DV LEAP and a fantastic team—Zachary Stone and Susan Cannon Kennedy—from our stellar law firm partner, Baker Botts, successfully defended against an appeal of a protective order on behalf of a survivor.
In this case, the survivor, a mother of two children, received a protection order against the children’s father, who had a long history of physical and emotional abuse. On appeal the abuser argued, with no legal basis, that the trial court had made several errors in awarding the protection order. Unfortunately, this is not the first time we have seen abusers pursue a baseless appeal, which can be a continued attempt to assert power and control over the survivor.
Baker Botts and DV LEAP argued that the abuser did not preserve these “errors” by objecting to them at trial, nor was there support to substantiate them in the trial record, whereas there was ample evidence to support the trial court's award of the protection order.
The Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas agreed and affirmed the protection order. This important victory not only upholds specific protection for the survivor but will also have a critical impact on her custody case because, under Texas law, a finding of family violence limits the custodial rights of an abusive parent.