Appeal from the 280th District Court Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. 2016-15733
consists of Justices Christopher, Busby, and Jewell.
Brett Busby Justice
Maria Christian Caballero applied for a protective order
against her former husband, appellant Humberto Fabian
Caballero. After a hearing in which both Maria and appellant
testified, the trial court granted Maria's application,
issuing a two-year final protective order. Appellant
challenges the trial court's order in three issues.
first issue, appellant asserts that the final protective
order infringes on certain constitutionally protected rights,
and thus the applicant should be required to meet a burden of
proof higher than preponderance of the evidence. We overrule
this issue because the burden of proof by a preponderance of
the evidence adequately protects appellant's parental
rights. Appellant argues in his second issue that he received
inadequate notice of the hearing on Maria's request for a
protective order. We overrule this issue because appellant
failed to preserve it for appellate review by first raising
it in the trial court. Finally, in his third issue, appellant
contends that the evidence is legally and factually
insufficient to support the trial court's findings that
family violence had occurred and was likely to occur in the
future. Having reviewed the record, we conclude the evidence
is sufficient and overrule this issue. We therefore affirm
the trial court's order.
testified that she met appellant in February 2012. They
married in November 2012 and divorced in January 2013. They
had no children together. According to Maria, they attempted
a reconciliation several months later, but it was
unsuccessful. They then had an on-and-off relationship that
finally ended in June 2015. Appellant was subsequently warned
by the management of Maria's apartment complex against
trespassing on the property. Because of her interactions with
appellant at her apartment complex, Maria moved in with her
daughter for a time in October or November 2015. Despite
moving, Maria discovered that appellant followed her places
and showed up at her place of work.
December 2015, appellant came to Maria's apartment in the
early morning hours and banged on her door. Appellant later
confronted Maria in the parking lot of her apartment complex
and demanded to know if she was dating a man who drove a
confronted Maria again on New Year's Day of 2016. This
incident occurred when Maria pulled her car into a restaurant
parking lot. Maria's boyfriend was with her in the car.
Appellant pulled up behind Maria's car. Appellant then
approached Maria's car and banged on her window while
screaming at her. Maria quickly drove away from the
restaurant. Appellant then approached a friend of Maria's
boyfriend, who was still at the restaurant, and demanded that
he tell appellant the name of Maria's boyfriend.
that same day, Maria went to her daughter's home. While
she was still there, appellant drove up in front of the house
and started screaming at her. Appellant told Maria that she
should have informed him that she had a new boyfriend.
Appellant left when Maria threatened to call the police.
During this same period, appellant made phone calls to
members of Maria's family telling them that he believed
she was a drug addict and a prostitute.
testified that appellant called Children's Protective
Services, telling them that she was unfit to be around her
grandson. According to Maria, CPS required that she move out
of her daughter's home. Maria testified that she had to
move into a hotel because she could not return to her own
apartment given that appellant knew the location and had
stalked her there.
another incident, appellant blocked Maria's car with his
truck while she was at a local gas station. Appellant
screamed at Maria, once again accusing her of being a
prostitute and drug addict. Maria felt threatened because she
did not know what appellant would do. Maria tried to leave
the station, but her vehicle was blocked by appellant's
truck, so she notified the police. The police reviewed the
gas station's surveillance video and warned appellant to
leave Maria alone.
other incidents, appellant again followed Maria to the same
gas station. Appellant also followed her into a resale shop.
Maria explained that this incident alarmed her because the
only way he could have found her in the store was to follow
her from her workplace. Appellant asked Maria to move back in
with him. Maria testified that appellant follows her
constantly and she "can't go anywhere without him
in an incident that occurred about three weeks before the
hearing, appellant followed Maria and her boyfriend when they
left Maria's daughter's home. Appellant was driving a
rental car. Appellant approached so close that he almost hit
the rear of Maria's car. Maria tried to get away from
appellant but had to stop at a red light. Appellant then got
out of his car, walked up to Maria's car while it was
stopped at the red light, and started ...