Amicus brief: Expiration of a Personal Protection Order does not render an appeal moot.

The Michigan Supreme Court invited the public to submit amicus briefs to argue whether or not an appeal related to a personal protection order ("PPO") is rendered moot (that is, becomes pointless) if that personal protection order has expired. The hearing is scheduled for March 7, 2018. I am proud to announce that I submitted my Amicus Brief today (with the corresponding motion), supporting the position that expiration of a PPO does not justify the appellate court's dismissal of the appeal "as moot".  The background is given in the Application Brief and the appellant's Supplemental Brief.

Holding that expiration of a PPO justifies dismissing its related appeal(s) would only encourage harassment and corruption. That is because the backlog in Michigan Court Of Appeals is such that almost all PPOs expire by the time the appellate panel schedules the "review" of the case. Actual stalkers would benefit from an incorrect holding from the Michigan Supreme Court because they would be free to engage in stalking, knowing beforehand that their unlawful conduct will remain unpunished.

Another danger of dismissals as moot is that abusive petitioners of PPOs who are friends with the trial judge could obtain PPOs for the sake of unduly restraining others' rights. This would afford to corrupt individuals (including rotten judges and other elected officials) a quick and powerful tool for retaliation, or to silence a civilian whose denouncement of uncomfortable truths poses risks to their illicit dealings.

Iñaki Viggers

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