A North Carolina Republican running for U.S. Congress was in Wake County court on Friday for a contentious hearing that ended with the judge reprimanding all involved for poor parenting.
Steve Von Loor, the Republican seeking the 4th Congressional District in the November elections, went before Wake District Court Judge Dan Nagle seeking a protective order against his ex-wife's current husband.
In turn, Adrian J. Robey, the husband of Loor's ex-wife, sought a protective order against Loor.
At the end of the hearing, which lasted for more than two hours on Friday, Nagle dismissed both cases, saying the conduct alleged by both men did not rise to stalking, torment or harassment as defined by the law.
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But Nagle took a moment after hearing all the allegations, which included angry text messages and emails laced with profanity and "verbal abuse," to talk with the adults about the impact their squabbling and bitter bickering could have on their children.
Robey's attorney, Robert J. Parrot, tried to submit evidence during the hearing about a protective order that Loor's ex-wife sought in 2010 in Durham County in which she alleged he had thrown a bottle of wine at her house, threatened to break her car windows and pushed her so hard that a friend called police.
The judge, though, did not allow that evidence to be presented at the hearing. He limited the testimony about physical or verbal abuse to anything after 2016.
Maria Robey, Loor's ex-wife, testified that she stopped taking their children to drop-offs for custody exchanges because she was afraid of her ex-husband. She complained that he comes up to her car and knocks on the window.
She complained of verbal abuse by her ex-husband, but acknowledged to Loor's attorney, Matt Suczynski, that Loor had not physically abused her since 2016.
"I don't give him the chance," Maria Robey said.
"Every time I have to exchange the kids is always nerve-wracking because I don't know if anything is going to happen," she said.
The families share custody of teenage sons. Loor is not allowed on the Robey property without an invitation.
"You are not doing these children any favors with this bickering," Nagle told Loor, his former wife and Robey.
Loor is seeking a congressional seat in a district that stretches from Orange County, through parts of Durham and Wake counties. Incumbent David Price, a Democrat from Chapel Hill, is running for re-election. Libertarian Barbara Howe also is seeking the seat.
Loor stopped briefly to speak with reporters after the hearing, but declined to comment on the allegations of domestic violence.
"At the moment I don't have any comments," Loor said while walking out of the courthouse with his current wife.