On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Union County, Docket No. FV-20-800-11.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Payne and Baxter.
Defendant, C.M., appeals from the entry of a final restraining order (FRO) against him following trial and a judge's finding that he had committed an act of domestic violence by harassing and uttering terroristic threats to his estranged wife, plaintiff K.M.
The transcript of the trial in the matter discloses that the parties are in substantial agreement as to what took place. Plaintiff and defendant separated on March 6, 2010 after approximately three years of marriage. However defendant, a Union County police officer, did not move out of the residence, but instead kept to an upstairs bedroom while there. On Sunday, November 7, 2010, defendant returned to the home at 8:00 p.m., and observed a man sitting on the living room couch watching television. Plaintiff was not in the room. The next evening, defendant returned to the home at approximately 9:15 or 9:30 p.m.
The man was again there, watching television with plaintiff. The following morning, defendant saw the man pass from the living room to the dining room and then to a bathroom near the kitchen. At no time did any of the parties speak, although in the past, plaintiff had introduced defendant to her male and female guests.
Commencing at 6:42 a.m. on November 9, defendant began a text message exchange with plaintiff regarding the man and the fact that he appeared to have spent the night with plaintiff. In a message sent at 6:55 a.m., he stated:
Imma keep this plain n simple. If he's their when I return with or without u there will be a problem. What u do away from o [sic] no problem with.
But I'll be damn if ur gonna bring ur man to the house I live at and pay rent at as well.
Plaintiff responded that "[n]o one LIVES here" and that the man's father had died, and his car did not start. Additionally, she informed defendant that the man was not coming back. In return, defendant sent a text message that stated:
Im going in the house in about 10 mins so if your man is on [sic] there he best be gone.
Cause im coming in the house with my duty weapon and if he's still ...