Friday, September 22, 2006

Case Law Development: Sufficiency of Grounds for Domestic Violence Restraining Order

Husband went to the business he jointly owned with Wife in the evening and, in the course of an ensuing argument, yelled, "Would you like to hurt me? Would you like to kill and hit me? Would that make you feel better?", banged a stapler on the counter, threw a water bottle in her direction, and refused to leave the jointly-owned business during the late night hours. Wife called the police who refused to make Husband leave because it was a jointly-owned business.  When she returned to the business the next day to find Husband there, she sought a protective order, testifying that she was afraid of Husband, that there had been prior explosive episodes and that she thought Husband was "out of control." The North Carolina Court of Appeals upheld the trial court's decision to enter an order based on its finding that Wife "was placed in fear of continued harassment that rose to such a level as to inflict substantial emotional distress" and that Husband's actions amounted to domestic violence.

A dissent argued that the trial court had failed to make sufficient findings of fact on the record.

Wornstaff v. Wornstaff, 2006 N.C. App. LEXIS 1975 (September 19, 2006)
Opinion on the web (last visited September 21, 2006 bgf)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/family_law/2006/09/case_law_develo_7.html

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