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Trout v. Strube

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

July 24, 2014

ASHLEY R. TROUT, Appellant
v.
PAUL DAVID STRUBE, Appellee

Argued May 14, 2014

Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, York County, Civil Division, No(s): 2010 FC 1492-12. Before LINEBAUGH, J.

George R. Studzinski, York, for appellant.

Jeffrey A. Conrad, Lancaster, for appellee.

BEFORE: FORD ELLIOTT, P.J.E., OLSON, and STRASSBURGER,[*] JJ.

OPINION

Page 388

STRASSBURGER, J.

Ashley R. Trout (Trout) appeals from the August 26, 2013 order denying her petition seeking to extend the final Protection From Abuse (PFA) order issued against her former paramour, and father of her child, Paul David Strube (Strube). After careful review, we affirm.

On August 6, 2010, Trout filed a petition with the York County Court of Common Pleas seeking a temporary PFA order against Strube, pursuant to the Protection from Abuse Act (the PFA Act).[1] On that date, the PFA court granted Trout's request and issued a temporary PFA order limiting Strube's contact with Trout, prohibiting Strube from harassing Trout, and ordering that Trout's father handle all custody exchanges on her behalf. A hearing on Trout's request for a final PFA order was scheduled for August 19, 2010. Strube was served with notice of the hearing and a copy of the temporary PFA order.

The August 19, 2010 hearing was rescheduled for August 26, 2010. Strube failed to appear for the August 26, 2010 hearing. On that date, the PFA court issued a final PFA order (2010 PFA order) on behalf of Trout, which prohibited Strube from having any contact with Trout and designated Trout's father as Trout's proxy during custody exchanges. The order was to be effective for three years from the date of issue.

On October 28, 2011, Strube sent two letters to Trout, one addressed directly to her and one addressed to their daughter. While the content of both letters was non-threatening, the contact with Trout nonetheless violated the terms of the 2010 PFA order. As a result, Strube was arrested, and on December 2, 2011, he was found guilty of indirect criminal contempt (ICC).[2] Strube was sentenced to a term of incarceration of not less than 30 days, nor more than 6 months.

On June 26, 2013, two months before the 2010 PFA order was set to expire, Trout, using a pre-printed form provided by the York County Prothonotary, filed a pro se petition seeking to extend the 2010 PFA order for an additional three years. Petition to Amend Protection from Abuse Order, 6/26/2013. Trout explained that Strube was " prohibited by statute from any contact" and alleged that Strube had violated the 2010 PFA order three times " throughout the years," although she failed to describe those violations in detail. Id. Thus, Trout averred that an extension was warranted because Strube had " committed one or more acts of abuse subsequent to the entry of the" 2010 PFA order, and

Page 389

" engaged in a pattern or practice that indicates continuing risk of harm to [her] or [her] minor child." Id. A hearing on this petition was originally scheduled for July 25, 2013, ...


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