Stalking not proven in Ky IPO action, published opinion from Ky Court of Appeals

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HALLOWAY V. SIMMONS

Boyfriend and girlfriend had conflict which resulted in an EPO being granted in Jefferson County against Boyfriend. Boyfriend violated the EPO and was charged. The day after his pre-trial conference, Boyfriend sought an IPO against girlfriend in Oldham County claiming she was targeting his locations. The Oldham County family court granted the IPO. Girlfriend appealed arguing that the Oldham County family court erred in granting the IPO “without a sufficient factual basis for finding that stalking had occurred and may occur again.”

The Court of Appeals agreed holding the facts clearly do not support the issuance of an IPO. As IPOs are a new action in Kentucky it is worth quoting the court’s rationale in full: "To summarize, for an individual to be granted an IPO for stalking, he or she must at a minimum prove by a preponderance of the evidence that, an individual intentionally engaged in two or more acts directed at the victim that seriously alarmed, annoyed, intimidated, or harassed the victim, that served no legitimate purpose, and would have caused a reasonable person to suffer substantial mental distress, and that these acts may occur again. KRS 508.130 and KRS 456.060. Additionally, the individual must prove that there was an implicit or explicit threat by the perpetrator that put the victim in reasonable fear of sexual contact, physical injury, or death. KRS 508.150."

In this case, the facts did not satisfy the elements of stalking.

Digested by Elizabeth M. Howell

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