What Is Restraining Order Abuse?

Restraining order abuse is a form of abuse of process or malicious prosecution in which a plaintiff applies for a restraining order for a purpose other than that for which it was intended. Typically this purpose is a vengeful, exploitative, or otherwise vicious one—though restraining orders are also misused by the delusional, who may falsely believe their need to be valid and have no ulterior motive.

Restraining order applicants aren’t screened, whether based on their being under psychiatric care or having a history of mental illness, on their possessing criminal records, or on their having previously sought one or multiple restraining orders in the past. Some restraining order abusers are repeat offenders who know how to game the system for malicious ends.

Restraining order abuse is open to all comers. The courts don’t discriminate, and it doesn’t take a criminal mastermind. It doesn’t in fact even take a good liar, just a willing one.

Though lying to obtain a restraining order is a felony offense (perjury), this crime is never prosecuted, so all a malicious plaintiff risks is disappointment if his or her application is denied or his or her injunction is quashed on appeal—and there’s nothing to stop him or her from reapplying. Getting fraudulent restraining orders against the same defendant in multiple jurisdictions isn’t unheard of, nor is getting fraudulent restraining orders against multiple defendants.

Accountability in this process is nil.

Obtaining a restraining order can require less than an hour’s time and is usually free for the asking. Any adult who walks into a courthouse is entitled to apply. Actual time before a judge may be mere minutes, and restraining orders are issued ex parte, which means a judge’s basis for approving one is the plaintiff’s word alone, along with any evidence s/he may present during the brief interview, which evidence may of course be forged, skewed, or misrepresented. And injunctions may be approved in the absence of any corroborating “evidence” at all.

The entitlement to due process is categorically denied to restraining order defendants. Per Black’s Law Dictionary (6th ed.), “Due process of law in each particular case means such an exercise of the powers of the government as the settled maxims of law permit and sanction, and under such safeguards for the protection of individual rights as those maxims prescribe for the class of cases to which the one in question belongs.” In regard to restraining order defendants, the prescribed “safeguards for the protection of individual rights” are none.

The reason for this is a relic of the past.

Restraining orders were conceived decades ago in response to public outcry as a measure to arrest domestic violence, which was largely ignored or discounted at the time. Accordingly, the customary standard for substantiating a complaint to the court that bears criminal implications and consequences (namely, proof beyond a reasonable doubt) is suspended in restraining order cases, and plaintiffs are given broad latitude to ensure that those in legitimate need of protection will get it. This also explains restraining orders’ being free or inexpensive to procure.

This in turn explains the popularity of restraining orders as instruments of avarice, malice, or vendetta. A false allegation of domestic violence, for example, may require no material substantiation and risks a vicious plaintiff nothing yet may cost an innocent defendant everything, including home, property, and access to children and pets—and even, conceivably, freedom and income. Loss of health, reputation, and enjoyment of life goes without saying.

Motives for restraining order abuse run the gamut. Restraining orders are commonly abused by plaintiffs to gain the upper hand in child custody battles (spouses may portray their husbands or wives as monsters, and even coerce and coach their children to do the same). They’re abused preemptively by stalkers to disarm and dominate the targets of their obsessions. They’re abused by lovers to get clear of unwanted boy- or girlfriends or to spitefully injure boy- or girlfriends who rejected them (or even to injure former boy- or girlfriends’ new girl- or boyfriends).  They’re abused to gain sole ownership of pets and property. They’re abused to end extramarital relationships (while casting the accuser—who’s usually the cheater—in a positive light). They’re abused to blackmail: “Give me what I want, and I’ll drop the restraining order.” They’re abused to intimidate, harass, and maim.

Restraining orders are abused, in short, for the petty gratification of anyone who’s low enough to exploit the process.

Copyright © 2012 RestrainingOrderAbuse.com

364 Responses “What Is Restraining Order Abuse?” →
  1. Thank you for your reply. We are going to try our best at 8:00 am sharp tomorrow. Kicker is she gave us the kids willingly because she couldn’t provide stability for them. I guess greed makes you terrible things. It’s so scary how this stuff can happen so swiftly. If he loses we will appeal. We are not going down without a fight. This abuse of the court system has to stop.

