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Alexis v. Black

Supreme Court of Mississippi, En Banc

November 21, 2019

NADIA ALEXIS
v.
MARCUS BLACK

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/30/2018

          LAFAYETTE COUNTY CHANCERY COURT, HON. ROBERT Q. WHITWELL JUDGE.

          TRIAL COURT ATTORNEYS: MELTORY DENISE FONDREN CHRISTI R. McCOY JOSHUA A. TURNER.

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: CHRISTI R. McCOY.

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: JOSHUA A. TURNER.

          BEAM, JUSTICE.

         ¶1. Nadia Alexis appeals the chancellor's dismissal of her petition for domestic-abuse protection order and his assessment of the filing fee to her. Because sufficient evidence was not presented to support the issuance of a final domestic-abuse protection order, the trial court's judgment is affirmed.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. Alexis and Marcus Black met in 2012 at Union College in Schenectady, New York. In August 2016, Alexis and Black moved to Oxford, Mississippi, in order for Alexis to pursue a master of fine arts degree at the University of Mississippi. They lived together in a one-bedroom apartment from August 2016 to January 2018.

         ¶3. In September 2017, Alexis and Black were discussing Alexis's family. Alexis felt that Black was being insensitive and told Black to "shove it." According to Alexis, Black then walked over to her and "punched her in the face" with a "closed fist." He then "grabbed [her] jaw and held on to it."

         ¶4. Black disputes that he punched Alexis but admits that he "slapped her lightly on the face" with an "[o]pen hand." Black explained as follows:

I asked her about her - it was Hurricane Irma or something - I asked her about her cousin or somebody in the family that was in the path of the hurricane, if they were all right. And like leading up to that, she had become increasingly like disgruntled, you know, always, you know, having something negative or smart to say about everything. So when I asked her about her cousin that lived in Florida that was in the path of the hurricane, she told me, oh, go shove it. I was like, okay, and then I got up and I approached her and I just slapped her lightly on the face.

         When asked where he hit Alexis, Black indicated that it was on "her jaw, her cheek . . . ."

         ¶5. After the incident, Alexis asked Black to move out of the apartment but "wanted to give him time to leave" and "[find] somewhere to stay." Alexis set multiple deadlines for Black to move out of the apartment. But by January 1, 2018, Black had not moved out, and, according to Alexis, Black had not made any real attempts to move.

         ¶6. On January 5, 2018, Alexis filed a petition for an emergency domestic-abuse protection order in justice court, which was granted. After a hearing on January 11, 2018, a temporary domestic-abuse protection order was issued though April 11, 2018.

         ¶7. On April 2, 2018, Alexis filed a petition for a domestic-abuse protection order in chancery court and alleged that Black had "[a]ttempted to cause or intentionally, knowingly[, ] or recklessly caused bodily injury" to her and had "placed, by physical menace or threat, [her] in fear of imminent serious bodily injury." A hearing was held on May 30, 2018, at which Alexis and Black testified. Alexis explained that she was seeking ...


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