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Salvattera v. Ramirez

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

March 26, 2015

ALFREDO SALVATTERA, APPELLANT,
v.
ISELA RAMIREZ, APPELLEE

Argued February 26, 2015.

Appeal from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. (CPO-1015-14). (Hon. Fern Flanagan Saddler, Trial Judge).

Stefanie Schneider, Public Defender Service, with whom James Klein and Samia Fam, Public Defender Service, were on the brief, for appellant.

Luke A. Meisner, with whom Gregory B. Craig, Stephen J. Harburg, Donald P. Salzman, Daniele M. Schiffman, and Rachel L. Jacobs were on the brief, for appellee.

Before GLICKMAN and FISHER, Associate Judges, and STEADMAN, Senior Judge.

OPINION

Page 1033

Fisher, Associate Judge :

Alfredo Salvattera appeals from the issuance of a civil protection order (" CPO" ) that directed him to vacate his apartment. He principally contends that the court lacked the statutory authority to issue such an order under the Intrafamily Offenses Act, D.C. Code § § 16-1001 to -1059 (2012 Repl.). We affirm the trial court's decision.

I. Background

After an evidentiary hearing, Judge Saddler found the following relevant facts.[1] Appellee Isela Ramirez lived on the third floor of a small apartment building in Northwest Washington with her father and her two children. Appellant lived in an apartment on the first floor. The two knew each other because appellant acted as a building manager.

Appellee's father sometimes had trouble paying rent, and on October 26, 2013, appellant sent Ms. Ramirez a text message stating that he wanted to discuss the rent with her father. Two days later, at around 10:00 p.m., she went to appellant's apartment

Page 1034

to talk to him about the text message. During the course of their hour-long conversation, appellant gave her three glasses of sangria. Five minutes after drinking part of the third glass, which tasted bitter, she developed a strong stomachache, vomited blood, and passed out.

Ms. Ramirez awoke the next morning in appellant's bed, naked from the waist down. Appellant was standing beside the bed, holding her clothing. When appellee asked him what happened, he said they both got naked and " what had to happen, happened." He also said that he never did anything to her.

Ms. Ramirez fled the apartment. Later that day, she went to a hospital where she was examined by a nurse and interviewed by the police. The examination ...


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