Court defines residency for spouses fleeing abuse

The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld a domestic abuse protection order a woman filed against her husband, rejecting his argument that the order wasn’t valid because she’d fled to another county.

The court found the woman resided in the county to which she sought refuge with her children even though she lived there just a few days. The case required the court to determine for the first time the definition of residency in the context of a spouse fleeing abuse.

Justices say anyone seeking protection need only demonstrate they currently live in a county and maintain a dwelling to declare residency. The case affirms the protective order Teri Root obtained against her husband Talton Toney, who challenged the order. Court records say she fled after being choked with a belt.

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