Kathleen Lee v. Randy Lee (2011)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Hanan M. Isaacs represented Plaintiff-Wife. In the midst of divorce proceedings, Husband shot up the parties’ out-of-state home with a lawfully possessed handgun. Plaintiff-Wife obtained a preliminary restraining order against Husband, due to her fear of Husband’s unpredictable and harassing behavior. Wife was nowhere near the gun violence when it took place. The issue was not whether Plaintiff-Wife had the requisite fear to obtain a final restraining order (she clearly did), but rather whether the Husband’s mental state at the time of the shooting spree permitted a finding of intent to harass. Under New Jersey’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, Husband had to be shown to possess specific intent to harass the Wife (unlike stalking, which does not require intent, but was not supported by the facts). The trial court could not determine that Husband possessed the requisite intent at the time of the shooting spree. To avoid cross-appeals, the parties entered into an enforceable Civil Restraining Order under their divorce docket number. The Domestic Violence case was dismissed.