January 22, 2019
for relief from abuse, brought to the Superior Court in the
judicial district of Stamford-Nor-walk, where the court,
Truglia, J., granted the application and
issued a restraining order and a certain additional order of
protection, and the defendant appealed to this court.
Reversed in part; further proceedings.
Fernando I., self-represented, the appellant (defendant).
F. Collins, for the appellee (plaintiff).
Lavine, Alvord and Elgo, Js.
self-represented defendant, Fernando I., appeals from the
judgment of the trial court granting the application of the
plaintiff, Margarita O., for relief from abuse and issuing a
restraining order pursuant to General Statutes § 46b-15.
The defendant claims that the court erroneously (1)
determined that he had subjected the plaintiff to a recent
pattern of threatening, and (2) ordered the defendant to stay
100 yards away from the plaintiff except ‘‘when
both children are present.'' We conclude that there was
no evidence to support the court's order requiring the
defendant to ‘‘stay 100 yards away from the
[plaintiff]'' with an exception ‘‘for the
100 yard stay away when both children are present.''
Accordingly, we reverse in part the judgment of the court as
to the ‘‘stay 100 yards away'' order and
remand the case for a new hearing with respect to any order
of protection, if proven necessary by the plaintiff, in
situations where the defendant seeks interaction with his
children and the plaintiff is present. We otherwise affirm
the judgment of the trial court.
following facts and procedural history are relevant to our
analysis of the defendant's claims. On August 29, 2018,
the plaintiff, in a self-represented capacity, filed an ex
parte application for relief from abuse, seeking immediate
relief against her former spouse, the
defendant. In her application, the plaintiff averred
under oath that the defendant had ‘‘consistently
sent [her] very distressing communications for the past years
but in the last few months and weeks (particularly the last
[forty-eight] hours) his aggressive electronic communication
has been mounting to the point that [she was] very concerned
about [her] physical safety.'' In addition, the
plaintiff stated that ‘‘[she is] a single woman,
[she] work[s] in [New York City] and many nights [she]
come[s] back late from work and feel[s] that [she is] exposed
[to] potential harm from [the defendant]'' and that
‘‘[t]he [defendant] has his residence in [New
York City] but spends almost every day in Greenwich,
'' which is the town where she resides. The court,
Sommer, J., denied the plaintiff's application
and scheduled a hearing for September 12, 2018, in accordance
with § 46b-15 (b).
parties appeared for the hearing before the court,
Truglia, J., on September 12, 2018. At the hearing,
the court heard testimony from both parties. The plaintiff
testified in relevant part: ‘‘[The defendant]
keeps on blaming me for everything that is going on in his
life; whether he loses a job, whether he cannot get a job,
his life has been destroyed by me. And the reason I'm
asking for this order now is because he's more agitated.
I think the situation has deteriorated for him quite a bit.
He doesn't have a job. He doesn't have any money.
Still he blames me for everything that is happening to [him].
. . . In the course of [thirty-six] or [forty-eight] hours, I
received three different communications, very disturbing,
from him in which some of them he clearly said, you know,
like there are implied threats in those
communications.'' The plaintiff also testified that,
nine years earlier, the defendant had been arrested twice,
‘‘[once] for domestic abuse and [once] for death
threats . . . .'' The defendant did not dispute the fact
of the arrests. The plaintiff explained that she requested
relief under § 46b-15 on the basis of a pattern of
threatening by the defendant and stated that she believed
that she was in physical danger.
defendant testified in relevant part: ‘‘I've
been [in the Superior Court] [ten] years, and I lost
everything in my life here. . . . [B]ut the good part of it
is that her claims were considered false, insufficient,
unsubstantiated and rejected by the civil court in the
divorce trial, by the criminal court twice, by the Department
of Children and Families from the state of Connecticut. I was
accused of abuse against my own children. So, I was accused
of being mentally insane. I had to undergo ten evaluations
with independent psychiatrists and psychologists. One was
appointed by the court. They all expressed on the record that
I'm not a violent man. I never had any history of
violence in my life. . . . Furthermore, it was proven . . .
