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L.O. v. D.O.

Court of Appeals of Indiana

May 15, 2019

L.O., Appellant-Respondent,
v.
D.O., Appellee-Petitioner.

          Appeal from the Wells Superior Court The Honorable Andrew Antrim, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 90D01-1806-PO-16

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Andrew Tyler Thomas Fort Wayne, Indiana Thomas M. Frohman Bloomington, Indiana

          TAVITAS, JUDGE.

         Case Summary

         [¶1] L.O. appeals the trial court's grant of an order of protection filed by D.O. We reverse.

         Issue

         [¶2] L.O. raises one issue, which we restate as whether the evidence is sufficient to support the granting of an order of protection.

         Facts

         [¶3] On June 7, 2018, D.O. filed a petition for an order for protection and a request for a hearing. D.O. alleged that she had "been a victim of stalking" by her spouse, L.O. Appellant's App. Vol. II p. 14. D.O. alleged that L.O.: (1) had threatened to his family members that he would take D.O.'s children (2) had threatened D.O. regarding money that he thought D.O. took; and (3) erroneously told D.O. to give him checks from Social Security. D.O. asked the trial court to prohibit L.O. from harassing, annoying, telephoning, contacting, or directly or indirectly communicating with her.

         [¶4] The trial court held a hearing on the matter on June 20, 2018. The extent of D.O.'s direct testimony at the hearing follows:

My only issue was he just kept texting me and texting me and wouldn't leave me alone when I asked him not to. And then his family members started calling me, telling me things he was doing down when he was staying in Kentucky and telling me that he was planning on taking the kids and running off with them and not bringing them back. So, I went to the Ossian Police Department and told them what I was told and they told me to come file a petition so that he couldn't take off with the kids.
I was completely willing to do everything 50/50. I just, when I, you know, when his family members are calling me and telling me that he has these plans and he's doing these things, then, you know, I don't, I don't want to, have to worry that I'm not going to see the kids again when they go with you. We had all intentions of doing everything fairly; he'd have them half the time, I'd have them half the time, everything was fine. And then I started getting all these phone calls and these text messages stating otherwise.

         Tr. Vol. II pp. 5-6. On cross-examination, D.O. clarified that L.O. had not threatened her regarding the children; rather, the only threats pertained to money. D.O. testified that L.O. had never physically harmed or abused her.

         [¶5] L.O. testified that he had never threated D.O. with violence or sexual crimes, he never intended to threaten her with harm of any kind, and he did not intend to harass her. L.O. testified that the only threats he made were to report D.O. to the police and Social Security. L.O. introduced a copy of text messages exchanged between D.O. and L.O. L.O.'s counsel argued that the petition ...


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