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NCFM Amicus Letter to CA Supreme Court in Burquet v. Brumbaugh

May 1, 2014

BrumbaughThe Family Violence Appellate Project Facebook page has the following post:

“ANOTHER VICTORY IN COURT! On February 11, the Court of Appeal granted FVAP’s request to publish ‘Burquet v. Brumbaugh‘. Under the law, domestic violence survivors can get a restraining order when an abuser “disturbs the peace” of the survivor. This case says that disturbing the peace includes sending unwanted and sexually inappropriate electronic and telephonic messages, making unannounced and uninvited visits to the abuse survivor’s residence, and refusing to leave and making a scene when asked to go. This is the first California case to interpret “disturbing the peace” in the context of a non-marital relationship and in the context of telephonic, digital, and in-person contact that impacts a person’s sense of safety.

However, there was no “survivor,” no victim, no violence. There were two people, one on one side of a closed-door with the other on the other side of a closed-door. No banging, slamming, shouting, threats… nothing like that. The lower court noted Mr. Brumbaugh had not been violent, which may have contributed to the court releasing the case as “unpublished.”

However, the published version radically expands the definition of “disturbing the peace” and drags it into the world of domestic violence. So, we submitted an amicus curiae letter in support of the above case asking the court to set up a clear definition of disturbing the peace and issue guidance on specific, objective, avoidable actions that constitute domestic violence in this context. We are hoping the court will recognize as did the lower court that such disturbance does not rise to the level of domestic violence enough to codify case-law.

140424 NCFM Amicus ltr for Randy Brumbaugh



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