A Kent County Family Court Judge announced today that Patricia Driscoll was granted her order for Kurt Busch to stay away from her. The order is good until 2016.
According to the court order issued by Commissioner David Jones, Busch must stay 100 yards away from Driscoll, her home and workplace. He also is not allowed to phone her, e-mail her, or have any communication by any means. Though when it comes to NASCAR races where they both will be, he has to “maintain the maximum “practicable” distance from her and not attempt to contact her”. Busch will also have to be evaluated for mental health problems related to anger and impulse control; he also isn’t allowed to purchase or possess any firearms or ammunition.
“Ms. Driscoll can now know that she will not receive any unwanted communications from Mr. Busch and feel that she is safe after nearly 5 months,” McNeice wrote in an email to the USA Today.
Busch’s attorney Rusty Hardin released a statement on Monday, saying that he will be appealing the judge’s decision. His statement is below in full.
“Though we are not surprised by the Commissioner’s ruling, in light of the restrictions on the evidence he considered, we are deeply disappointed because we believe the evidence of Ms. Driscoll’s total lack of believability was overwhelming. It is important to note that the Commissioner’s ruling is a civil family court matter and totally unconnected to any criminal investigation or finding.
“Regardless of the Commissioner’s finding, we know that Kurt never committed an act of family violence. The evidence was un-contradicted that Ms. Driscoll committed the criminal offense of trespass when she entered his motor home at night, while he was sleeping, uninvited, without permission, and refused to leave when he repeatedly asked her to get out. Mr. Busch’s conduct was totally reasonable and legal under the circumstances. He never intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused her any injury.
“We intend to appeal the Commissioner’s ruling and will seek to persuade the family court judge hearing the appeal to consider new and previously unknown evidence from various people that have come forward since the conclusion of the hearing before the Commissioner. We have provided this additional evidence challenging Ms. Driscoll’s testimony and credibility to the Attorney General’s office for their criminal investigation, and we hope to persuade the family court judge to consider the same evidence.
“Ms. Driscoll clearly committed perjury during her testimony before the Commissioner, and we deeply regret that Ms. Driscoll has been allowed to abuse the justice system in such a flagrant way.”
The decision comes as a result of a hearing between the pair where she accused Busch of domestic assault, saying that he grabbed her by the throat and smashed her head against the wall three times in his motorcoach in September at Dover. She reported the incident to the police in November. The police have completed their investigation, with the Attorney General set to decide whether criminal charges should be pressed against Busch.
Busch’s legal camp denied the allegations, claiming that she was just trying to ruin his career. Busch said on the stand that he never slammed her head nor grabbed her by the throat. Instead, he said he “cupped her face” and told her to leave.
The hearing, drawn out for over two months, included claims from Busch that Driscoll was a trained assassin that killed drug lords. Driscoll denied the claim, though. She is the president of the Armed Forces Foundation, which works with soldiers when they come back overseas. She also owns her own defense contracting firm.
Stewart-Haas Racing Vice President Joe Custer said that the team will not take any action with regards to the latest development as they await the decision from the Attorney General.
“These are serious allegations and we do not take them lightly,” Custer stated. “We are relying on the authorities in Delaware and their collective experience to identify all the facts. They are the experts in these matters and their decision, specifically the one that will be made by the Attorney General, will determine our course of action.”
Tony Stewart commented on Daytona 500 Media Day last week that the team does have a plan should Busch be charged.
“I’m very hopeful that we won’t have to worry about it,” Stewart added. “I mean, I feel bad he’s in that situation right now and that they’re both in that situation. But we have to be smart and we have to have a plan in place if it doesn’t work out for whatever reason.”
NASCAR also released a statement, also awaiting the Attorney General’s decision.
“NASCAR has been closely following the civil proceedings in Kent County (Del.) Family Court regarding driver Kurt Busch and therefore is aware of the court order issued today. We now await the full findings of the Commissioner and any actions by the Attorney General of Delaware related to the allegations against Busch.
“As we stated earlier, NASCAR fully recognizes the serious nature of this specific situation and the broader issue of domestic violence. We will continue to gather information and monitor this situation very closely, and we expect our members to conduct themselves properly.”