  2. Hello
    My husband was served a retaining order on Friday, August 21 to appear in court on Monday, August 24 at 11:00 am. The allegations are outrageously false and we want to obtain a lawyer to fight it then sue her in small claims court for abusing system, emotional stress etc. her motive is she was ordered to pay more child support to us ( we have full physical placement of their two children) so she is trying to gain custody to avoid paying child support. What do we file to tell the judge we need time to obtain counsel. We live in Wisconsin. Help! TY!

    • You would file a Motion to Continue, Elle (you could also put it to the court clerk this way: “Hi, I’d like to move the court to grant me a continuance” or “I’d like to request a continuance. What form do I need?”). It sounds like this was an “emergency” restraining order. The judge may or may not consent to grant you an extension.

      This is the second time someone has named this motive here in the last week or so.

  3. My ex filed an order in LA County with a false proof of service. The TRO was granted with tons of lies and I was never served personally.. She had some email me the order with a business name (her new boyfriend) that is not even operational in the state. This is because I was in jail for 4 months and when I returned she and some guys removed all my property from storage even my kids belongings , she was the only person with access… When I confronted her via phone and email she did this with someone’s help. How do prove the service was false she doesn’t know where I live and I never been to her location neither…

    • One thought, FM: Did you reply to the email? Can anyone prove you received it? Second thought: Did you think the email was a prank?

      I don’t want to encourage you to lie, FM, but your state may require confirmation that the order was received and understood by you to be an order originating from the court. You might (should) investigate the statutes (laws) concerning service.

      If the order wasn’t properly served, then you need to think about how to proceed. If you show up in court, that may be a confirmation that the order was served. The judge may be satisfied that you “got the message.” If you can consult with an attorney—a simple phone call might suffice—do. There have to be lots of attorneys in L.A. on the Internet who specialize in restraining order defense. Consider calling some and finding out if the service was valid and whether you need to respond.

      If you don’t need to respond, there’s still the matter of getting the order vacated (dismissed) if you can show you were never served. It might be you’d have to wait until the temporary order would be invalid and then seek to have it dismissed. You’ll have to do some legwork and really should consult with a lawyer to learn how to act.

      Alternatively, you could appear in court and contest the false accusations and challenge the validity of the service. Maybe you showed up “just in case” the order was for real. See, I don’t know if the “false proof of service” would influence the judge or not. Possibly, though, the theft of your belongings would. If you go to court, I’d say bring those emails for sure.

    • I just took a look, FM. The “service” was unlawful. See this form:


      Service must be in person.

    • Here’s the problem:

    • So here’s the dilemma you’re faced with: (1) If you don’t appear in court, the order will be finalized (and couldn’t be appealed). Then you would have to find out how to inform the court that you were never personally served and that the order is therefore “void” and should be vacated (nullified). If you took that route, I guess you’d show the judge the email you received and emphasize that this was not in accordance with the law and that you were never served “in person.” Possibly this could be accomplished by filing a Motion to Vacate/Dismiss after the hearing. (2) If you do appear in court, then it wouldn’t matter whether you were personally served or not, and you couldn’t use the “false proof of service” as a defense. I can’t advise you one way or the other, but if it were me in your shoes, I would be tempted to skip the court appearance and try to have the order vacated by a motion to dismiss based on non-service and attach the email as Exhibit 1. Again, if you can swing a consultation with an attorney, that might clarify things for you.


  4. dinya farmer

    August 17, 2015

    My ex husband has been obtaining restraining orders for over 10 years against me over text messages and emails. He claims there’s a current one but when I check the superior court website I see it was denied /amended. We have minor children and he’s moved them but won’t tell me where. If there is another order why haven’t I been served? This was July 1st, it’s August. Thanks

    • A restraining order you weren’t served with isn’t valid. It sounds like (sounds like) it was dismissed. I’m glad, Dinya. If it’s possible—or becomes possible—consider consulting with a lawyer about recovering access to your children. Is there still an order in effect? If there isn’t, try to find out where to go from here. Calling a lawyer, explaining what’s going on, and finding out if s/he could help shouldn’t cost you anything. You might at least learn where you stand legally. Maybe it’s unlawful for you to be denied contact at this point.


