Argued: June 14, 2018
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.
SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, HJELM, and
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),
the effect of prohibiting him from possessing firearms and
that include an express directive prohibiting his possession
of firearms. We affirm.
The record establishes the following facts and procedural
history. The plaintiff ended a several year relationship with
the defendant in October 2016.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. § 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