Thursday, November 10, 2011

Stalking Injunctions: Fear Can the the Result of Cumulative Actions

Coombs v. Dietrich, 2011 UT App 136 (Utah Court of Appeals, April 28, 2011)
Coombs sought a stalking injunction against Dietrich (his ex-wife's new boyfriend) based on three incidents.  In the first and second incidents, Dietrich merely called Coombs names and attempted to intimidate him.  The third incident culminated in Dietrich slamming Coombs against the car and shutting his arm in the car door.  The Court granted the stalking injunction.  Dietrich appealed.  
Dietrich argued that the first two incidents would not have caused a reasonable person to fear, and the third action alone is insufficient for the entry of a stalking injunction.  The Court of appeals found that the first two incidents coupled with the third was sufficient for the entry of the stalking injunction.  The independent incidents do not need to be fear inducing to warrant a Stalking injunction, but if the cumulative effect of the incidents causes fear that is sufficient. Affirmed

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