from the Johnson Circuit Court Trial Court Cause No.
41C01-1506-PO-331 The Honorable K. Mark Loyd, Judge
Attorney for Appellant Glen E. Koch II Boren, Oliver &
Coffey, LLP Martinsville, Indiana
Joshua Cruse appeals the protective order entered by the
trial court preventing him from having contact with his
ex-wife, C.C., except to communicate regarding their
children. Cruse argues there is insufficient evidence
supporting the protective order. We agree, and reverse.
June 2015, Cruse and C.C. were divorced. They have three
children together. After several incidents involving verbal
disagreements between the parents in front of or near the
children, C.C. filed a petition for a protective order on
June 18, 2015. She did not seek to prevent Cruse from having
contact with the children, seeking only to limit the contact
he was permitted to have with her. The trial court granted an
ex parte protective order the same day. Following a November
24, 2015, hearing, the trial court reaffirmed the protective
order, which prohibited Cruse from communicating with C.C.
except on parenting time issues. Any communication regarding
parenting time was ordered to be done in writing or through
their parenting coordinator. Cruse now appeals.
Initially, we note that C.C. has not filed an appellee's
brief. We need not develop an argument on her behalf, and may
reverse if Cruse is able to establish prima facie error-error
on the face of the order being appealed. Evans v.
Thomas, 976 N.E.2d 125, 126 (Ind.Ct.App. 2012).
person who has been a victim of "domestic or family
violence" may file a petition for a protective order.
Ind. Code § 34-26-5-2. "Domestic or family
violence" is defined as follows:
the occurrence of at least one (1) of the following acts
committed by a family or household member:
(1) Attempting to cause, threatening to cause, or causing
physical harm to another family or household member.
(2) Placing a family or household member in fear of physical
(3) Causing a family or household member to involuntarily
engage in sexual activity by force, threat of force, or
(4) Beating (as described in IC 35-46-3-0.5(2)), torturing
(as described in IC 35-46-3-0.5(5)), mutilating (as described
in IC 35-46-3-0.5(3)), or killing a vertebrate animal without
justification with the intent to threaten, intimidate,
coerce, harass, or terrorize a family or household member.
For purposes of IC 34-26-5, domestic and family violence also
includes stalking (as defined in IC 35-45-10-1) or a sex
offense under IC 35-42-4, whether or not the stalking or sex
offense is committed by a family or household member.
Code § 34-6-2-34.5. "Stalk" means "a
knowing or an intentional course of conduct involving
repeated or continuing harassment of another person that
would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized,
frightened, intimidated, or threatened and that actually
causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened,
intimidated, or threatened." Ind. Code §
35-45-10-1. "Harassment" means "conduct
directed toward a victim that includes but is not limited to
repeated or continuing impermissible contact that would cause
a reasonable person to ...