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State v. Crombie

Court of Appeals of Oregon

December 24, 2014

STATE OF OREGON, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
ROBERT LOREN CROMBIE, JR., Defendant-Appellant

Argued and Submitted September 30, 2014.

Clackamas County Circuit Court. CR1212185. Kenneth B. Stewart, Judge pro tempore.

David Sherbo-Huggins, Deputy Public Defender, argued the cause for appellant. With him on the briefs was Peter Gartlan, Chief Defender, Office of Public Defense Services.

Michael S. Shin, Senior Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, and Anna M. Joyce, Solicitor General.

Before Ortega, Presiding Judge, and DeVore, Judge, and Garrett, Judge.

OPINION

Page 842

[267 Or.App. 706] ORTEGA, P. J.

Defendant appeals a judgment holding him in contempt for violating a restraining order issued under the Family Abuse Protection Act (FAPA), ORS 107.718. He challenges the trial court's denial of his motion for judgment of acquittal, contending that the trial court erred in concluding that a document that he filed with the court in dissolution proceedings violated the FAPA order. We conclude that the trial court did not err in concluding that the document constituted a willful violation of the " no-contact" provision of the order and did not fall into an exception for documents filed with the court. Accordingly, we affirm.

" We review the denial of a motion for judgment of acquittal * * * to determine whether the record contains evidence from which a rational trier of fact, drawing all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the state, could find all elements of contempt beyond a reasonable doubt." See State v. Graham, 251 Or.App. 217, 218, 284 P.3d 515 (2012).

The underlying facts are undisputed. Shortly before filing for divorce from defendant, the victim obtained a standard-form FAPA order that prohibited defendant from, among other conduct, " intimidating, molesting, interfering with or menacing" the victim. An exception to this restraint on contact with the victim provided that " nothing in this order prevents [defendant] from serving or providing documents related to a court * * * case to the [victim] in a manner permitted by law."

The victim then filed for dissolution of marriage, claiming the customary " irreconcilable differences." Both parties were unrepresented in the dissolution proceedings. Defendant filed a response and counterclaim, directly addressing the victim's proposed dispositions regarding property distribution and child custody. Defendant later sent the victim a five-page document captioned, " Addendem [sic] to Response and Counterclaim" (" addendum" ), in which he disputed the victim's claim of " irreconcilable differences." In it, defendant listed reasons why the couple should not divorce, ostensibly addressing the court and referring to the victim in the third person:

[267 Or.App. 707] " There are no truly irreconcilable differences between the parties and the current family crisis does not necessarily need to end in the Dissolution of this Marriage.
" [Defendant] * * * will accept the Dissolution of this Marriage, but prays that the Court and the [victim] would consider the ...

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