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Boulette v. Boulette

Supreme Court of Maine

December 6, 2016

MELODY BOULETTE
v.
RICHARD BOULETTE JR.

          Submitted On Briefs: September 29, 2016

         Reporter of Decisions

          Richard Boulette Jr., appellant pro se

          Melody Boulette did not file a brief

          Panel: SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, and HUMPHREY, JJ.

          JABAR, J.

         [¶1] Richard Boulette Jr. appeals from a judgment of the District Court (Biddeford, Driscoll, J.) amending a final protection from abuse order dated January 25, 2016, in favor of his ex-wife. For the reasons below, we affirm the lower courts judgment, but dismiss as untimely the portion of Richards appeal addressing the temporary protection from abuse order and final protection from abuse order dated December 28, 2015, and January 11, 2016, respectively.[1]

         I. BACKGROUND

         [¶2] Melody and Richard Boulette Jr. were divorced on July 2, 2015. The divorce judgment granted the parties shared parental rights and responsibilities and shared residence with respect to their two sons.

         [¶3] In October 2015, Richard filed a motion to modify the divorce judgment, seeking primary residence of the children. He alleged that Melody was trying to "turn the children against [him] so she can play happy family with" her boyfriend, whom Richard did not want around the children.

         [¶4] On December 28, 2015, while that motion was pending, Melody sought and received a temporary protection from abuse order, granting her temporary sole parental rights and responsibilities for the children. After a contested hearing on January 11, 2016, the District Court (Biddeford, Mathews, J.) entered a final protection from abuse order that barred Richard from having contact with Melody or the children "subject to a future family court action"-the hearing on Richards motion to modify the divorce judgment.

         [¶5] Eleven days later, the District Court (Biddeford, Driscoll, J.) held a hearing on Richards motion to modify the divorce judgment. After considering the evidence presented, the court issued an order dated January 25, 2016, that addressed both that motion and the contact provisions of the protection from abuse order. In that order, the court denied Richards motion to modify, finding that Richard had presented "no credible evidence to support his theories of harm or reasons for modifying or enforcing the [divorce] judgment." The court also addressed the basis for the protection from abuse order, finding that on Christmas Eve 2015, Richard had abused Melody and the children by verbally threatening Melody, banging on her apartment door, and smashing several windows on her car, all in the presence of the children.

         [¶6] Despite this finding, based on the agreement of the parties, the court issued an amended protection from abuse order that reinstated the contact schedule created by the parties July 2, 2015, divorce judgment, and allowed limited contact between Melody and Richard consisting of email correspondence concerning the children. On February 11, 2016, Richard filed a notice of appeal designating the order of January 11, 2016, as the order appealed from, but noting that the "1-21-16 order has been modified." Because it is not clear from his notice of appeal or his brief which order Richard now appeals from, we will assume that he appeals ...


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