Chapman v. Chapman

2004 WL 1047577 (2004)

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Chapman v. Chapman

Ohio Court of Appeals
2004 WL 1047577 (2004)

  • Written by Sharon Feldman, JD

Facts

Catherine Chapman (plaintiff) filed a petition for a civil protection order against her former husband, Thomas Chapman (defendant). At the hearing before a magistrate, Catherine described several incidents in which Thomas had threatened to destroy her physically and financially. Catherine testified that Thomas owned an AK47, a high-powered rifle, and handguns, and she recounted two incidents in which Thomas was accompanied by a police officer who told Catherine she would need a protection order to stop Thomas’s abusive behavior. Thomas’s testimony contradicted Catherine’s version of the incidents. Thomas acknowledged that he owned a high-powered rifle and handguns but no AK47. Thomas testified that the weapons were locked up in his father’s house. Catherine and Thomas’s adult son Chris testified that he never saw Thomas threaten or assault Catherine and Catherine would become verbally abusive, but he did not witness any of the incidents in question. The magistrate issued a civil protection order based on Catherine’s subjective perception that Thomas’s conduct represented a threat to her. Thomas argued that the magistrate failed to consider objective testimony that contradicted Catherine’s version of the incidents. The trial court concluded that the magistrate had competent credible evidence to support the order’s issuance. On appeal, Thomas argued that the evidence did not support the order’s issuance and that the court should have used a reasonableness standard to determine whether Catherine was placed in fear of physical harm.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wolff, J.)

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