JAMES M. BERRYMAN, Petitioner-Appellee,
WENDELL SHANE MACKEY, Respondent-Appellant.
Lenawee Circuit Court LC No. 17-044270-PH
Before: O'Brien, P.J., and Jansen and Ronayne Krause, JJ.
appeals as of right a modified personal protection order
(PPO) entered in favor of petitioner. For the reasons set
forth in this opinion, we vacate the modified PPO.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
case arises from an acrimonious relationship between
petitioner-the former mayor of Adrian, Michigan-and
respondent. Respondent is active in publicly commenting on
and writing about the political landscape in Adrian, and, at
the time of the events giving rise to the PPO, he was a
candidate for the Adrian City Commission. Over 30 years
earlier, in 1986, respondent was convicted of breaking into
petitioner's flower shop in Adrian and sentenced to
6½ to 10 years' imprisonment. In the spring of
2017, respondent began writing a series of articles on an
online blog-exposingadrian.com-that were critical of the way
Adrian public officials governed the city.
6, 2017, petitioner petitioned the trial court for an ex
parte PPO against respondent. According to petitioner, this
filing was prompted by a verbal exchange between petitioner
and respondent at a city commission meeting and a later email
that respondent sent to city officials on July 5, 2017. The
relevant verbal exchange took place at a public meeting of
the Adrian City Commission on June 19, 2017, after respondent
commented on issues before the commission during the public
comment portion of the meeting. Petitioner initiated the
following verbal exchange:
[Petitioner]. Mr. Mackey, let me just, while
you're there, ask you, are you the same Shane Mackey that
robbed my flower shop back in 1986?
[Respondent]. I certainly am.
[Petitioner]. Are you?
[Respondent]. Yes, I am.
[Petitioner]. Okay. And then you wonder why --
[Respondent]. I'm also the same Shane Mackey who
you put in prison because you conspired with Judge Glaser as
a young teenager for stealing teddy bears out of your store.
And then I went to law school, and here I am.
[Petitioner]. Okay. I just wanted to make sure that
you're the same one that spent time in prison for that.
[Respondent]. I'm sorry?
[Petitioner]. You make those kind of accusations
towards this commission, and yet -- and yet, you took your
[Respondent]. I was 19 years old. I'm 51 now.
What else you got?
[Respondent]. What else you got? Because you're
already dirty, so go ahead and get it out there. Because
you're already dirty in this selection process.
[Petitioner]. Because you're the one that
continues to bring -- to bring up things about this ...