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Pratt v. Nelson

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

July 21, 2015

DENISE PRATT, APPELLANT
v.
NANETTE NELSON, APPELLEE

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: DESOTO COUNTY CHANCERY COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 09/05/2013. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. MITCHELL M. LUNDY JR. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: MISSISSIPPI RULE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 65 INJUNCTION AND TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER ISSUED AGAINST APPELLANT PRATT RESTRAINING HER FROM CONTACTING APPELLEE NELSON, SYLVIA MOFFATT, AND ISABELLE NELSON; AND DISMISSING PETITION FOR RESTRAINING ORDER AGAINST APPELLEE NELSON BY APPELLANT PRATT AND LARRY JOE PRATT JR.

FOR APPELLANT: MICHAEL LEE DULANEY.

FOR APPELLEE: SHANNON WILLIAMS COLEMAN.

BEFORE IRVING, P.J., BARNES AND FAIR, JJ. LEE, C.J., IRVING AND GRIFFIS, P.JJ., ISHEE, CARLTON, MAXWELL, FAIR AND JAMES, JJ., CONCUR. WILSON, J., NOT PARTICIPATING.

OPINION

Page 621

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - OTHER

BARNES, J.:

[¶1] Denise Pratt appeals the final order of the Desoto County Chancery Court, which found sufficient evidence to issue a Mississippi Rule of Civil Procedure 65 injunction and restraining order against her. Pratt was restrained from contacting Nanette Nelson (her sister), Sylvia Moffatt (her seventy-year-old mother), and Isabella Nelson (her niece and Nelson's four-year-old daughter), or coming within 1,000 feet of them. If Pratt violated the order, the court would impose a penalty of $10,000 against her. Further, both Pratt and Nelson were denied attorney's fees. Finally, a complaint for a restraining order under Rule 65(b) by Pratt and her husband, Larry Joe Pratt Jr. (Joe), against Nelson and other family members was dismissed. Nelson admits that the trial court erred in issuing a Rule 65 injunction but contends that a domestic violence protection order under the Domestic Abuse Protection Act (Act) should have been issued instead. See Miss. Code Ann. § § 93-21-1 through 93-21-33 (Rev. 2013). She contends that the trial court's " order should be reversed and rendered granting Appellee a Domestic Violence Protection Order and awarding attorney's fees."

STATEMENT OF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

[¶2] This case stems from ongoing disagreement between family members that reached a crisis point in the fall of 2011.[1] Nelson lives in Southaven, Mississippi, with her daughter, Isabelle, and her mother, Sylvia. On November 2, 2011, over a period of several hours, Pratt engaged in whet Nelson described as malicious, threatening, and harassing phone calls to her, including approximately seventy-eight text messages, thirty-eight telephone calls, and numerous voicemail messages to Nelson's home telephone, Nelson's cellular telephone, and Sylvia's cellular telephone.[2]

[¶3] Pratt continued her telephone tirade until the early morning hours; Nelson stated Pratt used profanity and threatened they " would burn alive." [3] Pratt also

Page 622

admitted to watching their home that evening, and indeed was observed driving past their home several times. Frightened, Nelson called the DeSoto County Sheriff's Office and the Southaven Police. Officer Kirk Thompson with the DeSoto County Sheriff's Department responded to the call and advised Nelson to file appropriate charges and seek an emergency protection order.

[¶4] Accordingly, the following morning, Nelson obtained an ex parte emergency domestic abuse protection order against Pratt until November 14 for herself, Isabelle, and Sylvia in the Southaven Municipal Court. On the same day, Nelson also filed charges for telephone harassment in the DeSoto County Justice Court. Finally, Nelson filed a petition for a domestic abuse protection order under the Act in DeSoto County Chancery Court, which is the subject of the instant ...


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