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DIVORCE 72: Defendant asserts the trial court failed to acknowledge the seven-day rule.

In January 2019, plaintiff filed a complaint for divorce, asking for the trial court to dissolve the parties’ marriage.

Entry of Proposed Judgment

Plaintiff moved for entry of the proposed judgment of divorce on December 3. Defendant opposed the motion, and, initially, the trial court scheduled a hearing on plaintiff’s motion for entry of the judgment. However, after notifying the parties, the court entered the proposed judgment. Defendant subsequently moved for relief from the judgment.

Defendant argued that the trial court committed clear legal error by entering the judgment of divorce without consideration of the seven-day rule.

Seven-Day Rule

Defendant asserts that at the hearing on his motion for relief from judgment, the trial court failed to even acknowledge the seven-day rule. MCR 2.602(B)(3), the so-called seven-day rule, allows a party to serve a copy of the proposed judgment or order on the other parties, with a notice to them that it will be submitted to the court for signing if no written objections to its accuracy or completeness are filed with the court clerk within 7 days after service of the notice.

Plaintiff, however, did not seek entry of the proposed judgment under the seven-day rule. Indeed, defendant acknowledged as much both in his motion for relief from judgment and at the hearing on that motion. Nevertheless, defendant asserted that by moving for entry of the proposed judgment, the seven-day rule was triggered.

Court Ruling

A party seeking to have a proposed judgment or order entered under the seven-day rule must do so within 7 days after the granting of the judgment or order. Plaintiff, however, did not seek entry of the proposed judgment under the seven-day rule. Assuming arguendo that the rule was, in fact applicable, no violation of MCR 2.602(B)(3) occurred. The seven-day period started on December 4, the day after she filed her motion, and ran until the end of the day on December 10. Defendant filed his response to her motion on December 11, the eighth day. Therefore, even if the seven-day rule was applicable, no violation of it occurred.

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