Monday, November 25, 2013

Cote v. Cote case brief

Cote v. Cote case brief summary
599 A.2d 869 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 1992)

Appellant husband challenged the decision of the Circuit Court for Prince George's County (Maryland), which issued an injunction barring the husband from the family home on appellee wife's motion for an ex parte injunction. The circuit court granted the injunction to keep the parties from assaulting one another upon the expiration of a district court's civil protection order that barred the husband from the family home.

Following an altercation, the husband filed a complaint for a limited divorce and the wife filed a petition for protection from domestic violence. The husband was barred from entering the family home where the wife resided. Upon the expiration of the civil protection order, the wife filed a motion for an ex parte injunction because both parties continued their mutual harassment despite a consent order prohibiting such conduct. The circuit court enjoined the husband from entering the family home.


  • On appeal, the court affirmed the judge's appropriate exercise of his discretion and power to issue the injunction pursuant to Md. Code Ann., Fam. Law § 1-203(a)(2) (1991). 
  • Although the trial judge erred in holding that the husband was not deprived of a property interest, the court agreed with the trial court's conclusion that the husband did not suffer an unconstitutional taking of his property interest in the family home. 
  • The husband was compensated for the taking by not having to provide an alternative place for the wife to live during the divorce proceedings. 
  • The court remanded the case for an immediate reconsideration of the continued need for the injunction.
The court affirmed the circuit court's issuance of an injunction barring the husband from the family home, and remanded the case for further proceedings at the earliest possible date to determine if the need for the injunction had ceased to exist.

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