and I have all the records. Unfortunately it's [ten]
years and maybe a snippet could be portrayed as something
lethal, but is, again, false. . . . [T]he plaintiff has a
history of deceit, fraud, entrapment, [and] provocations that
it goes for years.''
addition to the foregoing testimony, the plaintiff submitted
several exhibits, including copies of text messages and
e-mails that the defendant had sent her. The text messages
and one of the e-mails had been written in Spanish. The
plaintiff, therefore, in addition to providing copies of the
original communications, submitted as an exhibit during the
hearing a certified translation of these communications.
on March 29, 2018, the defendant had sent the plaintiff an
e-mail, written in English, which stated in relevant part:
‘‘I had your associates in [G]reenwich all over
me, from firefighters, police officers, public employees . .
. . So I refrained myself from confronting the scene, the
last thing I wanted was to make a different sort of scene in
front of our kids' doctor . . . . But [I'm] telling
you for you to think before you and your attorney speak, what
our kids should have experienced and must experience is their
parents together, in front of them, telling them the very
same message, absolutely in sync, with love, clarity and
support, and this has not happened because of you, and
it's still not happening because of you. You have
prevented this from happening for almost [ten] years, against
the law, common sense and their [well-being]. . . . And the
reason for that to be the case, as I see it, it's that
you don't understand that our relationship only exists
due to them, as a result of them, because of them. If they
were not in this world, after what you've done in my life
until now, I wouldn't even know anything about you,
whether you exist or not . . . your conduct is irresolute,
without changing tracks in anything, without firing the
unethical lawyer only you decided to retain, without giving
back to me, reimbursing me, what you must in the name of
decency and justice . . . . You don't get it. This is
inconceivable to me, the fact you don't even understand
what sort of man I am. You do what I tell you, and you have a
positive response from me. Period. Why? Because what I tell
you is no other thing than what you should have done and
should do under the law and what's right in itself. And
so happens that it is me saying it. Is there some feminist
and related belief against it? Stupidities about control and
inconveniences. They can go and dominate themselves . . .
we've got [ten] years of this already. There's a law
to be obeyed, giving me control over what I must control for
being a father (natural law and rights), an outstanding
father as you said, and a loving one per the opinion of the
court. Yet, one who has lost any and all authority because of
you, my parental rights have been curtailed and undermined by
you, in detriment of our kids . . . .''
April 27, 2018, the defendant sent the plaintiff another
e-mail. The certified translation reads in relevant part:
‘‘On Monday I met with a group of friends to
pray, etc., and before I had prayed to God, and I was
thinking about what your attorney said: ‘you lose . .
.', after accusing me of being a Nazi, crazy and an
abuser . . . . I have God, and the fact that you have cheated
me, robbed me, and swindled me in that way and with that type
of people, as well as everything that that brought with it in
my life for many years already, it is what it is.
fact that you have destroyed my life by accusing me of being
an abuser and crazy, the inherited good name that your own
children bear already stained forever, their father vilified
by riffraff of all types, etc., and my own family harmed to
an unthinkable extreme . . . . Lack of intelligence and pure
evil. . . .
lack a minimum conscience to understand that decent people
don't do what you did and have been doing, they don't
hire attorneys and a certain type of them at that-especially,
when it was not necessary, it never was . . . nor do they
similarly use the police, firemen, schools and ideologized
social structures (in a society fragmented by hate due of
concepts of race, social class, origin, religion, and
questions of identity) in order to harass and destroy the
life of the father of their children. Only someone morally
and spiritually sick can do such a thing. It's already
been almost ten years of this craziness, exclusively carried
on by you, even though several groups have done their part
due to their respective motivations. You have decided not to
change your course, staying firm in the error, the ignominy
and the cheating . . . and as if this were not enough,
counter to your legal representations and commitments.
only thing I asked for from the beginning was co-parenting,
even after you refused to buy my part of the house and
consent to that, and it is specifically what you have refused
even until today. And we have all lost so much, but
especially on the human level our children, who have not seen
their parents greet each other and interact civilly in almost
ten years already due to your own decision . . . all their
infancy, to the point that it no longer has relevance . . .
while at times, for moments and reciprocally you became tired
of stupidities like little smiles and that sort of thing in
churches and public sites . . . something frankly lunatic.
