Appeal from the 280th District Court Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Case No. 2018-34059
consists of Chief Justice Radack and Justices Goodman and
Puente appeals from a family-violence protective order
entered by the trial court. We affirm the trial court's
behalf of herself and her two daughters, Alicia Marie Puente
filed an application seeking the entry of a family-violence
protective order against her husband, Guillermo. In her
application, she alleged that he had engaged in family
violence by committing "acts that reasonably resulted in
the genuine threat of substantial harm from physical injury
to" one of his daughters.
trial court heard Alicia's application in June 2018.
Alicia and Guillermo were the sole witnesses who testified at
testified that she and Guillermo were married in August 2009.
They have two daughters, who are five and two years of age
respectively. Alicia stated that Guillermo has been violent
with her. His violent behavior began around August 2010 and
particular, Alicia testified about a violent outburst in
January 2018. During this outburst, Guillermo pushed, tugged,
and held her. Over Guillermo's objection that they lacked
a date-time stamp, the court admitted into evidence four
photographs that Alicia took afterward that show bruises on
her arms and legs. She said that the bruises on her arms
resulted from him grabbing or pulling her and the ones on her
knees resulted from her falling on a tile floor after he
pushed her. She tried to telephone law enforcement for
assistance during the assault, but Guillermo threw her phone
away. She testified that she was too scared to call the
police after the assault.
testified that the most recent incident of domestic violence
occurred in March 2018, when Guillermo forced their
five-year-old daughter onto the patio and locked her out of
the house because she had been reprimanded in
pre-kindergarten and he thought that his daughter had lied
about it. Parts of this incident were captured on four
audio-video recordings that Alicia made with her phone.
audio-video recordings were played for the court. Alicia
testified that she only captured parts of this incident
because she had to record it surreptitiously. She feared that
if Guillermo had known that she was recording him there would
be repercussions for doing so. The recordings show Guillermo
put his older daughter on the patio and shut and lock the
door to the house. When Alicia told him not to push their
daughter, Guillermo yelled, "Or what, Alicia, or
what?" He then proceeded to scream at Alicia while
walking toward her and pointing at her with his finger. He
eventually commanded Alicia to sit in a chair. He yelled that
unless the girls were disciplined they would turn out like
Alicia's mother while clapping his hands for emphasis. He
said that the girls had to be disciplined like this or else
he would "have to beat" Alicia. When Alicia said
that she did not agree with Guillermo's discipline of the
girls, he responded, "Then call the cops."
filed for divorce that same month. The divorce action is
pending in the 245th District Court under Cause Number
obtained a temporary restraining order in the divorce action
that barred Guillermo from taking possession of the girls.
The same day that the order was served on Guillermo, he went
to his younger daughter's daycare to pick her up, but it
refused to release her to him. The daycare informed Alicia
that Guillermo had been volatile and that he had left only
after the daycare threatened to call the police. Guillermo
found Alicia elsewhere later that day and began beating on
her car, prompting Alicia to call the police out of fear.
testified that she feared that Guillermo's violent
behavior would continue to escalate. She further testified
that she had left the marital home and was afraid to return
to it because of Guillermo.
than the March 2018 incident, Alicia agreed that there have
not been any instances in which Guillermo was violent with
the children. She conceded that the audio-video recordings
that she made with her phone did not show Guillermo pushing
their older daughter, and she also conceded that Guillermo
had locked their older daughter out of the house to
discipline her just twice.
testified that he has never committed an act of domestic
violence. He denied causing the bruises that Alicia exhibited
in the photographs. Guillermo also denied that he meant that
he literally would have to beat Alicia if she did not
discipline their daughters as he wished. He also denied that
he was trying to intimidate Alicia during that argument.
Guillermo conceded that he had an anger problem. In the
divorce action, he had been ordered to take an
anger-management class. He introduced documentation into
evidence showing that he had completed this class. Guillermo
stated that he since has changed his parenting style to be
more positive. He agreed that the way that he disciplined his
older daughter in March 2018 was inappropriate.
trial court found that family violence had occurred and was
likely to occur in the future, and that Guillermo had
committed family violence. Based on these findings, the court
ordered that Guillermo was prohibited from:
(1) committing family violence as defined by section 71.004
of the Family Code;
(2) acting in a manner intended to result in physical harm,
bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault against ...