M.A. v. B.F.

February 15, 2024

This is the second case to discuss “a dating relationship” under the DVPA, after Phillips v. Campbell. This is a DV tort case but it uses the DVPA definition of “dating relationship” so would apply to DVRO cases as well.  In this case, the trial court found the parties were not in a “dating relationship” because they were just “friends with benefits” with “brief, sporadic sexual hook ups” over 19 months “lacking the emotional and privacy aspects or the emotional and affectional involvement that mark frequent, intimate associations.”  The majority of the Court of Appeal, by a vote of 2-1, affirmed, concluding that the specific record supported the trial court’s decision, which was owed deference.  The dissent disagreed and would have reversed the trial court’s decision because the parties’ relationship, while “nontraditional,” still involved “frequent, intimate associations” with sexual involvement and “contact through text messages,” showing “the victim’s trust and vulnerability” with their abuser.

Civil Claims
Tags: Torts,

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