Family Court Commissioner David Jones ordered Kurt Busch to stay away from ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll in court documents signed Monday. The order is effective immediately and will expire February 16, 2016.
The documents state, in part, that Busch “shall stay 100 yards away from Petitioner’s (Driscoll) person, residence and workplace.” The documents also state an exception to this at NASCAR events, “where closer proximity is required for Respondent (Busch) to perform his duties as a driver or sponsored athlete. On such occasions, Respondent shall maintain the maximum practicable distance from Petitioner and shall not contact or attempt to contact Petitioner.”
In addition, the court has ordered that Busch undergo a mental health evaluation.
Driscoll requested the protective order in November 2014 after allegations of abuse during an incident that occurred in September. She alleged that Busch grabbed her by the throat and smashed her head three times against the wall. Driscoll also filed a criminal complaint with the Dover police who completed their investigation in December and turned their findings over to the attorney general’s office. The Delaware attorney general’s office has not yet decided if any criminal charges will be filed.
Busch has emphatically denied the charges stating that his ex-girlfriend came over to his motorhome, uninvited. He further said that he never grabbed her by the throat and hit her head against the wall but, instead, cupped her face in his hands and repeatedly asked her to leave.
Rusty Hardin, Busch’s attorney, plans to appeal the decision and issued the following statement.
“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.”
Stewart-Haas Racing issued a statement from Joe Custer, SHR executive vice president, Monday afternoon, concerning this latest development.
“These are serious allegations and we do not take them lightly. 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.”
NASCAR issued a statement on the matter indicating that they would continue to monitor the situation.
“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.”