Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Emotional exploitation called domestic violence

Here is a case of a Wash. state dad who lost child custody because the judge used an over-expansive definition of domestic violence:
The trial court concluded that Robert’s residential time with the children should be limited under RCW 26.09.191(2)(a) because he “engaged in acts of domestic violence by financial and emotional exploitation.” Robert argues that the trial court erred when it defined financial and emotional exploitation as domestic violence because it does not appear in the definition of domestic violence in RCW 26.50.010(1). We agree, but affirm the trial court’s finding because there was other sufficient evidence of domestic violence….
So the dad got screwed anyway.

His wife did have an assortment of allegations that could have nullified the dad's parental rights, if true. For example, she claimed that he hired a hit man to murder her. But apparently none of that was proved, or the dad would be in prison.

A comment says:
What I find odd (and disturbing) is that the appellate court is supposed to make determinations of law, not fact. The trial court did not make findings based on the evidence you cited but instead relied on "emotional and financial exploitation" as the sole basis for holding that there was domestic violence.

Instead of remanding the issue to the lower court, the appellate court reviewed the record and made its own findings without having heard the testimony first hand - it essentially became the fact-finder of record. If the lower court credited the testimony regarding the incidents alleged by Kara, why did it not include them in its findings? It seems to me that one could just as easily conclude, inferentially, that the lower court did NOT find Kara's allegations credible.

No comments: