Court affirms protective order without evidentiary hearing

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A Shelby County man’s protective order against a neighbor is valid even though the trial court didn’t hold an evidentiary hearing or honor the neighbor’s request for a continuance, the Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.

The court held that the nature of claims in Ray Evans v. Eric L. Thomas, 73A04-1112-PO-670, were sufficient to warrant quick action by the court. Thomas claimed that disputes with Evans, with whom he shared a driveway, had escalated to violence and that he feared for his safety.

Thomas went to Shelby Superior Court in December 2011 and asked for a protective order against Evans, alleging among other things that Evans punched him a month earlier, had pulled a gun on him in 2005, had shot and killed the family cat at some point, and had threatened and stalked his family.

The court set a hearing on the protective order for Dec. 20, 2011, and Evans was served notice on Dec. 15. On Dec. 19, Evans moved for a continuance on the basis that he would be unable to retain counsel by the hearing date.

The court denied the request for continuance and noted that requests for protective orders are to be handled promptly. Evans told the court he did not object to the issuance of the P.O., which would have required him to surrender his firearms to the sheriff’s department.

The appeals court noted that the trial court assured Evans that if he wished to file petition to modify after retaining counsel, the court would consider it.

“We conclude with little hesitation that the seriousness of the allegations in Thomas’s petition warranted the swiftest of judicial action,” Judge Cale Bradford wrote for the unanimous panel. “Further delay might have put Thomas at risk. Evans has not established an abuse of discretion in this regard.”

The court also disagreed with Evans’ contention that a full evidentiary hearing is required for issuance of a P.O.

Evans also was unsuccessful in arguing that he had insufficient time to obtain counsel or that he didn’t understand the proceedings in which he said he did not object to the P.O.

“Evans does not explain how either of these things, even if true, denied him notice, the opportunity to be heard, or the opportunity to confront witnesses. Evans has not established that his rights to due process and due course of law were infringed,” Bradford wrote.



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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.