You robbed your children of the opportunity to grow up with
two parents, separated but acting civilly toward each other,
as ordered by the law according to your own legal
were you expecting? Smiles, welcoming and nothing happened
here . . . the subject for me has always been our children,
not my relationship with you after everything I lived
through. And I find it incomprehensible that you don't
understand it. My entire investment of love, time, effort,
professional decisions, deprivations of all types and
resources provided for our children, you have destroyed. You
have robbed and defrauded me. Of course, it is important that
such injustices cannot remain unpunished. But the curious
thing of everything is that someone could think that they
could destroy me and dominate me through my relationship with
you, something sincerely demented and an exclusive recipe for
tragedy. In this sense, I thanked you and I thank God for the
good sense that you have given me.
has not been nor is it easy for me, but my greatest success
is being happy in spite of this craziness. Contemplating the
possibility of my death many years ago, I understood that the
only one who loses here, if I allow this to affect me, is me
and those who love me. This would be losing and allowing the
bad things to mortify me. I chose to be happy, and although I
am very tired and exhausted (deeply exhausted), I am a happy
person. The uncertainness of not knowing where I will live
tomorrow, in what country, not having a relationship with my
daughters and not living with my children as much as I would
wish . . . losing contact with them over time . . . having
doubts, or if I'm out of work and a roof to live or die
under, I don't lose sleep. In one way or another, justice
will come, in this life or in the next one. Contemplating
eternity, our temporary stay here on earth is ephemeral . . .
and we are almost [fifty] years old. Statistically speaking
we have less time left than we have lived. . . .
the other hand, for the professional that I am, beyond the
destruction of my career. And in your case, you only decided
to be it seriously-support through the subject of identity
policies, which makes me happy for my children-after
destroying my life, professional and in general, not when we
were married and the family needed it more than ever. You
didn't do more than complain that you had to work
part-time, and weren't worth anything at home or as a
mother. . . . Finally, a very serious mistake, for which I
have paid with interest in this world. And what have you
gained? Destroying the father of your children, robbing him,
and a job that you hate. Not even a mentally retarded person
acts that way. As I said, injustices will be paid for. And I
hope that you can do it for yourself in time, because
otherwise your debt will be eternal before God.''
August 28, 2018, the defendant sent the plaintiff a series of
text messages. With respect to the first message, the
certified translation reads in relevant part:
‘‘Sometimes I wonder how it is possible that a
person goes up to receive the Host after what you have been
doing and continue doing. Formeit's incomprehensible. You
have no conscience, that has been the big problem. . . . I
don't have a job, I have to assume debts to live (if I
can) and probably I have to do with nothing after your
thefts, fraud, social, judicial, and litigious
persecutions-litigations that I will continue until justice
is done, until I die if necessary. On the other hand, if you
knew the garbage that I have had to live with of harassment
and the like by the groups connected to your riffraff lawyer,
whom I told you that you have to get rid of in order to do
things right, so even someone like you would be surprised.
You must think that that short time is all it takes, that
time heals and stupidities like that. It's been almost
[ten] years, since I made you a roadmap of what you would
have to do or not do justly, what is right and is correct
among good people. That is the only thing that matters. And
now the only thing that helps is to return to me what is mine
with interest, that you make right all the harm you have done
in the proper way, and return to me my relationship with my
daughters, in addition to being sorry and asking for