Karch v. Karch

Dinzel and Christine Karch were married with three children.  Christine sought and was granted a protection from abuse (“PFA”) order for an incident in March wherein Dinzel placed his hands around her neck and threatened to “snap” it.  Then in May, during an argument about getting divorced and child custody, Dinzel put his hands on his wife’s forehead, made a motion as if he was firing a gun, and said “there is your future.”  This action made Christine’s head sore as if she had a brush burn.  Dinzel argued that the court should not have credited Christine’s testimony about the injury inflicted upon her by him because she did not seek medical treatment for her injury.  But neither the PFA Act nor the body of case law interpreting it requires that there be medical evidence or that the wife seek medical treatment for an injury in order for her testimony to be found credible.  And in any event, verbal threats are sufficient to support the grant of a PFA; actual physical injury is not a prerequisite.  Dinzel next argued that the lack of a police report filed cast doubts on Christine’s credibility because it demonstrated that the police did not believe that she had been abused and that the lack of police compliance precluded the issue of a PFA as a matter of law.  The court held that it is also not required that a police report be filed in order to obtain a PFA and wished to make it “abundantly clear” that it will not infer that the failure of the police to act on a report of domestic violence means that the victim is not credible.

Year 

2005

Avon Center work product 

ID 

401