JUNE E. KING, Plaintiff-Appellee,
RICHARD W. KING, Defendant-Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Mitchell County, Christopher
C. Foy, Judge.
King appeals the entry of a domestic abuse protective order.
E. Schoeberl of Story Schoeberl & Seebach, LLP, Cresco,
P. Prichard of Prichard Law Office, PC, Charles City, for
Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.
King appeals the entry of a domestic abuse protective order
prohibiting contact with his wife, June. Richard asserts June
offered insufficient evidence he assaulted her. Richard also
contends the district court erred in granting June exclusive
possession of the family home and restricting his possession
of firearms. After our independent review of the record, we
conclude June carried her burden to show, by a preponderance
of the evidence, she was entitled to a protective order under
Iowa Code section 236.5(1)(b) (2017). We also uphold the
housing and firearms provisions of the order.
Facts and Prior Proceedings
and June are both sixty-four years old. They have been
married for more than forty years and have lived in the same
home in McIntire, Iowa, for more than twenty years. The
couple has experienced "difficulty in the marriage"
in the past few years. Starting in 2015, June called the
Mitchell County Sheriff's Office several times to report
acts of hostility by Richard. Law enforcement did not file
criminal charges. The parties began divorce proceedings in
2017 but continued living together in the same house.
Eventually, June moved to the basement and only came upstairs
to get ice out of the refrigerator or use the shower.
November 2017, June filed a petition for relief from domestic
abuse under Iowa Code chapter 236. In her petition, June
alleged three incidents of domestic abuse assault: First, on
October 27, 2017, Richard threatened her to "get down to
the basement and get out or I'll make sure you get
out." She called law enforcement, and voluntarily left
the house but returned later. Second, in July 2017, Richard
"pushed [her] out of the way." Finally, in December
2016, Richard "shoved [her] out of bed." June also
alleged "continuous hostility and threats" by
district court issued a temporary protective order and set
the petition for hearing on November 14, 2017. On November 2,
Richard accepted service of the petition and protective
order, and peace officers removed him from the marital home.
Following the hearing,  the court concluded Richard committed
domestic abuse and entered a final order of protection under
Iowa Code section 236.5(1)(b). Richard appeals. June waived
filing of a brief.
Scope and Standards of Review
standard of review depends on "the mode of trial"
in the district court. Compare Knight v. Knight, 525
N.W.2d 841, 843 (Iowa 1994) (reviewing de novo because the
case was tried in equity), with Bacon ex rel. Bacon v.
Bacon, 567 N.W.2d 414, 417 (Iowa 1997) (reviewing for
correction of errors at law because district court
"rule[d] on objections as they were made,"
signaling the case was tried as a law action).
contends this case was heard in equity, so our review is de
novo. We agree. While the district court ruled on some
evidentiary objections during trial, "the objections
were minor and did not have a significant effect on the
proceedings." See Passehl Estate v. Passehl,
712 N.W.2d 408, 414 n.6 (Iowa 2006) (noting when "no one
claims the trial court improperly excluded ...