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In re Marriage of Stewart

Court of Appeals of Washington
137 P.3d 25 (2006)


Facts

Nichole Stewart (plaintiff) and Wilson Stewart (defendant) were the divorced parents of two children, ages 13 and eight. Under the terms of the divorce, a permanent parenting plan provided that Nichole was the custodial parent, and Wilson had visitation privileges. Over the next few years, the children observed Wilson committing numerous acts of domestic violence against Nichole. The violence escalated, and Wilson was twice charged with assault in the fourth degree. The parties tried numerous visitation arrangements, but the domestic violence persisted. Nichole eventually sought a domestic-violence protection order against Wilson to prevent him from having contact with her or the children. A superior court commissioner granted Nichole's request for a temporary restraining order and ordered that a hearing be held. Following a hearing, the commissioner ordered that the parenting plan be suspended and that Wilson be prohibited from contacting Nichole or the children for a period of one year. Wilson moved the court to revise the parenting plan, but the court denied his motion, because it found Nichole to be more credible. Nichole then filed a motion for the court to revise the parenting plan. Wilson appealed the protective order and the denial of his motion to modify the parenting plan.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Ellington, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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