      • dinya farmer

        August 19, 2015

        Thank you for replying. My ex husband continues to state there’s a order of protection against me, when I look at the superior court website I see he tried to get one July 1st but was denied. The last order expired this month. He has had girlfriends get injunctions against me in the past , I’ve never met any of them except for the one he married after he got a order of protection in 2013 while I was going through chemo for breast cancer. .I was staying at his house at the time. There’s definitely order of protection abuse going on but it’s difficult to prove it without an attorney. I had an attorney for the order in 2014 (yes he obtained another order with a bunch of lies) ,she wanted to take it to trial but unfortunately I was going through testing because my cancer had returned and she didn’t want to add any more stress on me. I have court ordered parenting time which he violates, it’s been one thing after another

        • God, Dinya. You’re the second person I’ve heard from with this story. The first was required to appear in court right after major surgery (and one of her pre-op photos was represented as a “sext” to her employer—she had to change jobs). Deeply sick. My own mother was in chemo for breast cancer when I was accused. Not only was my accuser a woman we’d only ever treated kindly (yes, she knew my mother and knew she was ill); she was also getting her Ph.D. based on cancer research, and she did her post-doc work at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

          You know, there might be an attorney who would consider the circumstances you’ve described and sympathize. You might at least explain your limitations and ask if there’s a fee for a consultation. Then you could describe what’s going on and find out what a lawyer could do for you. If nothing else, you might learn how to assert your rights as a mom. It sounds like your ex is acting in contempt of court. A lawyer could tell you how (and to whom) to register a complaint. It sounds like you need to talk to a family court judge. I mean, I’m sure you could represent yourself if it came to that, but I’m not sure how you would go about petitioning the court for a hearing.

          Have there been any other forms of harassment (i.e., outside of court)? If there have been, and you could provide documentation (texts, phone logs, emails, social media snipes, etc.), a judge might hear a petition for a restraining order against your ex, and that might open up this can of worms to scrutiny. This kind of bullying (using stooges) isn’t uncommon. That’s something to consider. Scrape up all the documents and get material evidence of anything you can would be my thought. Maybe you could swing the sail in the other direction. It would be reasonable to say, I think, that you’re leery of enforcing your court-ordered visitation rights because you can’t be sure another malicious restraining order won’t be immediately petitioned. You might emphasize that your ex has played a nasty and oppressive game.


          • dinya farmer

            August 25, 2015

            Sorry it’s taken me a while to get back….have chemo weekly and getting ready to start a anger management class this week thanks to the ex..lol. I truly appreciate your feedback and will definitely figure out what’s going on because as of today I still do not see a current order of protection any where.
            You mentioned your accuser knew your mother which by the way I hope she’s doing well. The woman he married is a teacher at my children’s school and knows our history yet she involved herself in our affairs even going as far as sending the staff a email telling them not to communicate with me because my cancer had returned. They’re now divorced and I’m sure he’s on to his next victim. This situation has been stressful because all I want is to see my children. Thanks again

            • You’re welcome, Dinya. Please aspire to vomit copiously in class! I can’t think of anything more appropriate. Are you partial to split-pea soup?

              You have amazing fortitude to take all of this in stride—or at least to keep up a good front.

              My mother had a scare in 2013 (lump)—while I was being taken to court all over again—but I think she’s out of the woods. Thanks.

              Why would the ex-wife tell teachers not to communicate with you because your cancer had returned? That’s the kind of thing you could bring to a judge’s attention if you felt that route were worthwhile. This is among the reasons I’m critical of feminists. They don’t appreciate how these “processes” (really games) bring out “cattiness.” They think women are “looking out for their ‘sisters.’” Please. This woman knows you’ve been deprived access to your kids, knows you’re seriously ill, AND wants to isolate you, which is an excellent way to make life-threatening illness even worse. It’s not overly dramatic to characterize an act like this as a passive-aggressive murder attempt. She would apparently be fine with it if you just checked out permanently.

              Don’t give the bitch the satisfaction.


