Justices: Missoula police officer doesn't need to give information to stalker

2013-06-19T05:35:00Z 2014-08-16T17:11:53Z Justices: Missoula police officer doesn't need to give information to stalker missoulian.com

The Montana Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a female officer with the Missoula Police Department who was a victim of stalking, saying she should not have to provide information – asked for in court proceedings – to her stalker.

Stacy Lear, a detective on the force, said that Carrie Jamrogowicz began stalking her in 2002, and that Jamrogowicz had stalked several other women going back to 1998, when the two first met in North Carolina.

During a span of nearly 10 years, Jamrogowicz allegedly changed her hairstyle to match Lear’s, enrolled in the same university as Lear, took the same classes, changed her major to match Lear’s, and claimed the same medical conditions.

Lear moved to Missoula in April 2004 and by that September, court records say, Jamrogowicz also had moved to Missoula. She joined the same shooting organization as Lear and approached Lear’s personal firearms instructor for lessons.

Lear was hired by the Missoula Police Department in 2005. While she kept the information private, Jamrogowicz posted the news to a public website. That same year, Jamrogowicz received a concealed weapon permit and began attending the same shooting competitions as Lear.

Jamrogowicz copied other aspects of Lear’s life, records say. She purchased the same automobile, joined the same gym, bought the same firearms equipment and camera, and claimed the same injury for which Lear was being treated.

Jamrogowicz also consulted the same doctor and therapist as Lear, and often showed up near Lear’s residence and office. Distressed by the developments, Lear missed work and sought counseling.

Lear reported Jamrogowicz’s behavior to her superiors at the Missoula Police Department in 2010. She received a temporary order of protection against Jamrogowicz in February 2012, and Jamrogowicz was charged with criminal stalking that July.

Jamrogowicz sought a discovery hearing in the charges against her. Two hearings were scheduled, but Lear didn’t attend either one.

The high court’s opinion, written by Supreme Court Justice Patricia Cotter, found no evidence in past cases suggesting that district courts could force discovery in matters related to the granting or denial of a temporary order of protection.

Forcing a victim of stalking to attend a discovery hearing wouldn’t protect the victim from harm. Rather, the court found, it only threatened to exacerbate the problem.

“For these reasons, we conclude that unless extraordinary circumstances justify it, courts should not compel a petitioner in a stalking matter to be subjected to discovery at the hands of the respondent,” Cotter wrote.

Joshua Van de Wetering, who represented Lear, and Quentin Rhoades, representing Jamrogowicz, didn’t return calls seeking comment on the case.

Reporter Martin Kidston can be reached at 523-5260, or at martin.kidston@missoulian.com.

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(10) Comments

  1. adhoc
    Report Abuse
    adhoc - March 02, 2014 11:41 am
    A dirty cop will say anything...and get away with it.
  2. Raoul
    Report Abuse
    Raoul - July 08, 2013 5:28 pm
    Will she be using the same crackerjack legal team that the Montana Supreme Court smacked down? The group of talented wunderkinds who got her 13 days in jail, on a first offense, for a *misdemeanor*?
  3. Raoul
    Report Abuse
    Raoul - July 08, 2013 5:26 pm
    I thought the recourse was the trial ... y'know, the one where the jury came back and said "Yup. Stalker."
  4. talisti
    Report Abuse
    talisti - July 06, 2013 10:04 pm
    So, basically, you can call anyone you want a "stalker" and that person has no recourse to defend themselves. Seems legit.
  5. talisti
    Report Abuse
    talisti - July 06, 2013 9:59 pm
    It's going to district court. Try again.
  6. whoisn'topionated
    Report Abuse
    whoisn'topionated - June 23, 2013 1:11 pm
    Why are my comments not going up?
  7. Raoul
    Report Abuse
    Raoul - June 20, 2013 11:16 am
    Uhm...when were they proved false? At the trial where this woman was convicted of stalking? (Dig deeper, the resulting trial and it's decision are available if you want to do YOUR research.) Apparently a jury thought the allegations were true enough, since the woman was found guilty...so wheres the information about the allegations being proven false.
  8. talisti
    Report Abuse
    talisti - June 20, 2013 10:26 am
    These allegations have already been proven false. Way to do your research, Missoulian.
  9. thomascash
    Report Abuse
    thomascash - June 20, 2013 8:31 am
    As a person who is quite used to copycat adoration from both men and women; I never feel threatened. I just make a slight change, wear a scarf, dangle a hoop earring, or get a tiney temporary Mike Tyson tat for the face. The guns everywhere is a bit freaky. I would prefer a knife obsession but she's a cop. No one will blame her if she is a maybe a little too quick on the trigger.
  10. walter12
    Report Abuse
    walter12 - June 19, 2013 7:05 am
    Wow, that is spooky. It is right out of the movies. This Jamrogowicz woman needs some serious help. It is obvious that she is (not an approved of word) wacko.
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