from the District Court of Stark County, Southwest Judicial
District, the Honorable Dann Edward Greenwood, Judge.
Brianne Clarke, petitioner; no appearance.
A. Powell, Dickinson, N.D., for respondent and appellant.
Jared Taylor appeals from a domestic violence protection
order prohibiting him from coming within 300 feet of Brianne
Clarke for two years. We affirm, concluding the district
court's findings are sufficient to support the issuance
of a protection order.
In February 2019, Brianne Clarke petitioned the district
court for a domestic violence protection order against
Taylor. Clarke stated she had been dating Taylor for
approximately 16 months. Clarke alleged that after returning
to Taylor's house from a party, they began arguing.
Clarke alleged Taylor put his hand on a gun and told her to
leave. Clarke stated she left the house because she feared
for her life and safety. Taylor submitted an affidavit
denying Clarke's allegations. After a hearing, the court
found Taylor committed domestic violence by threatening
Clarke and issued a domestic violence protection order. The
order prohibited Taylor from coming within 300 feet of Clarke
for two years.
Taylor argues the district court erred in finding he
committed domestic violence. He claims the court failed to
make a specific finding about the threat made to Clarke and
failed to find that Clarke was in actual or imminent fear of
A district court's finding of domestic violence is a
finding of fact that will not be disturbed on appeal unless
it is clearly erroneous. Wolt v. Wolt, 2010 ND 33,
¶ 17, 778 N.W.2d 802. A finding of fact is clearly
erroneous if it is induced by an erroneous view of the law,
if no evidence supports it, or if, after reviewing the entire
record, we are left with a definite and firm conviction a
mistake has been made. Id.
An action under N.D.C.C. ch. 14-07.1 for a domestic violence
protection order is a civil action primarily for injunctive
relief. Niska v. Falconer, 2012 ND 245, ¶ 9,
824 N.W.2d 778. Under N.D.C.C. § 14-07.1-01(2), domestic
violence is defined as "physical harm, bodily injury,
sexual activity compelled by physical force, assault, or the
infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury,
sexual activity compelled by physical force, or assault, not
committed in self-defense." "Threats constitute
domestic violence only if they constitute the infliction of
fear of imminent physical harm." Niska, at
¶ 12 (quoting Lenton v. Lenton, 2010 ND 125,
¶ 10, 784 N.W.2d 131). When domestic violence is based
on fear, the harm feared by the petitioner must be actual or
imminent. Niska, at ¶ 9.
The district court issued a protection order on a
fill-in-the-blank standard form, leaving blank the area for
specific findings of domestic violence. On the record at the
hearing on Clarke's petition, the court found that Taylor
threatened Clarke by putting his hand on a gun and telling
her to leave the house:
The law is replete with cases where it's sufficient that
the court, under the circumstances that's presented, you
can come to the conclusion as a result of implications,
innuendo and the like, that this is a threat. And if, in
fact, this was a situation where, as Miss Clarke says, Mr.
Taylor put his hand on a gun while he's making comments
to her to the effect, get the F out, I have virtually no
trouble construing that as a threat. That is a threat.
It's in the context of a domestic relationship. It is
domestic violence if it's true. . . . .
I've concluded that there was domestic violence. There
was a threat made, and that she's entitled to a domestic