Court Not in Err in Protective Order Violation, Then Ordering GPS Montoring

Family Law Case Review

Case: P.S. v. T.W.
by Mike Kohlhaas, Bingham Greenebaum Doll

HELD: In a protective order violation matter, the trial court did not err when it found Husband in violation of the protective order and then ordered the Respondent to wear a GPS monitor as a consequence.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY:  Husband and Wife were in the midst of a divorce when Wife filed a petition for order of protection against Husband. The trial court held a hearing, concluded that Wife had presented adequate evidence in support of her petition, and a standard, comprehensive protective order followed.

Just over two weeks later, Wife filed an emergency motion to show cause alleging various violations of the protective order by Husband, including that Husband had been watching Wife, taking property from her, hacking into her email account, and attempting to communicate with Wife through a third party, all in violation of the underlying protective order. Based upon the evidence presented, the trial court agreed with Wife that Husband had violated the protective order. In response, the trial court ordered Husband to commence GPS monitoring and stay at least one mile away from Wife’s residence. Husband appealed.

Husband’s argument upon appeal included a due process argument that he was never put on prior notice that GPS monitoring might result from the hearing. The Court of Appeals rejected Husband’s due process argument by noting that Indiana’s protective order statute expressly states that GPS monitoring is an appropriate consequence for a protective order violation. And, since knowledge of the rights and remedies prescribed by statute is imputed to all persons, Husband’s argument that he was not on notice of a possible GPS monitoring order was without merit.

Husband also argued that there was insufficient evidence presented to the trial court to support a conclusion that Husband violated the protective order. The Court of Appeals viewed this as a request to reweigh the evidence, which it declined to do.

The trial court’s GPS monitoring order for violating an underlying protective order was affirmed.

To view the text of this opinion in its entirety, click here: P.S. v. T.W.

 

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James A. Reed and Michael R. Kohlhaas of Bingham Greenebaum Doll represent clients in a wide spectrum of relationship transition and wealth planning matters, including premarital agreements, estate planning, cohabitation, separation, divorce (especially involving high net worth individuals and/or complex asset issues), custody, parenting arrangements, adoption, and domestic partnerships. Bingham Greenebaum Doll, a multidisciplinary law firm serving regional, national, and international clients, is the fourth-largest law firm in Indiana. The firm’s main practices include corporate, property, litigation, labor, government law, and personal services law. Visit the firm’s website at www.bgdlegal.com.

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

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