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Tredenary v. Fritz

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Lake

November 20, 2017

ANTOINETTE TREDENARY, et al., Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
DANIEL FRITZ, Defendant-Appellee.

         Appeal from the Lake County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division, Case No. 2016 DV 000181.

          David M. Lynch, (For Plaintiff-Appellant).

          Elaine Tassi, Willoughby Hills, (For Defendant-Appellee).

          OPINION

          CYNTHIA WESTCOTT RICE, P.J.

         {¶1} Appellant, Antoinette Tredenary, appeals the judgment of the Lake County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division, denying her petition for a domestic violence civil protection order against her former husband, appellee, Daniel Fritz. At issue is whether the trial court abused its discretion in denying the petition. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         {¶2} While the parties were married, they adopted D.T., the biological son of Antoinette's brother, Dominic Tredenary. The parties were divorced in Lake County in 2011. Daniel was granted legal custody of D.T. and Antoinette was given visitation. At the time of the hearing in this case, D.T. was 12 years old.

         {¶3} On September 6, 2016, Antoinette filed a petition for a domestic violence civil protection order for herself and D.T. against Daniel. In support, she alleged Daniel committed an act of domestic violence against her on August 23, 2016. The magistrate granted an ex parte protection order, but only in favor of her, not D.T. The case came on for a full hearing protection order.

         {¶4} Dominic testified he lives on the west side of Cleveland. He said that on August 22, 2016, D.T. asked him to come with him and Daniel that evening to the Captains baseball game at Eastlake Park. Antoinette picked up Dominic because his driver's license had expired, and dropped him off at Daniel's house in Willoughby at about 7:00 p.m. Before leaving for the game, Dominic had a beer at Daniel's house.

         {¶5} Dominic said that he and D.T. walked around the stadium most of the game, while Daniel watched the game from his stadium seat. D.T. is a hyperactive child with autism. Dominic said it was Dollar Beer Night. Daniel gave D.T. $10 to $12 for refreshments, and, according to Dominic, D.T. used it to buy him beers throughout the game. Dominic said that, by the end of the game, he was "buzzed." Daniel said that Dominic had ten to 12 beers at the stadium; that he was not walking steadily; and that his speech was slurred.

         {¶6} After the game, Dominic and D.T. met up with Daniel and they got in his car. D.T. called Antoinette and asked her to come to Daniel's house to pick up Dominic.

         {¶7} Daniel said that when the three of them arrived at his house, he made them a pizza. Dominic said that, while waiting for the pizza, he had a beer. Daniel said that D.T. was tired, hungry, and "acting out." He said Dominic and D.T. were arguing with each other and both were agitated, and he tried to calm them down.

         {¶8} Daniel said that a short time later, Antoinette came over and they visited. D.T. was running around the house and, at about 10:30 p.m., he ran in the bathroom and started vomiting. It is at this point that the witnesses disagree as to what occurred.

         {¶9} Dominic said Antoinette got up to check on D.T. She went in the hallway. Daniel, who was also in the hallway, put out his hand and said "no, he's okay." Antoinette insisted on going in the bathroom to check on him. The trial court noted that Dominic testified, "with much dramatic flair, " that Daniel grabbed Antoinette, bounced her off the wall in the hallway, and threw her to the right.

         {¶10} Antoinette's version was even more dramatic. She said D.T. started to cough and choke and ran into the bathroom. She went down the hallway to the bathroom to help him. She said Daniel was in the hall; said "no;" and slammed the door shut. She said she continued going forward and Daniel hit her on her shoulder "really hard" with an open hand; grasped her ...


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