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Nickles v. Taylor

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

September 26, 2018

STEPHEN P. NICKLES
v.
SHANI TAYLOR

          APPEAL FROM CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2016-08717, DIVISION "H-12" Honorable Monique E. Barial, Judge

          Michael J. Hall Jonique Martin Hall Law Office of Michael J. Hall, L.L.C. COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT

          Allyson D. Tuttle CATHOLIC CHARITIES ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW ORLEANS/ PROJECT SAVE COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE

          Court composed of Judge Roland L. Belsome, Judge Joy Cossich Lobrano, Judge Regina Bartholomew-Woods

          Regina Bartholomew-Woods Judge

         Appellant seeks review of the trial court's October 27, 2017 judgment granting of an Order of Protection against Appellant. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Appellant, Stephen P. Nickles ("Mr. Nickles"), and Appellee, Shani Taylor ("Ms. Taylor") are the parents of a minor child, J.N.[1] On August 30, 2016, Mr. Nickles filed a petition to establish paternity, custody, and a visitation schedule.[2]On July 3, 2017, Ms. Taylor filed a Petition for Protection from Abuse alleging that Mr. Nickles committed acts of domestic violence againt her and J.N.; the trial court granted a Temporary Restraining Order. Prior to ruling on the Order of Protection, the trial court conducted a Watermeier hearing[3] with the minor child.

         On October 27, 2017, the trial court granted an Order of Protection in favor of Ms. Taylor and J.N. The trial court granted supervised visitation in favor of Mr. Nickles. It is from this Order of Protection that Mr. Nickles appeals.

         DISCUSSION

         Mr. Nickles' sole assignment of error is whether the trial court erred in granting an Order of Protection against him and in favor of Ms. Taylor and J.N. because Ms. Taylor failed to prove that Mr. Nickles presented an immediate and present danger of abuse to Ms. Taylor and J.N.

         Standard of Review

         This Court has stated that "[a]n appellate court reviews domestic protective orders for abuse of discretion." Rodriguez v. Claassen, 2016-0610, p. 3 (La.App. 4 Cir. 12/21/16), 207 So.3d 490, 493; Alfonso v. Cooper, 2014-0145, p. 13 (La.App. 4 Cir. 7/16/14), 146 So.3d 796, 805. This Court has further stated that "the trial court sitting as a trier of fact is in the best position to evaluate the demeanor of the witnesses, and its credibility determinations will not be disturbed on appeal absent manifest error." Alfonso ...


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