Domestic Abuse Ambiguous But Specific Enough For Conviction

Domestic Abuse Ambiguous But Specific Enough For Conviction

This February Opinion from the Court of Criminal Appeals originated from Hamilton County Criminal Court, Poole, J., following a bench trial, where the defendant, Alan Dale Bobyarchick, was convicted of violating an order of protection, a Class A misdemeanor. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-113(g). In this direct appeal, he contends that, in the Order of Protection, the circuit court did not make any specific findings of fact that he committed domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking, and, therefore, he could not be convicted of violating the Order of Protection pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-13-113(f)(3). CCA affirmed the judgment of the trial court. See, State v. Bobyarchick. Brian L. O’Shaughnessy, Chattanooga, for the appellant.

The CCA found that although the circuit court’s striking out of the first clause, stating “Domestic Abuse in that Respondent committed the acts alleged in the Petition” is somewhat ambiguous, it is clear that the circuit court made the specific finding that “Petitioner possesses a reasonable fear for her safety.” The CCCA did not follow the defendant’s argument that it was improper to convict him under Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-13-113 because the circuit court did not make the required specific findings of fact in the Order of Protection.

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