Matty Moroun’s ‘motion for release’ denied by Court of Appeals; Moroun and Stamper will spend night in jail

By Jeff T. Wattrick |

Matty Moroun's mugshot

The Michigan Court of Appeals, by a 2-1 vote, denied Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun’s and Detroit International Bridge Company President Dan Stamper’s motion for release from jail pending the appeal of a Wayne County Circuit Court contempt ruling.

This morning, Judge Prentis Edwards ordered the two men to be incarcerated until the Bridge Company completes the Ambassador Bridge Gateway Project to specifications laid out in Edwards’ February 2010 ruling.

Tonight’s decision appears to be procedural. The Appeals Court ruling says attorneys for Moroun and Stamper “rely upon MCL 770.8 in its request for release pending appeal” even though, according to the Order “[t]he trial court relied upon MCL 600.1715 in directing imprisonment of Manuel Moroun and Dan Stamper.”

The Court’s order further reads: “When an appellant fails to challenge the basis of the ruling by the trial court, we need not even consider granting the party the relief requested.”

In a brief dissent, Judge Kurtis Wilder agreed that lawyers for Moroun and Stamper cited the wrong statute, but he would have “on the Court’s own motion” released the two men pending appeal.

While this ruling means Moroun and Stamper will remain in jail, it does not affect their ability to appeal the Circuit Court ruling.