              • dinya farmer

                August 28, 2015

                Todd, thank you so much for responding. Went to the first class and oh my god this is going to be such a waste of time for several reasons I won’t bore you with. I have no problem discussing my situation with others but when you’re sitting in a room for 2 hrs listening to mindless babble kinda makes it difficult to have an intelligent conversation. Years ago I was on probation, again because of my ex. .the anger management class and before I completed the class the instructors were asking for my input. I’m a pretty honest person which is probably why my ex husband gets order of protections . You know even though he’s found a way to manipulate the court system here in Maricopa county I find his constant filing a joke. I’m a strong woman and yes none of this has been easy mentally, physically etc..he’ll never break me.
                Glad to hear your mom is fine, I was diagnosed in 2013 as well, went through chemo and radiation now I’m doing chemo weekly. Never got sick, so far so good.
                Now about the bitch he married that by the way he’s divorcing. I’m not sure why the email was sent to the school other than to alienate me, disrespect me but the email had her name on it but my ex gave her instructions on what to say. I have the email, can’t tell you how I got it due to the manner in which I’m replying, just know that wasn’t all I found. This woman can never say anything to me that will make me like her and she knows how I feel. When we had the court hearing in January regarding custody I made it clear that I have nothing for her and made sure she knew that when the order of protection in 2013 her husband, my ex lied about the girlfriend that he was no longer seeing ,crying to the judge never once mentioned he was in a new relationship. I figured that was a great platform to speak the truth, unfortunately I didn’t get what I wanted but it felt good letting her know what she had gotten herself into. I need to write a book because most people wouldn’t believe what I’ve gone through.
                Passive aggressive murder attempt. .where have you been the past couple of years? 😊..I totally feel like they were hoping I would die from the beginning of the relationship. Gosh there’s so much to say but I’ll stop here. Thank you for reading my response , hope you’re no longer dealing with the person who took you through the courts, hopefully someday my nightmare will end. Take care


          • dinya farmer

            August 25, 2015

            Oh I forgot, I have paperwork to request a hearing regarding the violation of parenting time and given that I’m on disability I can have the fees waived ..chemo is slowing me down

            • Awesome. Don’t neglect to let it slip that you’re in treatment for breast cancer, either, Dinya (breast cancer): “I apologize, Your Honor. I probably look a mess. The chemo has really weakened me. I’m desperate to see my kids, though. My life is empty without them. There’s a real chance, too, that I could never see them again without your help, and it would make such a difference in my determination to beat this illness.” Especially if the judge is a man, this would score you BIG points.

              I don’t see any reason, either, why you shouldn’t produce what evidence you can of efforts to harass you, demean you, and isolate you (restraining orders, emails, emails to others, calls, social media remarks, texts, whatever). It’s no lie to say actions like these cause disease; they do. They don’t say “stress kills” for nothing.

              Good luck, Dinya, and let me know how it goes.—Todd


  5. augustine montgomery

    August 12, 2015

    i have a question dues to a stay away order. i recently was accused of flippping off the mother of my child at a public event. currently we are in begginning stage of child costudy hearings. the mother has lied and made false reports and useing her mother and son as witnesses when i never done such action how can i prove my innocences. please help

    • If you were at the public event, Augustine, knowing the person you were supposed to stay away from was there, you’d probably do well to tell the judge that you left as soon as you saw your child’s mom and that the accusation of “hostile gesturing” or whatever is completely false.

      For example, you might say: “The accusation is completely false, Your Honor. When I noticed my ex was at the event, I left immediately. I did not approach, speak to, or gesture at her. She has repeatedly made false reports like this to harass me and get me in trouble, and she has coached her mother and my son to back her up.”

      Do you have any witnesses who could support your story?

  6. My child’s father and I have a possession order that we have never gone by. Whenever our child or his father wants to see him I’ve always said ok. This summer our child visited his dad for the month of June (our possession order allows for the month of July ). I picked my son up the first weekend of July, on July 17 his father picked him up without my knowledge, then said that he was executing his visitation for the month of July. He then proceeded to accuse me of saying that I said that I’d kill myself and my son and that he wouldn’t allow him to come back worth me until we went to court. August 1st (the day summer visitation ended) I called a constable to assist me with picking up our child. The officers went to his residence then returned to me saying that my son’s father had filed for a TRO on July 29th and that I could have no contact with him, his wife or my son and that we have a court hearing Aug 18. I was served the following Tuesday. The accusations were that in 2012 I tried to run his wife off of the road, 2013 I tried to fight his wife at our son’s football practice, and more recently the initial allegation of the murder/suicide. There’s never been a police report documenting these incidents and passion and simple there’s no truth to any of this. Prior to this we have been going back and forth on him wanting me to take him off of child support and custody. I have texts with those conversations. What can I expect at the hearing and does he have the burden of proving his case or is it just me?

