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Peters-Riemers v. Riemers

Supreme Court of North Dakota
644 N.W.2d 197 (2002)


Facts

Jenese Peters-Riemers (plaintiff) and Roland Riemers (defendant) met in 1995, had a son together in 1997, and were married in 1999. Peters-Riemers filed for divorce on the grounds of adultery, extreme cruelty, and irreconcilable differences. The trial court awarded custody of the child to Peters-Riemers and granted limited, supervised visitation rights to Riemers. In support of its decision, the court issued specific findings regarding Riemers’ physical abuse of his wife. In February 1997, Riemers kicked his wife in the stomach while she was pregnant, which necessitated medical treatment. In March 2000, Riemers fractured his wife’s face. After being criminally charged on the basis of that incident, Riemers pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of misdemeanor assault. An Adult Abuse Protection Order was also issued against him. The court also documented other incidents of abuse as well as evidence of Riemers’ adultery. The court found that Peters-Riemers may have fought back against Riemers during some of their altercations but her conduct was deemed to be in self-defense. Riemers appealed the court’s custody decision, challenging the conclusions that he committed domestic violence and extreme cruelty.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Neumann, J.)

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