February 27, 2006
Case Law Development: Threats of Remote Harm Insufficient to Support Domestic Violence Restraining Order
The North Dakota Supreme Court has clarified the standard for issuance of a domestic violence restraining order in a case in which Husband said he would burn the family home down if he did not get to keep it in a divorce action. With no physical violence involved in the incident or a past pattern of physical violence, the court found that this threat did not create a fear of an "imminent threat," which is what is required by the statute. Particularly since Wife stayed in the home after Husband made the threat and did not attempt to leave, the court found there was inadequate evidence of fear of imminent harm. The court concluded that the trial court had issued the injunction to prevent a possibility of domestic violence rather than an imminent threat and remote possibilities are insufficient to sustain an order.
Ficklin v. Ficklin, 2006 ND 40 (February 23, 2006)
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