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156557 - Richard Dorko v Sherry Dorko

Richard William Dorko,


Jeffrey Schroder





(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)



(Kalamazoo – Pierangeli, G.)


Sherry Sue Dorko,


George Perrett





The parties were divorced in 2005. The judgment of divorce awarded defendant-wife one-half of the marital interest in plaintiff-husband’s pension and retirement benefits in a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). Ten years and eight days after entry of the divorce judgment, defendant submitted a proposed QDRO to the trial court, which was entered without objection. Several months later, after the pension plan rejected the proposed QDRO because of deficiencies in the draft language, defendant submitted an amended proposed QDRO. Plaintiff filed objections to entry of the amended proposed QDRO on grounds unrelated to the statute of limitations. Plaintiff then moved to set aside the first proposed QDRO and to deny the amended proposed QDRO, claiming that entry of any QDRO was barred by the ten-year statute of limitations applicable to enforcement of noncontractual money obligations in MCL 600.5809(3). The trial court denied plaintiff’s motion and entered the amended proposed QDRO. In an unpublished opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that it was bound by Joughin v Joughin, 320 Mich App 380 (2017), which held that a former spouse’s submission of a proposed QDRO is merely a ministerial task attendant to the judgment of divorce that is not subject to the statute of limitations period in MCL 600.5809(3). The Supreme Court has directed oral argument on plaintiff’s application for leave to appeal to address: (1) whether plaintiff waived any statute of limitations defense; (2) whether Joughin was correctly decided; and (3) when a claim for retirement benefits under a judgment of divorce accrues. ​