Litigants often ask what their rights are to a judicial review of a Friend of the Court referee's decision and order after a referee hearing. In a recent case, the Court of Appeals approved the trial court's refusal to conduct a whole new trial.
The father appealed the trial court's denial of his motion to modify custody. He challenged the trial court's adoption of the Friend of the Court's recommendation and findings of fact after his timely filed objections. He also challenged the trial court's refusal to conduct an evidentiary hearing.
The court of appeals addresses the application of MCR 2.315 and its impact on a litigant's right to a full evidentiary hearing. The COA also addresses MCL 552.507, particularly the 2004 amendment that allows the trial court to consider an FOC report or recommendation that is submitted pursuant to MCL 552.505(1)(g) as long as the trial court also allows a party to present live evidence.
Litigants need to be aware that they will likely not get a full trial by the judge and that reasonable restrictions upon evidence may be imposed.
Decided on July 19, 2007, Dumm v Brodbeck, Docket No. 274600 is unpublished.
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