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Marcinowicz v. Flick

Court of Appeals of Iowa

December 6, 2017

AGNIESZKA KATARZYNA MARCINOWICZ, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
RAMON FLICK, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Donna L. Paulsen, Judge.

         An ex-husband challenges a civil order of protection issued at the request of his ex-wife. AFFIRMED.

          Andrew B. Howie of Shindler, Anderson, Goplerud & Weese, P.C., West Des Moines, for appellant.

          Jeffrey J. Cook of Patterson Law Firm, L.L.P., Des Moines, for appellee.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Tabor and McDonald, JJ.

          TABOR, Judge.

         Ramon Flick appeals the domestic-abuse protective order prohibiting contact between Flick and his former spouse, Agnieszka Katarzyna Marcinowicz. He asserts the district court's findings were not supported by substantial evidence because Marcinowicz did not allege "a current act qualifying as an assault."

         We find substantial evidence to support the district court's findings. We affirm the grant of the protective order for three reasons: (1) Iowa Code chapter 236 (2016) has no provision requiring a petition to be filed within a specific time after an alleged assault, (2) Flick has a history of assaulting and intimidating Marcinowicz, and (3) she sought to extend protection promptly after the dismissal of a criminal no-contact order.

         I. Facts and Prior Proceedings

         Flick and Marcinowicz married in December 2006 and had two children together. The children were born in 2007 and 2011. Marcinowicz filed for divorce in February 2013 and initially sought a protective order, citing past instances of domestic abuse. She voluntarily dismissed her petition for the protective order on February 15, 2013, after reaching an agreement through counsel prohibiting Flick from contacting her.

         In February and March of 2015, Flick violated this agreement by acting aggressively at their children's extracurricular activities. Marcinowicz testified Flick came to their older daughter's dance studio, "pushed" Marcinowicz, and "ripped" their younger child from her arms. He then followed Marcinowicz around the studio-making lewd comments and trying to intimidate her. Marcinowicz also testified to Flick behaving similarly at a gymnastics event the next month before she called the police.

         The State filed criminal charges against Flick in February 2016, contending he assaulted Marcinowicz in early 2015, as well as alleging he stalked her by hiding a recording device inside a children's toy, placing a tracker on Marcinowicz's car, and monitoring her email. As part of the criminal case, the district court issued a no-contact order prohibiting Flick from interacting with Marcinowicz.

         The two officially divorced in April 2016. The divorce took roughly three years from petition to decree. In the decree, the district court noted Flick had "demonstrated many of the classic signs of a domestic abuser." The court found Flick assaulted Marcinowicz on multiple occasions during the marriage. The court placed sole legal custody and sole physical care of the children with Marcinowicz. The court allowed Flick only supervised visitation. Flick appealed the custody and property provisions; our court affirmed the decree. In re Marriage of Marcinowicz-Flick and Flick, No. 16-0944, 2017 WL 936160 (Iowa Ct. App. Mar. 8, 2017).

         In November 2016, Flick stood trial for stalking Marcinowicz. A jury found Flick not guilty, resulting in rescission of the criminal no-contact order. Following the advice of the prosecutor, the next day Marcinowicz sought a civil protective order under chapter 236. The district court ...


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