Knopik v. Hahn

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Knopik v. Hahn

Additional Case Names
Greenwood v. Hahn
Case Number
A-16-1125)
A-16-1127)
Court Number
Merrick
Call Date
September 14, 2017
Case Time
9:30 AM
Case Summary

A-16-1125+, Abbie Knopik and Lance Greenwood v. Douglas Hahn (Appellant)

District Court of Merrick County, District Judge Rachel A. Daugherty

Attorney for Appellant:  Charles R. Maser

Attorney for Appellees:  Paul A. Clark (Clark & Curry, P.C.)

Civil Action:  Protection Order

Action taken by the Trial Court:  The district court entered harassment protection orders, finding that the ex parte harassment orders entered against Hahn for the protection of Knopik and Greenwood are to remain in effect until October 26 and November 3, 2017, respectively. Hahn argues insufficient evidence was provided to support issuance of the protection orders. Specifically, Hahn argues his actions did not amount to a course of harassing conduct, a statutory requirement for issuance of harassment protection orders.

Assignments of Error and Issues on Appeal:  Did the district court err in finding sufficient evidence to support ordering the ex parte harassment protection orders to remain in effect for one year?

Extended Case Summary

A-16-1125+, Abbie Knopik and Lance Greenwood v. Douglas Hahn (Appellant)

Original Trial Court:  District Court of Merrick County, District Judge Rachel A. Daugherty

Background:  Hahn was walking his dog by the property owned by Knopik and Greenwood, whose new dog was in their yard, but not on a leash. According to the evidence submitted by Knopik and Greenwood, Hahn yelled to Knopik and Greenwood to get their dog on a leash or he would file a lawsuit. Knopik grabbed their dog by the collar and held onto it. Knopik and Greenwood claimed that Hahn walked onto the property, aggressively followed Knopik to her garage, called her names of profanity, and threatened to sue her. Greenwood stepped between them and told Hahn to leave. Hahn then allegedly hit Greenwood in the chest. The incident lasted between 15 and 20 minutes. Knopik testified that she felt threatened, feared for her safety, and harassed by Hahn’s words and actions. Greenwood testified generally the same, stating that he felt Hahn was “hot tempered” and that he feared for the safety of Knopik which is why he intervened. Hahn testified he only asked Knopik and Greenwood to get their dog under control, he made no threats, he did not attack Greenwood, and there were no prior altercations between him and Knopik and Greenwood. Knopik and Greenwood filed separate actions for harassment protection orders under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-311.09. This statute provides that any victim who has been harassed as defined by statute may file a petition and affidavit for a harassment protection order. Upon the filing of such a petition and supporting affidavit, the court may issue a harassment protection order enjoining the respondent from (a) imposing any restraint upon the person or liberty of the petitioner, (b) harassing, threatening, assaulting, molesting, attacking, or otherwise disturbing the peace of the petitioner, or (c) telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating with the petitioner. “Harass” is statutorily defined as “to engage in a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person which seriously terrifies, threatens, or intimidates the person and which serves no legitimate purpose. “Course of conduct” is statutorily defined as “a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose, including a series of acts of following, detaining, restraining the personal liberty of, or stalking the person or telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating with the person.” The trial court entered harassment protection orders against Hahn for the protection of Knopik and Greenwood to remain in effect for one year.

The Nebraska Court of Appeals will consider the following issue raised Hahn in his appellate briefs:

1. Did the trial court err in finding sufficient evidence to support ordering the harassment protection orders to remain in effect for one year?

Attorneys:  Charles R. Maser (Maser Law Firm) (for appellant Hahn); Paul Anthony Clark (Curry Law Firm) (for appellees Knopik and Greenwood)

Case Location
Hastings
Court Type
District Court
Panel Text
Moore, Chief Judge, Bishop, and Arterburn, Judges