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Ned v. Laliberte

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

June 26, 2019

JASEA NED
v.
TRENTON LALIBERTE

          APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-SEVENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF ST. LANDRY, NO. 18-C-4187-C HONORABLE JASON MECHE, DISTRICT JUDGE

          CHRIS VILLEMARETTE CHRIS VILLEMARETTE, LLC COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: TRENTON LALIBERTE

          JASEA NED IN PROPER PERSON COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE: JASEA NED

          Court composed of John D. Saunders, Elizabeth A. Pickett, and Van H. Kyzar, Judges.

          JOHN D. SAUNDERS JUDGE.

         In this case we must decide whether the trial court erred in granting plaintiff's Petition for Protection from Abuse.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY:

         On September 12, 2018, Plaintiff, Jasea Ned ("Ms. Ned"), a resident citizen of the state of Louisiana, filed a Petition for Protection from Abuse against Defendant, Trenton Laliberte ("Mr. Laliberte"), in the Twenty-Seventh Judicial District Court, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. The petition alleges physical abuse and threats to her safety that occurred in both St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, and Fort Bragg, North Carolina, states that Trenton resides in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and that the matrimonial domicile and household is located in North Carolina

         On September 21, 2018, the trial court issued an order of protection in favor of Ms. Ned and against Mr. Laliberte, granting her use and possession of all of the household contents and ordering the military police to accompany her to the home at 94 Bastogne Drive, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to retrieve her belongings. A hearing was set for October 19, 2018, to determine if the temporary restraining order should be converted to a protective order.

         At the October 19, 2018 hearing, the hearing officer recommended that a protective order issue. Mr. Laliberte did not appear at the hearing. The recommendation also states that Mr. Laliberte was served on September 24, 2018. However, there is no evidence of service in the record.

         On November 8, 2018, the district court adopted the hearing officer's recommendation and a protective order issued in favor of Ms. Ned and against Mr. Laliberte.

         Mr. Laliberte timely filed a motion for appeal. Pursuant to that motion, he is presently before this court alleging two assignments of error.

         ASSIGNMENTS OF ERROR:

1. The trial court erred in failing to comply with the requirements of the Servicemember[']s Civil Relief Act.
2. The trial court erred in issuing a protective order without personal jurisdiction over the Appellant.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR NUMBER ONE:

         In his first assignment of error, Mr. Laliberte argues that the trial court erred in rendering judgment against him without requiring the affidavit of appellee, and further erred by not appointing an attorney to represent him as required by 50 U.S.C.A. §3931. We find no merit to this contention.

         Trial courts are granted wide discretion in the issuance of protective orders, which we review under the abuse of discretion standard. Mitchell v. Marshall, 02-15 (La.App. 3 Cir. 5/1/02), 819 So.2d 359. This standard is highly deferential to the trial court's determination. LCR-M Ltd. P'ship v. Jim Hotard Props., L.L.C., 13-483 (La.App. 4 Cir. 10/9/13), 126 So.3d 668.

         In Borel v. Borel, 17-335, 2017 WL 5484057 (La.App. 3 Cir. 11/15/17), this court noted:

Protective orders are issued in domestic violence matters under the Domestic Abuse Assistance Statute. La.R.S. 46:2131 et seq. ...

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