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Chong v. Kim

Court of Appeals of Indiana

February 22, 2017

Han Chong, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
Jung Hee Kim, Appellee-Plaintiff.

         Pursuant to Ind. Appellate Rule 65(D), this Memorandum Decision shall not be regarded as precedent or cited before any court except for the purpose of establishing the defense of res judicata, collateral estoppel, or the law of the case.

         Appeal from the Monroe Circuit Court The Honorable Valeri Haughton, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 53C08-1511-PO-2174

          Attorney for Appellant Megan J. Schueler Ferguson Law Bloomington, Indiana

          Attorney for Appellee Justin J. Harrison Slotegraaf Niehoff, P.C. Bloomington, Indiana

          MEMORANDUM DECISION

          Bailey, Judge.

          Case Summary

          [¶1] Han Chong ("Chong") appeals an order of protection preventing him from having contact with his business associate Jung Hee Kim ("Kim"), who alleged that she had been the victim of stalking. Chong presents the issue of whether the protective order was issued absent sufficient evidence that he stalked Kim.[1]We reverse.

         Facts and Procedural History

          [¶2] Kim purchased a sake bar in Bloomington, Indiana, and was permitted to enter the United States from Korea on an investor's visa. Chong, whose family owned an adjoining business property, provided assistance to Kim both professionally and personally. He trained Kim in restaurant operations and offered professional advice. Additionally, he located an apartment for Kim and loaned her a vehicle and cell phone. Chong, Kim, and a restaurant employee named Gina socialized together. Chong also interacted with Kim's children.

         [¶3] On November 13, 2015, Kim petitioned for an order of protection, asserting as grounds that she had been a victim of a sex offense and stalking. Kim alleged that Chong had, on several occasions, made comments of a sexual nature that caused Kim to feel "very ashamed and embarrassed." (App. at 15.)

         [¶4] On January 4 and January 8, 2016, the trial court conducted a hearing. At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial court verbally ordered both parties to refrain from contacting the other. On August 8, 2016, the trial court entered an order of protection as requested by Kim, concluding that Kim had been a victim of stalking. Chong now appeals.

         Discussion and Decision

          [¶5] Under Indiana Code § 34-26-5-2(a):

         A person who is or has been a victim of domestic or family violence may file a petition for an ...


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