Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Doe v. Tierney

Supreme Court of Maine

July 17, 2018


          Argued: June 14, 2018

          Misha C. Pride, Esq. (orally), Drummond & Drummond, LLP, Portland, for appellant Timothy Tierney.

          Caroline Y. Jova, Esq. (orally), Pine Tree Legal Assistance, Portland, for appellee Jane Doe.


          ALEXANDER, J.

         [¶1] Timothy Tierney appeals from a judgment of the District Court (West Bath, Dobson, J.) finding that the plaintiff, Jane Doe, "was abused by the defendant" and granting a two-year extension of a protection from abuse order to her. 19-A M.R.S. § 4007 (2017). Tierney contends that the trial court erred or abused its discretion because it (1) considered evidence of events that preceded the issuance of the original protection from abuse order in deciding to extend that original order; and (2) did not give him sufficient notice of the issues to be addressed in the hearing on extension of the original order. He also argues that there was not sufficient evidence to justify extension of the protection from abuse order for two years, with the addition of prohibitions that, by federal law, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8) (LEXIS through Pub. L. No. 115-196), [2]have the effect of prohibiting him from possessing firearms and that include an express directive prohibiting his possession of firearms. We affirm.

         I. CASE HISTORY

         [¶2] The record establishes the following facts and procedural history. The plaintiff ended a several year relationship with the defendant in October 2016.

         [¶3] Stating that she was afraid of Tierney and that she was concerned by his continuing attempts to contact her, the plaintiff first filed a complaint for protection from abuse against Tierney on February 21, 2017. That same day, the District Court [Dobson, J.) entered a temporary order for protection from abuse, 19-A M.R.S. § 4006(2) (2017), that included a provision explicitly prohibiting Tierney from possessing firearms or dangerous weapons. 19-A M.R.S. § 4006 (2-A)(B) (2017). The prohibition on possession of firearms in the temporary order would have put Tierney on notice that firearms prohibitions can be at issue in protection from abuse proceedings.

         [¶4] In March 2017, the parties appeared in court for a final hearing on the complaint. At the courthouse, the parties agreed to the entry of a six-month protective order without a finding of abuse. See 19-A M.R.S. § 4007(1). The agreed-to order, which was set to expire in September 2017, did not contain a finding that the defendant had abused the plaintiff, did not prohibit him from possessing firearms, and did not contain provisions that would result in such a prohibition by operation of federal law.

         [¶5] The plaintiff filed a motion to extend the original protection from abuse order on August 18, 2017. Her motion asserted that the extension was necessary because "the defendant ha[d] been stalking [her]." The plaintiff included an affidavit with her motion that further described that she was seeking the extension based on the defendant's continued efforts to learn where she lived, who she was dating, and where she worked.

         [¶6] On October 6, 2017, the plaintiff filed a motion to modify the original protection order to change the reference in that order to her place of employment-from which Tierney was barred during her work hours-to a different location in a different county. The court granted the motion to modify that same day, prohibiting the defendant from being at the plaintiff's new place of employment. The defendant was served with the amended protection from abuse order on October 17, 2017.

         [¶7] The court held a contested hearing on the motion to extend the protection from abuse order on November 3, 2017. The plaintiff testified and called four witnesses. The defendant testified and called one witness.

         [¶8] After considering the evidence, the court found that the plaintiff was "credible, fearful, and intimidated" by the actions of the defendant, which included "controlling behavior" and "obsessive texts and calls." In addition, the court specifically found that the defendant had previously abused the plaintiff by threatening to kill any boyfriend she had. Based on its finding of abuse, the court entered an order extending the protection order for two years and entered an order prohibiting the defendant from possessing firearms. See 19-A M.R.S. ยง 4007(1)(A-l). The order also prohibited Tierney from, among other things, threatening or harassing the plaintiff and "us[ing], attempt[ing] to use or threatening to] use physical force that would ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.