Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Geauga
Appeal from the Geauga County Court of Common Pleas, Case No.
2016 SP 000205.
J. Ibold and Brian L Bly, Petersen & Ibold, (For
E. Petersen, Petersen & Petersen, (For
R. WRIGHT, J.
Appellant, Jacqueline Lane Orazem, appeals the length of the
civil stalking protection order issued against her as a
consequence of her actions against appellee, Donna Banfield.
Appellant asserts the record lacks evidence supporting the
trial court's decision to reject the magistrate's
ruling and extend the duration of the order by nine months.
The parties live on adjacent properties. Prior to 2011, the
parties and their families maintained a cordial relationship.
However, animosity developed between the families, leading to
the filing of a civil stalking protection proceeding in 2012.
That action ended in settlement, under which the parties
agreed not to speak. Appellant and her family also agreed to
build a fence on their property between their houses.
Although both families abided by the "no speak"
provision, the fence was not built.
At some point after the dismissal of the first action,
appellant and her family began to play loud music from a
stereo system in her garage. Appellee claimed the music was
so loud that it would shake the windows in her home and drown
out the sound of her television. Furthermore, the music was
frequently played and multiple neighbors called the sheriffs
department to complain.
On the majority of weekdays, appellant's husband turned
the system on and opened up the garage door prior to leaving
for work at approximately 7:00 a.m. A short time later,
appellant would leave to take her daughter to school. Even
though no one was home, the music continued to play. Upon
returning, appellant usually went inside to work from her
home office, making phone calls. Despite this, the loud music
would continue to play until approximately 9:00 a.m.
In addition to the music, appellant sometimes videotaped
appellee and her husband working in their yard to ensure that
appellee did not throw anything onto appellant's
property. According to appellee, there were three or four
times that appellant drove recklessly when their vehicles
happened to be in close proximity on the nearby road. Once,
appellant accelerated to pass appellee and her husband, but
immediately slammed on her brakes once she was in front of
Because appellant's actions continued over a course of
three years, appellee and her husband felt that they had
become captives in their own home. Appellee further asserted
that appellant caused great stress in their lives, leading
them to seek psychological treatment.
On March 22, 2016, appellee filed a petition for a civil
stalking protection order, pursuant to R.C. 2903.214. That
day, a magistrate issued an ex parte temporary order in favor
of appellee, her husband, and their two daughters. As part of
that order, appellant was not permitted to come within 100
feet of the protected persons.
Thereafter, the magistrate held a three-day evidentiary
hearing on the petition. The magistrate found that appellant
knowingly engaged in a pattern of behavior that caused
appellee and her husband mental distress. The magistrate
recommended that the civil stalking protection order be
granted against appellant for eighteen months from the
issuance of the ex parte order.
Appellant objected to the magistrate's decision,
primarily contending that the "mental distress"
finding is not supported. In overruling the objections, the
trial court concluded that appellant's repeated behavior
over a sustained period constitutes mental distress.
The trial court approved the magistrate's decision and
issued the civil stalking protection order against appellant,
with two modifications. First, the court removed
appellee's two daughters from protection because there
was no evidence that appellant's conduct was directed at
them. Second, although no one objected to the effective date
of the protection order, the court modified the effective
date to the date of final judgment, i.e., January 12, 2017,
rather than the date of ...