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Katsenelenbogen v. Katsenelenbogen
Maryland Court of Appeals
775 A.2d 1249 (2001)
Janet Katsenelenbogen (plaintiff) obtained a protective order against her husband, Sergey Katsenelenbogen (defendant). The protective order required Sergey to leave the family home and granted Janet temporary custody of the children. Sergey was not precluded from trying to obtain custody. Sergey appealed the protective order. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals vacated the order. The court found that Janet’s fear of her husband’s abuse was not reasonable, that Janet obtained the order to ensure she was awarded child custody, and that the order would disadvantage Sergey if he ever wanted to obtain custody of the children. The court concluded that the order was not tailored to the threat of harm Sergey posed and remanded the case to the trial court to determine the appropriateness of the order. Janet appealed the remand. Janet argued that the decision set a precedent for allowing domestic violence, that the court’s concern over how Sergey might be affected in later litigation amounted to an equal-rights violation, and that the proper standard to determine whether a victim’s fear of abuse was reasonable was an individualized objective standard. While the appeal was pending, the protective order expired. Although the case was moot, the Maryland Court of Appeals reviewed the case to clarify the correct legal principles and standards involved.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Wilner, J.)
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