Hunter v. Mena, 2009-CA-000494-ME
Issue: Domestic Violence Order
Published: Affirming in part, Reversing in part, Remanding
Hunter appealed a Domestic Violence Order (DVO), which prohibited contact with his former girlfriend, Mena, and his nephew.
Mena lived with Hunter and his nephew, Christopher. Hunter discovered that Mena and Christopher had become romantically involved. Hunter stole Mena’s purse, had his niece physically attack her, and committed other acts of harassment. Mena moved out and briefly stayed with Christopher’s mother, at a shelter, and then went to stay with her mother in
Hunter asserted three claims on appeal: 1)DVO improperly prohibited contact with Christopher, a non-party, 2) family court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to enter DVO since Mena was not a
First, COA found that Christopher was a minor. At the time that Mena filed her EPO, Mena’s mother filed an EPO on Christopher’s behalf as his next friend. The EPO was entered, but later rescinded at the rehearing since Mena’s mother was not a
Second, COA found that Mena did not abandon
Finally, COA found that the testimony and evidence presented at the hearing was conflicting and the COA would not substitute its judgment for that of the trial court. The evidence was legally sufficient to support the family court’s decision.