from the Howard Superior Court No. 18A-PO-1566 The Honorable
William C. Menges, Jr., Judge Trial Court Cause No.
Attorney for Appellant Brent R. Dechert Kokomo, Indiana
Summary and Issue
T.K. was granted an ex parte order for protection from C.S.
After C.S. filed a motion to dismiss, the trial court
conducted a hearing and again granted T.K.'s request for
an order for protection. C.S. now appeals the order for
protection raising a single issue for our review, whether
there was sufficient evidence to support the issuance of the
protective order. Concluding there was insufficient evidence
to support the issuance of the protective order, we reverse.
and Procedural History
C.S. owns a towing and mobile automobile repair business in
Kokomo and T.K. is an officer with the Kokomo Police
Department. C.S. has a pending criminal case against him for
"intimidation, stalking and harassment" in which
T.K. is the alleged victim. Transcript of Evidence, Volume II
On April 20, 2018, T.K. filed a petition for an order for
protection against C.S., alleging that she had been a victim
of stalking. In her petition, T.K. enumerated three incidents
in which she encountered C.S. The first of these incidents
occurred within the previous three to four months when T.K.
was having lunch with her mother at a Panera Bread
restaurant. T.K. stated that C.S. "entered the
restaurant. [C.S.] is familiar [with] my patrol car that was
parked in the parking lot." Appendix of Appellant,
Volume 2 at 6.
The second incident occurred on April 13, 2018, in the
parking lot of a U-Haul rental location. T.K. stated that she
was leaving a nearby store and "observed [C.S.] on top
of a U-Haul truck . . . using his cell phone to video tape
[sic] [her]." Id.
The third and final incident occurred on April 20, 2018, the
date T.K. filed her petition. T.K. stated that she:
[W]ent in the post office to mail a [package] [at] 11:35 am,
as I exited the post office, [C.S.] walked right up behind me
and followed me out of the [post office]. [C.S.] was not in
the parking lot when I pulled in but he is very familiar
[with] my vehicle.
Id. On the basis of this petition, the trial court
granted T.K.'s petition for an order for protection ex
parte the same day.
C.S. filed a motion to dismiss the order for protection on
May 10, 2018, and the parties appeared for a contested
hearing on June 12. There, T.K. testified that it
"[j]ust seems like this is a repetitive behavior for
someone that's out on bond for stalking, intimidation and
harassment. Seems like it is continuing and it's becoming
more frequent." Tr., Vol. II at 4. The trial court
If we were to look at the individual acts that have been
testified to in the context of a criminal stalking case, I
would have to find that [T.K.] has not proved beyond a
reasonable doubt that [C.S.] has committed stalking against
her. However, the burden is preponderance of the evidence and
what one thing that I've learned over the years is I
don't like coincidences and I'm, to start throwing
coincidences together, then it starts increasing the weight
to be given to them and here we have three coincidences as
established by, at least is claimed, by [C.S.]. I think we
have gotten over the preponderance of the evidence burden and
I think what we have to look at, also, is that if in fact
[C.S.] wants to have no more to do with [T.K.] than she wants
him to have with her, then a protective order is no harm/no
foul, particularly if he's willing to have a ...