This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).






In the Matter of:

Sharon Lynn Quick,

n/k/a Sharon Clark Williams, petitioner,





Thomas Gerald Quick,



Filed August 1, 2000

Reversed and remanded

Amundson, Judge


Ramsey County District Court
File No. F5992836


Sharon Clark Williams, 1796 Kennard Street, Maplewood, MN 55109 (pro se respondent)


Suzanne M. Born, 333 Washington Avenue North, 405 Union Plaza, Minneapolis, MN 55401 (for appellant)


            Considered and decided by Amundson, Presiding Judge, Crippen, Judge, and Anderson, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N




Appellant ex-husband challenges the district court’s order extending a Wisconsin injunction (order for protection).  Appellant alleges that (1) the district court failed to make the findings necessary to support an extension of an order for protection; (2) the record is insufficient to support findings that would justify an extension; and (3) the record does not support an extension.  We reverse and remand.



Appellant Thomas Gerald Quick and respondent Sharon Lynn Quick, n/k/a Sharon Clark Williams, were married on December 31, 1981.  On November 6, 1997, Williams filed a petition for a temporary restraining order in Wisconsin.  Following an evidentiary hearing, the Wisconsin district court issued an injunction, effective until November 14, 1998, prohibiting Quick from committing acts of domestic abuse against Williams.  The parties’ marriage was dissolved by judgment entered June 1, 1998.  Pursuant to the judgment, Quick was not allowed to have contact with the parties’ four children until he underwent, and passed, a full psychiatric evaluation.  Quick has yet to complete the psychiatric evaluation.  After the dissolution, both Quick and Williams moved to Minnesota.

On November 2, 1999, Williams filed a motion seeking an extension of the Wisconsin injunction.  In support of her motion, Williams stated that prior to the dissolution, Quick had suffered from serious mental illnesses, threatened suicide, was hospitalized, and while hospitalized, threatened to kill her.  She claimed that she still feared Quick because there was no indication that his mental condition had improved or that his desire to kill her had ceased.  At the evidentiary hearing, Williams testified that within minutes of arriving at her parents’ home, the telephone would ring, but nobody could be heard on the line.  In addition, she testified that Quick had a volatile temper, had followed her to obtain her new address, and filed frivolous motions so that he could see her in court. 

At the close of the hearing, the referee extended the Wisconsin injunction as an order for protection until December 6, 2001, based on a finding that Williams was reasonably in fear of Quick.  The district court adopted the referee’s findings.  This appeal followed.

Because Williams did not file a brief, we decide this appeal on the merits pursuant to Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 142.03.



            On appeal from an order for protection, we will affirm unless we conclude that the district court abused its discretion.  Mechtel v. Mechtel, 528 N.W.2d 916, 920 (Minn. App. 1995.  A district court’s “findings of fact, whether based on oral or documentary evidence,” will not be set aside unless they are clearly erroneous.[1]  Minn. R. Civ. P. 52.01.  Findings of fact are clearly erroneous only if they are not reasonably supported by the evidence.  Fletcher v. St. Paul Pioneer Press, 589 N.W.2d 96, 102 (Minn. 1999).  Statutory construction, however, is a question of law, which this court reviews de novo.  Sorenson v. St. Paul Ramsey Med. Ctr., 457 N.W.2d 188, 190 (Minn. 1990).

            Quick argues that the district court abused its discretion by failing to make sufficient findings to support its extension of the order for protection.  Quick also asserts that the district court was required to find that he had a present intention to do harm or inflict fear of harm.  After an evidentiary hearing at which both parties testified, the district court found that Williams was reasonably in fear of Quick.  Even though it was not required to find that Quick had a present intention to do harm or inflict fear of harm, the court failed to make findings sufficient to support the extension of the order for protection. 

            A district court may issue an order for protection upon a showing of domestic abuse.  Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd. 4(b) (1998).  Following notice to all parties and a hearing, the district court may extend the relief granted in an existing order for protection upon a showing that “the petitioner is reasonably in fear of physical harm from the respondent.”  Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd. 6a(2) (1998).  “A petitioner does not need to show that physical harm is imminent to obtain an extension or a subsequent order under this subdivision.”  Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd 6a (1998).

            Due process is implicated in actions under the Domestic Abuse Act.  Care must be exercised in assessing the facts of each case, and the district court is obliged to prepare adequate findings of fact.  If mistakes are made, or fair dealing is not evident to everyone involved in the proceedings, great harm often results in judgments involving personal and family welfare issues.  All orders in family court proceedings must “contain particularized findings of fact sufficient to support determinations of * * * issues decided by the court.”  Andrasko v. Andrasko, 443 N.W.2d 228, 230 (Minn. App. 1989).  Accordingly, a district court is required to provide either written findings, make an oral record of findings, or note findings in a memorandum accompanying the court’s order.  Minn. R. Civ. P. 52.01. 

            The district court’s sole “finding,” that “petitioner is reasonably in fear of respondent,” is not a finding, but a conclusion.  As such, the district court abused its discretion by failing to provide the required particularized findings as to the reasonableness of Williams’s fear.

            Quick also argues that the record is insufficient to support a finding that Williams was reasonably in fear of him and a two-year extension of the order for protection.  Because we reverse and remand for failure of the district court to make particularized findings, we need not address this issue. 


            Reversed and remanded.


[1]   The findings of a referee, to the extent they are adopted by the district court, are considered the findings of the district court.  Minn. R. Civ. P. 52.01.