trial court issued a one-year order of protection prohibiting
Frank Ugolini from having any contact with his former wife,
Crystal Ugolini, and their three minor children. The factual
basis for the order was Mr. Ugolini's admission that he
slapped his 11-year-old son on the cheek as discipline for
9A.16.100 allows reasonable and moderate physical discipline
by a parent, teacher, or guardian to restrain or correct a
child. Because the trial court failed to enter findings
whether the discipline exceeded that allowed under RCW 9A.
16.100, we reverse and remand.
7, 2018, Frank Ugolini's former wife, Crystal Ugolini,
filed a petition for an order of protection under chapter
26.50 RCW, the Domestic Violence Protection Act. In her
petition, she described prior incidents where Mr. Ugolini
assaulted her and their 11-year-old son, B. U.She requested
an order of protection be issued to protect herself and their
three minor children. A pro tern judge reviewed the petition
and issued a temporary protection order that restrained Mr.
Ugolini from having any contact with Ms. Ugolini and their
three minor children. The petition and order were promptly
served on Mr. Ugolini.
Ugolini filed and served opposing declarations. Mr.
Ugolini's declaration disputed most of his former
wife's accusations. But his and his current wife's
declarations said he recently slapped B.U. on the cheek after
repeatedly telling him not to talk back. A police report,
made part of the record, shows two officers responded to the
incident and they did not see any red marks on B.U.'s
hearing on the order for protection was held on May 31, 2018.
The trial court began the hearing by asking Ms. Ugolini
whether she still wanted a protection order, to which she
responded she did. The trial court then asked Mr. Ugolini to
respond. Through counsel, Mr. Ugolini explained that he does
discipline his children. This admission prompted the trial
court to rule:
[T]he request before the Court is for an order for
protection. . . . The standard for order for protection is
whether or not an individual has caused physical harm, bodily
injury, assault, including sexual assault or the threat
thereof. . . . Frank told [B.U.] to be quiet or he would get
smacked. Crystal instantly replied that is not how we
discipline. Physical punishment is not okay. The children are
too old. . . . Frank stepped forward and smacked [B.U.] on
the cheek. . . . That's domestic violence right, there. .
. . What I have is to look at whether or not the petitioner
has given a basis for an order for protection to have been
granted. And, with the respondent's own witnesses,
there's a basis for me to enter this order.
So I will be doing so. . . . [A]t this point I'm issuing
the [one year] order for protection in its entirety pending
any modifications with family law court.
of Proceedings at 13-14.
Ugolini contends the trial court erred when it entered the
protection order because he used lawful force when
disciplining B.U. We agree the trial court erred, but do not
determine whether Mr. Ugolini's actions were lawful.
court's grant of a protection order is reviewed for abuse
of discretion. In re Vulnerable Adult Petition for
Knight,178 Wn.App. 929, 936, 317 P.3d 1068 (2014).
Abuse of discretion is found only when the decision is
"' manifestly unreasonable, or exercised on
untenable grounds, or for untenable reasons.'"
State v. McCormick,166 Wn.2d 689, 706, 213 P.3d 32
(2009) (quoting State ex rel Carroll v. Junker, 79
Wn.2d 12, 26, 482 P.2d 775 ...