Consent Custody Provision in a Protective Order Not Binding in Subsequent Civil Proceedings

The First Circuit Court of Appeal has vacated and reversed an evidentiary ruling that would have prevented a mother from introducing evidence of a father’s unfitness. The Family Court of East Baton Rouge had ruled that testimony regarding facts that occurred before the date of a consent judgment reached in a protective order hearing was inadmissible. See the earlier post on this site regarding the trial court’s ruling. The decision is important because it is the first case to address the question of the res judicata effect to be given to a judgment rendered in a proceeding under the Domestic Abuse Assistance Act. Zycha v. Zycha, No. 2011-CW-2243, March 28, 2012.