Assigned on Briefs October 1, 2019
from the Circuit Court for Davidson County Nos. 18X812 Philip
E. Smith, Judge
a consolidated appeal concerning the trial court's
dismissal of two orders of protection in this domestic
relations action. We affirm.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Court Affirmed; Case Remanded
Goldman, Nashville, Tennessee, pro se.
Janelle A. Simmons, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees,
Nicole and Peter Griffin.
W. McClarty, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which
Richard H. Dinkins and Arnold B. Goldin, JJ., joined.
W. McCLARTY, JUDGE
Goldman ("Petitioner") filed the petitions for
orders of protection at issue against his ex-wife, Nicole
Griffin ("Mother"), and her new husband, Peter
Griffin ("Stepfather") (collectively
"Respondents"), in September 2018, following
Mother's relocation to Tennessee with Petitioner's
minor child. In support of his petitions, Petitioner alleged
that on September 7, 2018, Respondents "showed up at
[his] property unannounced" and were "p[ee]king
through the windows snapping pictures of the house"
while he was exercising his co-parenting time with the minor
child. He alleged that he confronted Stepfather and told him
to leave but that he later saw Respondents circling his
property when he and the minor child left the home to take a
walk. He further claimed that Respondents also circled his
property on August 5, 2018. He asserted that he was
"afraid of their intentions" and wanted them to
stay away from him and his residence. He explained that
Stepfather has access to weapons and had threatened to shoot
in the past.
First Circuit Court issued orders of protection following a
hearing. Respondents appealed the orders entered against them
individually in the Fourth Circuit Court. The cases were
consolidated for the court's consideration. The case
proceeded to a hearing, at which the trial court limited
Petitioner's examination of his witnesses to the event
giving rise to his filing of the petitions.
confirmed the account of the event contained in his petition
and also provided some testimony concerning the contentious
nature of the relationship between the parties involved. In
turn, Stepfather explained that he and Mother visited the
residence because they were concerned for the minor child.
Stepfather alleged that Petitioner routinely exercised his
co-parenting time in a hotel following Mother's
relocation to Tennessee but that Petitioner exercised his
co-parenting time at a new residence on the day at issue.
Stepfather claimed that he became concerned when he was
unable to confirm the address provided and that they only
intended to confirm Petitioner's whereabouts with the
minor child. He explained that Petitioner had previously
taken the minor child to Ohio without permission and in
violation of a court order. The court credited
Stepfather's explanation and dismissed the orders of
protection, finding that Petitioner failed to carry his
burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence that the
incidents alleged occurred as sworn. This timely consolidated