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Civil Practice: Order of Protection-Domestic Violence-Abuse by Grandmother

Where a father argued that the trial court did not have authority to enter a full order of protection against him after the court found that the father had abused or neglected the child by placing him in physical fear of his grandmother, the father’s mother, who allegedly physically abused the child, the grant of the order of protection, which was sought by the child’s mother who shared custody with the father, is affirmed because the father’s conduct of leaving the child alone with the grandmother constituted abuse under the law and formed the proper basis for an order of protection for a child who has been subjected to domestic violence, and the order did not constitute an impermissible subsequent custody award and did not violate Section 455.523.


Dissenting opinion by Gabbert, J.: “I agree with the majority’s summation of Dawson’s argument, though I would add that in arguing that the circuit court exceeded its statutory authority in entering the order, he argued that the court found that he neglected Child, an act that does not appear anywhere in the subject statute as justification for an order of protection. Of the canons of statutory construction cited by the majority, there are two I would emphasize as particularly relevant to my analysis of this issue: ‘Statutes relating to the same subject matter should be construed to achieve a harmonious interpretation” according to the doctrine of in pari materia, and a specific statute should control over a more general one.’”

Judgment is affirmed.

Hanger v. Dawson (MLW No. 73941/Case No. WD81928 – 20 pages) (Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, Ardini, J.) Appealed from circuit court, Jackson County, Harrell, J. (Michael Smith for appellant) (Amelia Hanger, pro se).