“Sir, PPO’s are not put in place because someone is rude to you.” These were the words spoken by a Wayne County judge last week at the conclusion of a PPO termination hearing. It was just another example of using precise cross-examination to show the judge that this PPO was bogus.
My clients were neighbors of the person who filed the PPO. For years there had been tension between my clients and their neighbor. This tension came to a head when the neighbor, in the middle of an argument with my clients, pulled out his gun and threatened them. The neighbor was charged criminally and, despite there being pictures of him with his gun out, was acquitted. But then the neighbor had the “stones” to file a PPO against my clients, alleging that they were harassing him.
At the hearing I cross-examined the neighbor about his specific claims in the PPO. He was forced to admit that the actual basis of the petition was that the neighbors were both rude to each other and that there was one instance when my clients put yard waste on the corner on trash day and some of the waste ended up on his driveway. He was also confronted with photographic evidence that contradicted his claims about my clients’ actions.
When cross was concluded the judge asked me, “Mr. Kessel, is there any evidence you need to present?” This is where an experienced attorney differentiates himself from an inexperienced one. I was prepared with multiple witnesses to refute the neighbor’s claims. However, the words uttered by the judge and the tone in which she uttered them told me that she was ready to rule and rule in my favor. I politely told the judge I had no evidence. My clients looked momentarily at my like I had lost my mind. But their fear soon dissolved as the judge told the neighbor that she did not feel that the testimony he presented and the evidence he was confronted with gave rise to a legal necessity for there to be a PPO in this case.
If you or a friend or family member has been served with a PPO and you believe there is no basis for it, contact Chris Kessel Law today.