On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Cape May County, FV-05-0150-08.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Parrillo and S.L. Reisner.
Defendant Eugene Cathrall, IV appeals from a September 19, 2007 Final Restraining Order entered pursuant to a domestic violence complaint filed by plaintiff Patricia Ann Greenberg.*fn1
The August 28, 2007 incident which gave rise to the complaint occurred during a pending custody dispute between the parties. On August 16, 2007, a Family Part judge had entered an order providing that defendant was permitted to have "contact/visitation" with the couple's children "only if initiated by the children or in an appropriate therapeutic setting."
At a subsequent domestic violence hearing, which gave rise to this appeal, plaintiff presented the following evidence. On August 28, defendant appeared at plaintiff's house with the expressed intention of taking the couple's seventeen-year-old son to a counseling session. The son was unwilling to go with his father. Plaintiff testified that when she confirmed to defendant that their son did not want to go with him, defendant responded in a low voice, "I'll get you." Rather than accepting his son's choice, defendant proceeded to loudly yell his son's name multiple times, and then sat in his truck parked outside the house, sounding the horn for three to five minutes.
Plaintiff's bookkeeper, who was at plaintiff's house and witnessed this incident, testified to defendant's refusal to leave despite plaintiff's requests, his yelling the son's name repeatedly, and his sounding the horn over a period of three to five minutes. She testified that the incident was upsetting and frightening; according to this witness, "[t]he situation seemed to be escalating and I was actually afraid to leave until he left." She also confirmed hearing the son tell plaintiff that he did not want to go with his father.
The bookkeeper further testified that shortly after defendant finally departed, she also left the house. However, the witness saw defendant's truck parked around the corner from plaintiff's house, and she called to warn plaintiff, who had to pick up another child, that she should leave the neighborhood by another route.
Plaintiff and her current husband testified that plaintiff was quite upset by the incident. In fact, the husband testified that when he came home, plaintiff was "hysterical." Plaintiff also testified that she was frightened and thought defendant might "do something to [her] physically." Additionally, plaintiff testified that the incident was upsetting to their son.
Defendant's version of events was that he arrived at the house to take his son to a pre-arranged counseling session. However, plaintiff would not let the son go with him. Defendant testified that he called the son's name a couple of times, beeped the horn ...