Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Second Division
As Corrected May 11, 2015.
APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF RAY COUNTY, MISSOURI. The Honorable James Carey Thompson, Judge.
Jesi Nan DeMeire, for Appellant.
Respondent Acting Pro se.
Before Division Two: Anthony Rex Gabbert, Presiding, Judge, Joseph M. Ellis, Judge and Karen King Mitchell, Judge. All concur.
Joseph M. Ellis, J.
Appellant Stephanie Kim Smith appeals from a judgment entered by the Circuit Court of Ray County denying her petition for an adult order of protection against Respondent Kole Ryan McAdams. Appellant contends that the circuit court erred in determining that Respondent was not a " household member" within the
meaning of § 455.010(7). For the following reasons, the judgment is reversed, and the cause is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
On October 8, 2013, Appellant filed her Adult Abuse/Stalking Petition for Order of Protection against Respondent. Respondent is Appellant's daughter's ex-boyfriend and the father of Appellant's grandson. In her petition, Appellant alleged the following incident occurred: Appellant was driving on a county highway when Respondent began following her in his vehicle. Eventually, Respondent aggressively drove past Appellant and cut her off, which caused Appellant to veer off the road. When Appellant turned into a residential driveway, Respondent blocked her in with his vehicle and demanded that she speak with him. When Appellant informed Respondent that she had called the police, Respondent drove away from the residence. Appellant further alleged that Respondent's actions evidenced that he knowingly and intelligently stalked, harassed, and followed her from place to place, attempted to cause her physical harm, and placed her in apprehension of immediate physical harm.
On November 20, 2013, the circuit court conducted an evidentiary hearing on Appellant's petition. Appellant testified that Respondent had resided in her home for approximately two years. Two other witnesses also testified that Respondent had lived with Appellant in Appellant's home. Additionally, Appellant introduced evidence that Respondent had listed Appellant's address as his residence on records pertaining to Respondent's purchase of a vehicle. However, on cross-examination, Appellant's daughter testified that Respondent last lived with Appellant approximately six years ago.
At the hearing's conclusion, the circuit court denied Appellant's request for a full order of protection and, at the request of Appellant, memorialized its findings in a written judgment. In the judgment, the circuit court found that " Respondent engaged in unwanted conduct which caused alarm to [Appellant]" and that Appellant " felt fear of danger of physical harm, and that such alarm was reasonable based upon the conduct of the Respondent." The circuit court further concluded that there was " undisputed evidence" that Appellant and Respondent " resided at the same residential address for two years." Nevertheless, the circuit court concluded that Appellant and Respondent were not " family" or " household members" as defined in § 455.010(7). In doing so, the circuit court found that " the nature of [Appellant and Respondent's] relationship, in addition to the passage of time between their cohabitation and this cause of action, render their relationship ...