from the Order Entered August 3, 2016 In the Court of Common
Pleas of Cambria County Civil Division at No(s): 2016-2624
BEFORE: OLSON, J., RANSOM, J., and STEVENS, P.J.E. [*]
("Appellant") appeals the order of the Court of
Common Pleas of Cambria County granting the petition for
Protection from Abuse ("PFA") filed by his former
wife, T.K. ("Appellee"). After careful review, we
and Appellee were married for eleven years before they
separated in March 2009. The couple share custody of their
minor children. As the parties had a strained relationship
following their separation, they exchanged custody of the
children at a local police station and were required by a
court order to communicate through a court-monitored
application. On July 20, 2016, Appellee filed for the PFA
against Appellant. On August 3, 2016, the lower court held a
PFA hearing at which both parties testified.
alleged that Appellant had harassed and stalked her
throughout the seven years following their separation;
Appellee identified exact dates of recent incidents as
recorded in her diary. Appellee accused Appellant of putting
a nail in the tire of her car on July 9, 2016, while she took
their children to their therapy appointment. Although
Appellant was not allowed to contact Appellee by a previous
court order, Appellant would have the children and other
individuals "scream stuff into the phone" to
Appellee on repeated occasions. N.T. Hearing, 8/3/16, at 5-6.
addition, Appellee testified to numerous instances in which
she felt that Appellant was stalking her. Appellee contended
that Appellant would follow her in her vehicle almost every
day, drive past her, and honk his car horn. Appellee noticed
numerous times that Appellant was following her around the
local grocery store. Appellee claimed that, at the local
football game, Appellant would follow her when she would go
to the bathroom as well as sit near her in the stands and
make comments about her within earshot. On another occasion,
Appellee and the children detected Appellant watching them
and hiding while they were sled riding. Appellee asserted
that Appellant would constantly call their children, tell
them he was near Appellee's home, and honk his car horn
as he passed by. As a result of Appellant's behavior,
Appellee expressed fear and concern for her safety.
testified and denied all of Appellee's allegations, but
offered no explanation or any specific response to
Appellee's assertions. At the conclusion of the hearing,
the lower court entered an order granting Appellee the PFA
against Appellant. In doing so, the lower court found
Appellee did not present sufficient evidence to show that
Appellant was responsible for the nail found in her car tire.
Nevertheless, the lower court found Appellee testified
credibly to Appellant's behavior, which it characterized
as stalking and harassment. The lower court indicated that
its order would be in effect for the statutory period of
three years. Appellant filed this timely appeal and complied
with the lower court's direction to file a concise
statement of errors complained of on appeal pursuant to
Appellant raises two issues for our review on appeal:
(1) Whether the entry of a Protection from Abuse Order and
finding of abuse following hearing [sic] is contrary to the
evidence presented and as such an error of law?
(2) Whether the entry of a Protection from Abuse Order
following hearing for a period of three (3) years is contrary
to the evidence presented and as such an abuse of discretion?
Appellant's Brief, at 4.
standard of review is well-established: "[i]n the
context of a PFA order, we review the trial court's legal
conclusions for an error of law or abuse of discretion."
Boykai v. Young, 83 A.3d 1043, 1045 (Pa.Super.
2014). This Court has emphasized that "[t]he purpose of
the PFA Act is to protect victims of domestic violence from
those who perpetrate such abuse, with the primary goal of
advance prevention of physical and sexual abuse."
Buchhalter v. Buchhalter, 959 A.2d 1260, 1262
(Pa.Super. 2008). The PFA Act, 23 Pa.C.S. §§
6101-6122, defines "abuse, " in relevant part, as
"Abuse." The occurrence of one or more of the
following acts between family or household members, sexual or
intimate partners or persons who ...