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Sarah K. v. Jonathan K.

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

December 22, 2015

SARAH K., ON BEHALF OF TEGAN K., A MINOR CHILD, APPELLEE,
v.
JONATHAN K., APPELLANT

Page 429

Appeal from the District Court for Lancaster County: THOMAS W. FOX, County Judge.

Matt Catlett, of Law Office of Matt Catlett, for appellant.

Steffanie J. Garner Kotik, of Kotik & McClure Law, for appellee.

PIRTLE, RIEDMANN, and BISHOP, Judges.

OPINION

Page 430

[23 Neb.App. 472] Bishop, Judge.

Jonathan K. appeals from orders of the district court for Lancaster County granting petitions for domestic abuse protection orders filed by his wife, Sarah K., on behalf of herself and her minor daughter, Tegan K. Jonathan's sole contention is that because the most recent abuse alleged in the petitions occurred 12 weeks prior to the filing of the petitions, it was too remote in time to support the entry of protection orders. We affirm.

BACKGROUND

In January 2015, pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. § 42-924 (Cum. Supp. 2014), Sarah filed petitions and affidavits for domestic abuse protection orders against Jonathan on behalf of herself and Tegan, who was 1 year old. In Sarah's affidavit filed in her own behalf, the most recent incident of domestic abuse that she described occurred on November 6, 2014. During an argument on that date, Jonathan placed Sarah in a choke hold. Shortly afterward, when Jonathan saw Sarah taking photographs of the redness on her neck, he " tried to wrestle her phone away" and again placed her in a choke hold. In the 12 weeks following the incident, Jonathan had respected a " 'no contact bond'" issued in the resulting criminal case. Nevertheless, due to a 5 1/2-year history of incidents, Sarah feared " likely further violence."

Sarah described the next most recent incident of abuse as occurring on November 2, 2014. On that date, she awoke around midnight to find Jonathan sitting on the side of the bed, urinating on the floor. He was too intoxicated to clean up the mess, so Sarah cleaned it while holding Tegan in her arms. Jonathan pulled Tegan from Sarah's arms " with enough force that if [Sarah] hadn't let her go, it really would [23 Neb.App. 473] have torqued her body/torso." Sarah " backhanded" Jonathan's shoulder, and he then " forcefully backhanded" the left side of Sarah's face.

The third most recent incident was based on photographs dated October 12, 2014, which were stored in Sarah's cell phone and showed a red mark on the back of her right hand or wrist. Although Sarah did not remember the incident that caused the mark, she believed that Jonathan had " dealt some form of blow" to her hand or wrist.

At the conclusion of her affidavit, Sarah wrote:

[M]y increasing documentation indicates a history and pattern of recurring violence, from Fall of 2009 to the present, including damage to home (walls, doors, and possessions), harm to self ([Jonathan] will throw his body into walls, doors, has hit head on table and with drinking glass), and both violence and sexual assault towards me.

Sarah stated that she feared further violence in the absence of continued separation from Jonathan.

In Sarah's affidavit filed on Tegan's behalf, the first two incidents of alleged abuse were the same as those described in Sarah's own affidavit. Sarah indicated that Tegan witnessed Jonathan ...


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