Family court entered a DVO against former live in boyfriend based solely on girlfriend’s petition and without conducting an evidentiary hearing. While boyfriend consented to staying away from girlfriend at the family court hearing, the hearing only lasted only one minute and thirty-three seconds and neither party presented sworn testimony.
The boyfriend appealed arguing the family court erred because neither party was sworn, no evidence of domestic violence was introduced at the hearing, and no evidence of domestic violence was in the respondent’s petition. The Court of Appeals agreed holding that, despite boyfriend’s consent, boyfriend’s due process rights to a full evidentiary hearing were violated when the family court entered the DVO against boyfriend “in the absence of a full hearing and sufficient evidence for a finding of domestic violence and abuse.” The Court of Appeals vacated the DVO and the case was remanded to the family court for further proceedings.
Digested by Emily T. Cecconi