Conviction upheld for man who berated ex after protective order

A man who called his ex and offered a “one time only deal” regarding parenting time with their son after the woman obtained a protective order failed to convince judges on appeal that his invasion of privacy conviction should be reversed.

Thomas Jordan was served by a police officer with notice of a protective order against his child’s mother, Myra Price, in April 2016. He was told not to contact the woman and that he would receive a copy of the P.O. in the mail. One day later, he called his ex and left a four-minute voicemail message offering a “one time only deal” to renegotiate parenting time and custody exchange terms. But he also told her to “take some time and be a grownup,” among other things.

Jordan was charged with two counts of invasion of privacy as Class A misdemeanors and found guilty of one count after a bench trial. On appeal, he said the state presented insufficient evidence to support the conviction, but the COA disagreed, citing his phone message.

“Jordan used aggressive words, including ad hominem attacks on Price, in the course of asking her to renegotiate the parenting time agreement. In particular, Jordan: offered Price a ‘one time only deal’; said that if they tried to coparent without a third party to handle custody exchanges ‘it’s gonna get ugly’; said that the third parties ‘can’t be boyfriends and all that other sh**’; accused Price of ‘want[ing] to be the boss of everybody’; told her to ‘take some time and be a grownup’; said that if she did not agree, there would be ‘one nasty battle’ that would ‘really tear [her] ass up in court’ and he would tell the judge ‘everything that has went on [sic],” Judge Edward Najam wrote for the panel in Thomas Jordan v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1608-CR-1730.

“We reject Jordan’s contention that ‘what he said in [the voicemail] only related to parenting time and child custody[.]’ Jordan’s right to parent Z.P. does not include the right to harass Price, and a reasonable fact-finder could have concluded from the evidence that Jordan’s communication with Price by voicemail went beyond merely discussing parenting time.”

The panel also rejected Jordan’s argument that he did not have actual knowledge of the protective order because the officer did not inform him of each of its specific terms.

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