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In re Thompson

Supreme Court of Minnesota

January 31, 2018

In the Matter of: Tracy Elizabeth Thompson and o/b/o Minor Child, Appellant,
v.
John Patrick Schrimsher, Respondent.

         Court of Appeals Office of Appellate Courts

          Bradford Colbert, Saint Paul, Minnesota, for appellant.

          Cathryn C. Schmidt, Victoria A. Elsmore, Amy M. Kurpinski, Collins, Buckley, Sauntry & Haugh, P.L.L.P., Saint Paul, Minnesota, for respondent.

          Elizabeth J. Richards, Brianna H. Boone, Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women, Saint Paul, Minnesota;

          Rana Alexander, Standpoint, Minneapolis, Minnesota;

          Caroline S. Palmer, Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Saint Paul, Minnesota; and Kristine Lizdas, Battered Women's Justice Project, Minneapolis, Minnesota, for amici curiae Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women, Standpoint, Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and Battered Women's Justice Project.

          Ben M. Henschel, Henschel Moberg Goff P.A., Minneapolis, Minnesota;

          David L. Olson, Edina, Minnesota;

          Michael D. Dittberner, Linder, Dittberner, Bryant & Winter, Ltd., Edina, Minnesota; and Mary Catherine Lauhead, Law Offices of Mary Catherine Lauhead, Saint Paul, Minnesota, for amicus curiae Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

         SYLLABUS

         1. Under the Domestic Abuse Act, Minn. Stat. § 518B.01 (2016), a petitioner establishes "domestic abuse" by showing that "physical harm, bodily injury, or assault" has occurred, irrespective of when it occurred. Upon that showing, the district court has the discretion, based on all of the relevant circumstances, to grant or deny a petition for an order for protection.

         2. The district court did not abuse its discretion by granting appellant's petition for an order for protection against respondent.

         Reversed.

          OPINION

          LILLEHAUG, Justice.

         In September 2015, appellant Tracy Thompson petitioned for an order for protection ("OFP") against respondent John Schrimsher. The petition was based largely on allegations of physical abuse from summer 2011 through spring 2012. We granted review to decide whether past physical abuse, standing alone, can support the issuance of an OFP under the Domestic Abuse Act ("the Act"), Minn. Stat. § 518B.01 (2016). Because the plain language of the Act imposes no temporal ...


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