Supreme Court throws out man’s protection order


PORTLAND (AP) – The Supreme Judicial Court on Monday threw out a protection order against a divorced father, saying his alleged harassment of his minor daughter involved activities consistent with his court-ordered right to reasonable contact and shared parental rights.

Dianne Wiley obtained the protection from harassment order against her ex-husband, Thomas Wiley, on behalf of their teenage daughter after he continued to show up at her house for visits despite the girl’s refusal to have contact with him.

Wiley also tried to attend the child’s school events, regularly called and e-mailed her at home and sent her cards and notes, all against her wishes, prompting her to tell her mother that Wiley was stalking her.

After a hearing in Biddeford District Court, a judge found that Wiley’s actions were not protected by law and were causing the child “to suffer intimidation, serious inconvenience, annoyance and alarm.”

In its ruling Monday, the supreme court found that the statutory definition of harassment does not include any action protected by law and that the couple’s divorce judgment gave Wiley the legal right to reasonable contact and visitation.

“We cannot say that Thomas’ actions – showing up for his scheduled visitation, calling or writing, and attending schools events – were inconsistent with his right to reasonable contact and his shared parental rights and responsibilities,” the opinion said.