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COA: Non-violent contact order 'defective'

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has remanded a case regarding a non-violent contact order issued by a Marion Superior judge June 30, 2008, which involved a divorcing couple. The ruling calls the order "defective."

In DeVone Moore v. Damon Moore, No. 49A02-0810-CV-978, DeVone Moore's attorneys appealed a protective order granted to DeVone in response to physical, mental, and emotional abuse from her husband Damon Moore.

Neither party was represented at the June 30, 2008, hearing; Damon was not represented on this appeal and did not file an appellee's brief.

The abuse, which Damon had not denied, had escalated after he learned she was planning to file for divorce from him. The court had granted her an ex parte order for protection June 18, 2008, but amended that order June 30, 2008, so Damon could still have contact with DeVone, as long as it was "peaceable contact, without threats of violence or actual violence."

DeVone agreed to the peaceable contact because the two had a daughter together, and DeVone wanted her husband to still have contact with their child.

But the Court of Appeals disagreed with the trial court's non-violent contact order, calling it confusing.

"... The trial court issued an order for protection using the standard form authorized by the (Indiana Civil Protection Order Act)," Judge Margret Robb wrote. "Not only does the trial court's discussion of this alternative order confuse us, it obviously confused DeVone, who had difficulty understanding the relief being offered and communicating the relief she sought."

In its instructions to remand the protective order, Robb wrote, "... We hold that the order for protection does not provide the relief necessary to bring about a cessation of the violence or threat of violence as required by Indiana Code section 34-26-5-9(f). Therefore, we remand to the trial court to enter an order ... prohibiting communication, and ... requiring Damon to stay away from DeVone's residence and place of employment ...."

The Court of Appeals also instructed the trial court to include terms for unsupervised parenting time for Damon and their daughter, and to check "yes" for Damon to be Brady disqualified, meaning he couldn't buy, receive, or possess a gun while he was subject to the protective order.

Matthew Albaugh and Jon Laramore, both of Baker & Daniels in Indianapolis, represented DeVone pro bono on this appeal.

Albaugh said he was pleased with the ruling for his client and that there is another takeaway from this case.

He pointed to the part of the opinion that states, "No standard form for such an order has been created by the division of state court administration, and there is no mention of such an order in the (Indiana Civil Protection Order Act), in Marion County's local rules, or in the Protection Order Deskbook."

Kerry Hyatt Blomquist of the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, who filed an amicus brief, agreed.

Because this was a published opinion, she wrote via e-mail, "It will give Indiana judges the precedent to follow; specifically why they cannot issue NVCOs (non-violent contact orders). The first paragraph of the opinion says it all; NVCOs are indeed defective."

Indiana Lawyer covered this case in the Jan. 21 - Feb. 3, 2009, issue: "I'm gonna just pray that he does the right thing."

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  1. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  2. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  3. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  4. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  5. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

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