Officially released April 23, 2019.
In short: ambiguous additional orders of protection may be overturned on appeal.
The Facts: Plaintiff filed an application for relief from abuse against her ex-husband pursuant to § 46b-15. The application was denied on the papers and scheduled for an evidentiary hearing. At the evidentiary hearing Plaintiff introduced certified translations of various texts and emails from Defendant. The trial court granted the application and issued a restraining order, including an order that Defendant stay 100 yards away from Plaintiff except when “both children are present.” Defendant appealed.
The Defendant claimed the trial court erroneously found a pattern of threatening. The Appellate Court held there was sufficient evidence to support the conclusion and the trial court did not abuse its discretion.
The Defendant claims the trial court’s order that he stay 100 yards away except “when both children are present” unreasonably burdens his relationship with his children and was clearly erroneous. The Appellate Court found ambiguity in the court’s additional order of protection and a lack of any evidentiary basis to support the requirement of both children to permit the exception. The judgment was reversed only as to this order and remanded for a new hearing as to the orders of protection relating to interactions with the children.
The Appellate Court declined to review claims regarding parental rights, freedom of speech and freedom of religion as inadequately briefed.