitioner and forwarded that information to the prosecutor’s office. The report indicated that the police officer spoke with petitioner, and petitioner admitted to punching respondent in the face to regain control of her phone.

Petitioner opposed respondent’s motion to terminate. Petitioner alleged that respondent had a long history of abusive behavior, including a domestic violence conviction against an ex-girlfriend and the perpetration of threats and violence against petitioner. The trial court denied respondent’s motion to terminate the PPO.

Cause for Issuance of PPO

Pursuant to MCL 600.2950(4), the trial court must issue a PPO if it determines that there is reasonable cause to believe that the individual to be restrained or enjoined may commit 1 or more of a specified list of acts.

(a) Entering onto premises.

(b) Assaulting, attacking, beating, molesting, or wounding a named individual.

(c) Threatening to kill or physically injure a named individual.

 Any other specific act or conduct that imposes upon or interferes with personal liberty or that causes a reasonable apprehension of violence.

The petitioner bears the burden of establishing reasonable cause for issuance of a PPO, and of establishing a justification for the continuance of a PPO at a hearing on the respondent’s motion to terminate the PPO.

Assistance with PPOs

At Aldrich Legal Services, our attorneys and staff understand the stress that can come with family law disputes. We act quickly when allegations of domestic violence are made to file for or contest personal protection orders.

Contact Aldrich Legal Services to schedule a consultation with a lawyer who is dedicated to protecting your interests.

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MICHIGAN PROBATE 57: Brother granted permanent guardianship of siblings.

At a multiday hearing to address the extension of the guardianship, the eldest children, the mother’s relatives and friends, and school personnel testified regarding the mother’s care of the children, appellant’s treatment of and interaction with the children, and the eldest siblings’ role in aiding the mother to raise the children.

FAMILY LAW 88: The trial court found that the children did not have an established custodial environment with defendant because, before the separation, he did not have a large role in the children’s lives.

The trial court credited plaintiff’s testimony that, before the parties’ separation, defendant spent minimal time helping to care for the children, so its finding that the children would not have looked to defendant for guidance, discipline, the necessities of life, and parental comfort during that time was not against the great weight of the evidence.

REAL ESTATE 89: RM had not included any language in the deed providing that the property was a joint tenancy with full rights of survivorship, the property instead became a tenancy in common.

RM drafted the deed without seeking counsel and mistakenly believed that, if either she or FK died, the property would fully pass to the surviving tenant. FK’s will provided that if his wife predeceased him—which she did—the personal representative of his estate should sell any residual property that he owned and divide the cash proceeds equally among his surviving children.

FAMILY LAW 83: A trial court can terminate a parent’s rights and permit a stepparent to adopt a child.

A trial court has discretion to terminate a parent’s rights and permit a stepparent to adopt a child when the conditions of MCL 710.51(6) are met. MCL 710.51(6)(b) requires the petitioner to establish that the other parent had the ability to visit, contact, or communicate with the children, and substantially failed or neglected to do so for a period of two years.

PROBATE 53: The trust agreement included an Incontestability Provision.

A settlor’s intent is to be carried out as nearly as possible. Generally, in terrorem clauses are valid and enforceable. However, a provision in a trust that purports to penalize an interested person for contesting the trust or instituting another proceeding relating to the trust shall not be given effect if probable cause exists for instituting a proceeding contesting the trust or another proceeding relating to the trust.

FAMILY LAW 82: Court stated it would terminate the personal protection order (PPO) after the parties present documentation of the initiation of the divorce proceedings.

However, the trial court concluded that these matters should, in fact, be in the province and the jurisdiction of the Family Division and in that respect, having issued a personal protection order, the Court stated it would terminate the personal protection order after the parties present documentation of the initiation of the divorce proceedings.

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