    • A judge may pronounce that the burden of proof is his. How these hearings usually go, though, is that the defendant is presumed guilty (this is especially so when a woman is accusing a man). Accusations from two and three years ago are incapable of substantiation (they can’t be proved), and generally the court only responds to behavior alleged to have occurred within the prior 12 months. Plainly your ex was grasping. Also plain, though, is that something your son’s dad said was persuasive. Something he said “worked.”

      There’s a huge gap between what policy is “supposed” to be and what practices a particular judge may follow. Judicial discretion in these procedures is very broad. Some states’ statutes even say the standard of judgment is whatever the court “sees fit” to do or “deems appropriate.” It’s all loosey-goosey.

      Consider any vulnerabilities you may have, like a youthful suicide attempt, treatment for depression, therapy sessions, drug use—anything your ex might exploit. I’m not suggesting I suspect there is anything; I just mean be prepared if there is.

      Possibly the judge would allow you to introduce witness testimony if there’s someone who could rebut what your ex has alleged or would say the alleged suicide/murder threat is ridiculous and you love your son (or who could testify that your ex—or that you’ve said your ex—has tried to change your custody and care arrangement). Witnesses are valuable. Having friends in court may also be encouraging and help you bear up.

      A word you could consider is “coercion.” Perhaps it’s accurate to say your ex has tried to coerce you into changing your court-mandated arrangements and is now using false allegations to coerce the state to change your custody agreement because you refused to capitulate to his demands. (Coercion means arm-twisting, pressuring.)

      I would say don’t hesitate to tell the court the whole thing is made up (a fraud). Sometimes defendants get in “defensive mode” and try to explain how something couldn’t be true. If something is false, I think you should say that very explicitly. (I remember using the word calculated in my own hearing, and that was too vague.)

      Your ex’s motive seems clear to me from what you’ve said: He wants sole custody, and he doesn’t want to pay you. I think you should make that clear to the judge. Definitely find a way to print out your text message exchanges. (Talk to your cell phone service provider. I’ll bet you can open an online account and print the messages.) Be assertive, too, because I’ve heard from people who painstakingly prepare evidence that the court ignores. I guess the solution would be to inform the judge of what the messages signify. Wise, I think, would be first to tell the judge what the texts mean and second to ask, “May I approach, Your Honor, and show you?” Don’t (ever) count on a judge to correctly interpret anything. Never, ever, never just show a judge something without telling him or her what she’s supposed to see.

      Defendants are right to be polite, to follow etiquette, to be deferential. But they’re wrong to have faith that a judge will see what they expect him or her to see. A lawyer will point-blank tell a judge what s/he should see. The self-represented litigant should do the same thing (politely, of course).

      Someone in your shoes might say, for example: “Your Honor, there’s not a shred of truth to what my son’s father has alleged to the court. There’s no truth to his allegations at all; they’re all false. He has pressured me for months to change our possession agreement. I’ve been flexible, but I haven’t given in. I believe my ex has fabricated these false claims to the court because I haven’t caved to his demands. It’s a ploy, Your Honor. I’m not suicidal, and I would never hurt my son or anyone else. My ex doesn’t want to share our son or pay me for child support. I have text messages from him that show that. May I approach and submit them to the court?”

      I’m not a lawyer and can’t tell you what a winning strategy would be, Kesha, but those are some thoughts. If you can afford to get an attorney’s help, it’s definitely worth consideration.

    • Kesha, regarding the texts, I should have counseled you to make copies for yourself, your ex, and the court (at least three sets). That’s what the court expects. The judge may ask that you give him or her your evidence/exhibits at the beginning of the procedure. Just remember that when you get to the point that you want the judge to look at the texts that I think you’d be smart to tell him or her what they show (very deliberately).

      This goes for anything else you want to submit to the court: Make sets for everyone, including yourself (so you have something to refer to).

  7. hi!i have been served restaining order papers by the cops.after my brother who has always tryed so hard to get me out of my mother’s house and i have had an argument.i moved out in 2013 because he used to smoke dagga and watch pornography while my kids were in the house when i tell him to stop he would get upset and fight with me so i ended up moving out.now he has people staying there and they are paying him rent and he spending the money on alcohol and he doesn’t clean the house.the house is smelling.i refused to sign the restaining order.now that he has a restaining order against me does it mean I’m not allowed to be in my mom’s house?

