State v. Crombie

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Family Abuse Prevention Act
  • Date Filed: 12-24-2014
  • Case #: A152462
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P.J. for the Court; DeVore, J.; & Garrett, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Defendant may not address the victim of a FAPA order in a pleading, which may include some statements addressed to the court if it is clear they were intended for the victim.

Defendant appealed a judgment holding him in contempt for violating a restraining order issued under the Family Abuse Protection Act (FAPA). Defendant challenged the trial court's denial of his motion for a judgment of acquittal, contending that the trial court erred in concluding that a document that he filed with the court in dissolution proceedings violated the FAPA order. Shortly before filing for divorce, victim obtained a standard-form FAPA order that prohibited conduct that intimidates, molests, interferes with, or menaces the victim. Nothing in the order prevented serving or providing documents related to a court case to the victim in a manner permitted by law. Defendant filed standard divorce papers and attached a lengthy addendum. The addendum outlined many accounts of the various events that had caused conflict between the parties, listed reasons the couple should not divorce, and signed the addendum "Bye Baby. :) I will ALWAYS love you!" At the hearing, Defendant admitted he wanted to convey his side of the story to the victim. On appeal, Defendant argued that the addendum was related to a court case within the meaning of the order. The state responded that the letter was a thriftily veiled letter to the victim. The Court found that the reading of the addendum itself leaves little doubt of its intended audience - not the court, but the victim. The Court held that the addendum is not a document "related to a court case" within the meaning of the FAPA order. Affirmed.

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