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Bowers v. Flick

Court of Appeals of Oklahoma, Division I

September 22, 2017

KATIE L. BOWERS, Petitioner/Appellee,
v.
MATTHEW A. FLICK, Defendant/Appellant.

          Mandate Issued: 10/18/2017

         APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF TULSA COUNTY, OKLAHOMA HONORABLE SARAH SMITH, TRIAL JUDGE

          Gregory J. Denney, Simon J. Harwood, GREG DENNEY LAW, PLLC, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for Petitioner/Appellee,

          Carl P. Funderburk, FUNDERBURK AND ASSOCIATES P.L.L.C., Tulsa, Oklahoma, for Defendant/Appellant.

          BRIAN JACK GOREE, PRESIDING JUDGE

         ¶1 Matthew Flick, Defendant/Appellant, appeals the trial court's issuance of a five-year final protective order issued against him on January 20, 2016, in favor of Katie L. Bowers, Petitioner/Appellee. The issue presented on appeal is whether the district court erred when it granted a five-year protective order after an emergency order had already been in effect for one year and the review hearing revealed violations of the order.

         Standard of Review

         ¶2 Proceedings under the Protection from Domestic Abuse Act are reviewed for an abuse of discretion. [1] Curry v. Streater, 2009 OK 5, ¶8, 213 P.3d 550, 554. To reverse under this standard, this Court must find that the trial court's conclusions and judgment were clearly erroneous, against reason and evidence. Id. We do not re-weigh the evidence. Id. at ¶17.

         ¶3 Statutory interpretation presents a question of law and is reviewed de novo. Spielmann v. Hayes ex rel. Hayes, 2000 OK CIV APP 44, ¶8, 3 P.3d 711, 713. Appellate courts have "plenary, independent, and non-deferential authority to reexamine a trial court's legal rulings." Id. (citing Neil Acquisition, L.L.C. v. Wingrod Investment Corp., 1996 OK 125, ¶4, 932 P.2d 1100, 1103 n.1).

         Background and Analysis

         ¶4 Katie Bowers ("Bowers"), Petitioner/Appellee, filed a Petition for an Emergency Protective Order ("Petition") against Matthew Flick ("Flick"), Defendant/Appellant, on January 5, 2015. Bowers requested an Emergency Ex Parte Order pursuant to 22 O.S.2011 §60.3 (amended by Laws 2016, c. 183, §5, eff. Nov. 1, 2016) to protect her from immediate and present danger. The trial court granted an Emergency Ex Parte Order of Protection ("Ex Parte Order") that same day and set the hearing for January 20, 2015, in compliance with 22 O.S.Supp.2013 §60.4 (B)(1) (amended by Laws 2017, c. 173, §1, eff. Nov. 1, 2017). [2] The Ex Parte Order states that it "shall remain in effect until after the full hearing is conducted."

         ¶5 Both parties were present at the full hearing on January 20, 2015, when the trial court entered an order continuing its previous order ("Continued Order") and set a review hearing for January 20, 2016. The Continued Order states that the protective order will be dismissed if there are no violations. This order is on the same form as the Ex Parte Order and states that it shall remain in effect until after the full hearing is conducted. This order also states that it may become a final protective order if defendant fails to appear at the hearing. A warning on the last page of the order states, "A Final Protective Order, granted after notice and hearing, will be in effect for five (5) years unless extended, modified, vacated or rescinded by the court." The record on appeal does not include a transcript of the hearing that resulted in the Continued Order.

         ¶6 Bowers, pro se, and Flick, with counsel, both appeared at the "review hearing" on January 20, 2016, where the trial court entered a five-year Final Order of Protection ("Final Order") pursuant to §60.4(G)(1)(a). The Final Order states, "This Final Protective Order shall remain in effect until 1/20/2021 or for a period not to exceed five years from the date of issue, unless extended, modified or rescinded by the Court upon Motion or agreement." This order also states, "The order will be in effect for a maximum of five (5) years unless extended, modified, vacated or rescinded by the court."

         ¶7 The transcript from the January 20, 2016, hearing indicates that the hearing was "a review of a continued emergency protective order that was continued from... January 20th of 2015 to January 20 of 2016." Flick argues that the trial court did not have jurisdiction to make a ruling after a full hearing and a one-year order of protection a year earlier. Flick asks this Court to reverse the trial court's ...


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