This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).






Melany Marie Gold, individually

and on behalf of her children,






Justin Everett Larsen,




Filed March 13, 2007

Klaphake, Judge


Freeborn County District Court

File No. 24-F0-05-18


Robert D. Sturtz, Goldman, Sturtz & Halvorsen, Chtd., 137 North Broadway, Albert Lea, MN  56007 (for respondent)


Paul E. Grabitske, Eskens, Gibson & Behm Law Firm, Chtd., 115 East Hickory Street, Suite 200, P.O. Box 1056, Mankato, MN  56002-1056 (for appellant)


            Considered and decided by Klaphake, Presiding Judge, Willis, Judge, and Shumaker, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


            In this appeal from a district court order extending for another year an order for protection (OFP) that had been in effect from January 10, 2005, to January 10, 2006, appellant Justin Everett Larsen argues that (1) the district court failed to make adequate findings of fact to support extending the OFP; (2) the district court’s extension of the OFP with regard to appellant’s four children is unsupported by the findings or the record; and (3) the district court unnecessarily continued restrictions on his parenting time with the children.  Because we conclude that the factual record and the district court’s findings based on that record support its decision to extend the OFP and restrict appellant’s parenting time, we affirm.


            Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd. 6a (2006), provides for extension of an OFP upon proper application if the petitioner can show that the respondent “has violated a prior or existing [OFP],” if “the petitioner is reasonably in fear of physical harm from the respondent,” or if “the respondent has engaged in acts of harassment or stalking[.]”  We review the district court’s findings of fact for clear error, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the district court’s decision.  Rogers v. Moore, 603 N.W.2d 650, 656 (Minn. 1999); Minn. R. Civ. P. 52.01.  Resolution of conflicting evidence is a determination to be made by the district court.  Porch v. Gen. Motors Acceptance Corp., 642 N.W.2d 473, 477 (Minn. App. 2002), review denied (Minn. June 26, 2002).

            Appellant claims that the district court’s order extending the OFP must be reversed because it lacks sufficient findings.  This court has ruled that a district court commits reversible error by granting an OFP without making any findings, indicating neither “fill[ing] in the blank space for findings on the pre-printed order for protection” nor making “any oral findings on the record.”  Andrasko v. Andrasko, 443 N.W.2d 228, 230-31 (Minn. App. 1989); see also Mechtel v. Mechtel, 528 N.W.2d 916, 921 (Minn. App. 1995) (requiring domestic abuse findings before issuance of an order for protection).  Here, the district court did not make oral findings at the hearing to extend the OFP; rather, the court filled in the blank on the OFP extension form that listed three choices in boilerplate language that could comprise its “findings of fact [and] conclusions of law.”  The court checked the box that provided “Petitioner is reasonably in fear of physical harm from respondent[.]”  Consistent with Andrasko, this written finding is sufficient to support extending the OFP.  Andrasko, 443 N.W.2d at 231.[1]

            Appellant next claims that the OFP lacks sufficient evidentiary support, which is a basis for reversal under Minnesota law.  See Bjergum v. Bjergum, 392 N.W.2d 604, 606-07 (Minn. App. 1986).  Appellant claims that the evidence is insufficient to support extending the OFP because the district court found only that respondent Melany Marie Gold, appellant’s former girlfriend and the mother of the children, was reasonably in fear of physical harm from him, and not that the children feared him or were in danger from his conduct. 

            The oldest of the parties’ children was between eight and nine years old during the year that the original OFP was in effect.  Thus, at the time of the hearing to extend the OFP, the children were too young to testify.  Respondent testified in detail, however, regarding appellant’s physical and psychological abuse of the children and the children’s fear of appellant.  This testimony included specific and explicit examples of appellant’s conduct that occurred during the year that the OFP was in effect.  The guardian ad litem’s reports corroborate respondent’s testimony.  This evidence is sufficient to support issuance of the extended OFP.

            Appellant also claims that the extended OFP pertains only to respondent, because she alone petitioned for the extension and because the district court’s basis for extending the OFP pertains only to the “Petitioner.”  The “Petitioner” of the extension, however, includes and specifically names both respondent and the children.  Thus, the district court’s finding that “[p]etitioner is reasonably in fear of physical harm from [appellant]” includes both respondent and the children.  Other language of the OFP specifically orders appellant to have no contact with the children and orders him to refrain from committing acts of domestic abuse against the children.  Thus, from the language of the OFP, it is clear that the district court intended it to apply to both respondent and the children, and the record supports this conclusion.

            Appellant also contends that the district court abused its discretion by declining to order that he have supervised parenting time with the children.  The guardian ad litem initially recommended parenting time, and the district court’s initial OFP granted parenting time.  The guardian ad litem’s most recent report summarizes appellant’s conduct during 2005 and recommends that the current OFP, which has been modified to exclude parenting time, remain in place.  The report also states that “[i]f [appellant] has visits with the children, the visits should be supervised.”  We observe no abuse of discretion in the district court’s decision to deny appellant even supervised parenting time based on this evidence and other record evidence that supports the denial of parenting time.[2]






[1] This conclusion is consistent with Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd. 21 (2006), which requires district courts to use the uniform OFP form developed for use among all judges of this state. 

[2] Further, it appears that the district court intended to separately and more fully consider parenting time as part of separate CHIPS proceedings, because its order extending the OFP states that “[t]he issue of on-going visitation will be heard on February 7, 2006[.]”