- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Family Abuse Prevention Act
- Date Filed: 01-05-2012
- Case #: A147428
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Schuman, P.J. for the Court; Wollheim, J.; & Nakamoto, J.
- Full Text Opinion
The Court of Appeals reversed and vacated the trial court’s continuation of a Family Abuse and Prevention Act (FAPA) restraining order. The trial court continued a restraining order against husband that wife sought regarding an ongoing dispute over their marriage dissolution and child custody. Wife called a Department of Human Services (DHS) social worker as a witness at trial to corroborate wife’s claims that her husband abused her and her child. However, husband, who was not represented by counsel, requested the opportunity to cross-examine the social worker, to which the trial court denied his request. On appeal, husband asserted the trial court abused its discretion when it denied him the opportunity to cross-examine the social worker. The Court of Appeals agreed that it the trial court erred when it denied husband the opportunity to cross-examine wife’s witnesses and to present his case-in-chief. Moreover, the lack of cross-examination affected the weight given by the trial court to the testimony presented by wife when it crafted the FAPA order against the husband. Thus, husband was not afforded a fundamentally fair hearing where he could make a reasonably complete presentation of evidence and argument. Vacated and remanded.