Nichole R. Keller, Petitioner
Karen D. Keller, Respondent and Appellant
from the District Court of McHenry County, Northeast Judicial
District, the Honorable John C. McClintock, Jr., Judge.
Nichole R. Keller, petitioner; no appearance.
Michael S. McIntee, Towner ND 58788, for respondent and
1] Karen Keller appeals after a district court entered a
disorderly conduct restraining order against her. Karen
Keller argues the district court abused its discretion in
issuing the order because she did not make a threat of harm
against Nichole Keller and her actions were constitutionally
protected. Nichole Keller did not file a brief. We reverse
the disorderly conduct restraining order against Karen
2] Karen Keller is married to Chad Keller. Chad Keller
previously was married to Nichole Keller and they had three
children together. According to Nichole Keller, she emailed
Chad Keller on August 14, 2016, stating she would like to
pick up the two youngest children. Chad Keller responded that
the children did not want to go with her. Nichole Keller sent
another email later in the day saying she would come at 5:00
p.m. to see the children. On August 14, 2016 Nichole Keller,
accompanied by Rachel Parker, went to Chad Keller's home
to see her youngest daughter. Nichole Keller arrived at Chad
Keller's rural property around 5:00 p.m., but stayed at
the end of the property line.
3] According to Nichole Keller, when she arrived Karen Keller
came outside with her hands behind her back. Nichole Keller
and Karen Keller were about 200 feet away from each other.
Rachel Parker asked Karen Keller to get Nichole Keller's
daughter. When Karen Keller turned to get the child they
noticed Karen Keller was holding a handgun behind her back.
Nichole Keller and Rachel Parker asked Karen Keller why she
was carrying the handgun and Karen Keller responded she did
not know the person Nichole Keller was with and did not trust
her. Nichole Keller testified that Karen Keller did not point
the gun at her or make any threatening or violent statements.
According to Nichole Keller, she is fearful for her life and
the safety of her kids because of the August 14, 2016
incident. Nichole Keller and Rachel Parker left the residence
and called the police. A deputy arrived and interviewed the
4] Nichole Keller filed a petition for a disorderly conduct
restraining order against Karen Keller regarding the August
14, 2016 events. The district court issued a temporary
disorderly conduct restraining order and set a hearing. After
hearing the testimony the district court ruled from the
bench, finding reasonable grounds to support a disorderly
conduct restraining order and issued a disorderly conduct
restraining order against Karen Keller effective for one
year. Karen Keller appeals.
5] Karen Keller argues the district court erred in granting
the disorderly conduct restraining order. This Court's
standard when reviewing a district court's decision on a
disorderly conduct restraining order is well settled:
"This Court will not reverse a district court's
decision to grant a restraining order or to conduct a hearing
absent an abuse of discretion. The district court abuses its
discretion when it acts in an arbitrary, unreasonable, or
unconscionable manner, when it misinterprets or misapplies
the law, or when its decision is not the product of a
rational mental process leading to a reasoned
Combs v. Lund, 2015 ND 10, ¶ 4, 858 N.W.2d 311
(quoting Hanisch v. Kroshus, 2013 ND 37, ¶ 9,
827 N.W.2d 528).
6] Karen Keller argues the district court abused its
discretion in finding reasonable grounds supporting the
restraining order and by not concluding her actions were
constitutionally protected. Karen Keller contends the mere
holding of a weapon while on rural property and in a
non-threatening manner ...