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A Better Partnership
November 28, 2017

MSC overrules COA decision holding a motion to change schools is not an order affecting the custody of a minor

After hearing mini-oral argument in Marik v. Marik, No. 154549, the Michigan Supreme Court vacated the Court of Appeals’ order and remanded to the trial court to reconsider whether a court’s postjudgment order denying a party’s request to change a minor child’s school enrollment is a “postjudgment order affecting the custody of a minor” and therefore a “final order” under MCR 7.202(6)(a)(iii).  We previously blogged about Marik here.  
The defendant father in the underlying domestic relations action filed a postjudgment motion, seeking to modify parenting time and the parties’ minor child’s school enrollment.  After the circuit court denied the defendant’s motion, the father appealed.  The Court of Appeals dismissed the claim for lack of jurisdiction, reasoning that the circuit court’s postjudgment order did not affect the custody of the parties’ minor child within the meaning of MCR 7.202(6)(a)(iii). 
In its November 2017 order, the Michigan Supreme Court instructed the trial court to apply the standard applicable prior to the Michigan Court of Appeals’ decision in Ozimek v Rodgers (On Remand), 317 Mich App 69 (2016).  In short, the Michigan Supreme Court overruled Ozimek.  In Ozimek, which we previously blogged about here, the Michigan Court of Appeals had held that the change in the child’s school had no effect on the parenting time of the parties and therefore did not affect the custody of their son.  In addition, the Court opined that plaintiff’s contention that motions to change schools affect the custody of a minor would thwart the Court’s progress in expediently resolving appeals.  The Court held that it did not have jurisdiction over the matter. With this order, the Supreme Court has overruled those conclusions.
The Michigan Supreme Court further noted that it had opened an administrative file to consider amending MCR 7.202(6)(a)(iii). 

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