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Hassan v. Hassan

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourteenth District

June 21, 2018

ELAINE HASSAN, Appellant
v.
TAMER HASSAN, Appellee

          On Appeal from the 280th District Court Harris County, Texas Trial Court Cause No. 2017-05064

          Panel consists of Justices Boyce, Jamison, and Brown.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          William J. Boyce Justice

         Appellant Elaine Hassan appeals the trial court's denial of her application for a protective order. For the reasons below, we affirm.

         Background

         Elaine filed an application for a protective order against appellee Tamer Hassan. Elaine included with her application an affidavit detailing several incidents of violence that she alleges occurred during her relationship with Tamer.

         Elaine's affidavit asserts that Tamer "physically and emotionally abused [her] throughout the years of [their] marriage." Elaine asserts that the abuse began approximately six months after she married Tamer in December 2006. Elaine's affidavit enumerates several specific incidents of abuse; the descriptions of these incidents include physical and verbal abuse as well as threats of future violence. Elaine's affidavit also states that Tamer physically abused her while she was pregnant.

         The parties proceeded to a bench trial on February 6, 2017. Elaine testified at trial regarding the incidents included in her affidavit. The trial court admitted as an exhibit a photograph of Elaine taken in April 2016; Elaine is pictured wearing a neck brace and has three visible bruises on her right arm.

         Elaine testified that Tamer had visited her twice in the three weeks preceding trial. Elaine stated that Tamer did not threaten her with violence during these visits.

         On cross-examination, Elaine acknowledged that she and Tamer were married twice. Elaine stated that she and Tamer were married in 2005 and divorced in November 2006. Elaine testified that she and Tamer were "common-law married" in December 2006 and "legally" married in 2008.

         In response to questioning, Elaine acknowledged that "[a]t any point [she's] free to go where [she] want[s] when [she] want[s] during the day." Elaine also stated that she never reported Tamer's abuse to the police. Elaine testified that she and Tamer currently live about 12-13 miles apart from each other.

         Elaine responded "yes" when asked if she was "still afraid of family violence from [Tamer] today?" When asked why she was afraid, Elaine stated "I don't know. I always go back."

         Elaine rested her case and counsel for Tamer moved for a directed verdict on the grounds that Elaine "has not proved . . . that [Tamer] is, in fact, a threat of future violence, nor is conclusive as to any specific incidents of violence." The trial court stated that it did "find that the evidence of family violence has been presented" but did not "have any basis for future" violence. The trial court granted Tamer's motion for a directed verdict.

         The trial court signed its "Order Denying Application for Protective Order" on February 6, 2017. ...


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