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10/06/2009

Abuse Of Restraining Orders

This article is from http://www.dvmen.org/

Abuse of Restraining orders


Examples of how Restraining orders are abused

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Probably the best way to illustrate how protection orders are abused is to present what a domestic violence victim advocate has told us:



• I have witnessed TRO's issued just because a family member gave another family member "the look of death."



• I am also seeing law enforcement officers seeking TROs just to get the girlfriend exited from the shared living space or simply out of their life.



• I also observe real abusers turning the system on their victims by getting the TRO first.



• The consistent percentage of domestic violence plaintiffs by male/ female is 22% male 78% female. Men also abuse the system as well.



• One of my memorable cases was a woman who had filed a TRO against a law enforcement officer. They had a history of drama (not all co-drama relationships are domestic violence). When I interviewed her she played the victim role well. The defendant brought an attorney with him, the victims demanded $5,000 to drop the restraining orders. She also wanted additional money awarded if he ever contacted her again. The TRO was dropped by the plaintiff.I am not aware of any dollars exchanging hands.



About a year later, the same woman was in a nearby county with a different defendant she had a TRO against, and she dropped it as well.



The victim advocate also stated that if the courts reduced the number of TRO's issued it would reduce the abuse.



These are but a few of the abuses of such orders reported to the Equal Justice Foundation and many more are tabulated in the index under restraining orders.



Consequences of the abuse of protection orders

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The consequences of a protection order for the man are devastating. If he shares a home with the "victim" he will be ordered to vacate the premises with no more than what he has on his back. Any contact becomes illegal — punishable by prison without further ado. And it doesn't matter if the "victim" agreed to, or even initiated the contact. This has particularly wrenching consequences when there are children involved.



Depression and rebellion are a common, if not universal, result of a protection order. Problems with subsequent relationships, in his job, or with the police are virtually certain. Abuse of alcohol or drugs is likely. Stories abound of deteriorating health, even to the point of being physically disabled by such things as heart attacks, after such charges. Virtually everyone who goes through these nightmares suffers from at least some symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).



Men who have had protection orders issued against them on the basis of uncorroborated or trivial allegations have been jailed:



• For taking food to their children while the mother was away partying for days.



• For sending their kids a birthday or Christmas card.



• For asking a telephone operator to convey a harmless message.



• For 'accidental' contact at the courthouse.



• For returning a child's phone call.



• For a computer virus on their machine at work that sent email to everyone on their mailing list including the ex-wife, who hadn't been removed.



• For accidentally hitting speed dial on their cell phone that still contained their home phone number.



• For passing the woman going the other way on a highway.



• For being at the grocery store or shopping mall at the same time,



• For putting a note in his son's suitcase telling the mother the boy had been sick over a weekend visit.



• For getting out of the car to pet the family dogs when returning his child from a visit.



• For attending public events such as their children's musical recitals or sports activities.



• For attending his daughter's first communion.



• For attending their daughter's dance recital.



and on ad nauseam.



Or take a December, 1999, example from Minnesota that could as easily have happened in Colorado. The following is an e-mail to men-law mailing list:



"Yesterday I went to Court to assist a father that was jailed for 'Interrupting a 911 call' (gross misdemeanor in Minn.). During the bail hearing the local women's advocates addressed the Judge by first name basis. Then proceeded to instruct the Judge on the fathers conditions of bail release. He needs to do the following for bail:



1. Spend $325 for a cell phone for his wife to contact the shelter whenever she pleases.



2. Ordered to a no contact order, indefinitely placed, that will not be lifted until the trial. No contact with wife or children for about 6 months. The advocates then stated that if he pleads guilty they will assist him with battering classes. No domestic abuse is alleged.



3. I have read the police reports and the officer states that no domestic abuse is alleged or took place.



4. No transcript is available on alleged 911 call. Police cannot furnish the transcript as it does not exist.



5. $2,000 cash bail.



6. Order for Protection was denied by a different judge 3 days earlier.



7. The wife states that she went to call 911 and her husband hung up the phone on her. No attempt was made to recall 911. She went 3 days later to the advocates who assisted her in filing police reports and in discussions with the County Attorney.



When I contacted a mutual friend in the apartment building, I was informed that his wife has a boyfriend staying with her for a while. The witness stated that the wife said: 'Well, I needed to get him out of the house somehow.'



As a fathers advocate, I asked the court if we could speak for the father. We were refused. Now the father sits in jail as he cannot come up with $2,000 cash bail. So we can assume that he is charged, found guilty, punished and jailed for his crime without representation. To further the cause of the women's advocates.



Just another angry man in Minnesota. I hope to god that no violence will result when he is released. However, I firmly believe that the local area advocates will do what they can to create the violence to further their cause and funding.



Any advice is needed. Thanks, Kevin"



and the only thing unusual about this story is that someone published it.

3 comments:

  1. I have a bogus restraining order against me while I am the real victim my abuser who is 5 times my size says I have been attacking him and now Im the respondent.What a messed up justice system.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your abuser knew how to play the justice system better then you.
    Just stay away from your abuser, find another relationship maybe.
    But whatever you do, do not violate the restraining order, no matter what!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am a 69 yr old mother of a son who lives in Nc..I live in central Pa..there was a misunderstanding between he , his wife and myself and my husband.. They have filled a DVPO against me year after year since 2008 as I am unable to travel 12 hrs to be at the court hearing always set for 9:00 AM and the judge oks this routinely ..I have never set foot in NC yet they warn me to stay at least 50 ft away from my son and his family members.. How can a Judge do this with any justification .. This is my punishment for what most families have happen in misunderstandings.. I loved my mother-in-law and I cannot believe my son would go along with his wife to do this thing.... I am so depressed as I just recieved a new one again and now they are asking to keep it in effect for 2 years... Is there anyway I can testify by phone from Pa? I think these Judges do not look at the paper work at all..They would know where I live and my age ..I have no idea what to do!

    ReplyDelete