    • Practically speaking, yes, because it’s his place of residence.

      What happened when you “refused to sign the restraining order”?

  8. My daughter’s father was with a woman for 3 years.
    During that time, the relationship was rocky, and I was actually contacted by her several times- as she was worried he and I were still together. At one point I took my daughter away from the two of them, and told the woman I would get a restraining order against her if the harassing emails, and texts didn’t stop.
    He eventually, recently, broke things off- and didn’t contact her for weeks.
    In retaliation- she filed a restraining order against him. I’m not entirely sure if there was physical or verbal abuse between the two of them or not- but I do know she is doing this for the wrong reasons.
    It sounds like, if there is ANY reason she even FELT scared, in the last 6 months, she is eligible for this atrocious order….
    He is emotionally drained, and absolutely terrified of what this woman will do next.

    Should we fight it? (This may make things worse)… The research I have done seems like it is really up to the appealing judge- if she says she even FELT scared in the last 6 months- how can we prove her wrong of that?

    He just wants to let it happen, as he is afraid of fighting it- (he works construction, and drives 2 hours round-trip to work everyday, we are split household so we are both single parents, and we have very little time to deal with this) but I wanted to get a little input before letting this go.
    I hate to think she could ruin his record, or reputation,or any other just because of a soured relationship. Sounds like just a civil misdemeanor, and will only last a year, unless she renews it….but still- would it be better if he at least TRIED to fight it?
    We are on a time limit here, he was issued the order a little over a week ago.

    Thanks so much for any responses

    • If it’s possible to get an attorney’s help, M., do. Sometimes a false order is obtained to cover up misconduct by the accuser. If the purpose is just to silence, intimidate, and discredit someone so the accuser doesn’t look bad, the malice may end with the order, because the false accuser won’t necessarily want to increase the odds s/he’ll be caught in a lie (and look bad or get in trouble). However, if the point is to get revenge (for example, for being spurned), then the order can be the beginning of a campaign.

      I’m guessing based on what you’ve described that the woman was jealous of you and is upset because she was rejected. It’s possible, then, that the motive is to stay in your ex’s life, punish him, or coerce him to change his mind.

      Once that order is in place, if the accuser is vicious enough, she can call the police and make false claims of violation of the order, which could lead to his being arrested (no warrant is required). If you think you’re dealing with someone really volatile (psycho), then at least trying to get the order dismissed is definitely worthwhile, because the only solid shot you have of doing this is the appeals hearing. (Also consider that if your ex shows up to court and she doesn’t, the order might be summarily dismissed, that is, “tossed.” Some false accusers chicken out.)

      A malicious woman (or man) can pull a person’s life to pieces. I’ve heard from people falsely accused and dragged into court dozens of times. A woman has commented she’s been summonsed over 100 times by the same accuser. A woman on an e-petition sponsored by this blog reports she’s had seven restraining orders petitioned by a single guy (possibly in different jurisdictions). A man I’m in correspondence with and have written about is being stalked and harassed by his sister-in-law and her family, and I’ve heard from a guy who’s had to change addresses (or was contemplating this), because he’s accused over and over. As soon as he gets one petition dismissed, his accuser files another. His accuser also lives in a shelter, so it’s not possible for him to turn the tables. She has no known address.

      You wouldn’t believe the games some people play once their appetites are whetted, and they see how easy it is. There’s no statutory ceiling on how many times a single person can petition an order against another and no penalty for fraud.

      If the point of the order your ex is faced with seems to be to keep him in the woman’s life, be concerned.


  9. Roberto Green

    July 29, 2015

    what do you mean, when you say “moving the court to vacate it” ?

    • If you file a motion with the court, which is a request that it do something, this act is “moving the court.”

      Vacate means to render something “vacant” or null and void.

      So if you move the court to vacate an order you petitioned, it means you formally ask a judge to dismiss or cancel the order.


  10. Anonymous

    July 29, 2015

    Can I stop my own restraining order?

    • Yes, you can move the court to vacate it.

      • Please help me understand what to do and which way to go, my husband had an affair with this girl and she has started harassing us in the worse way.He has been arrested for threatening her and her family saying he’s gonna kill her. She put a restraining order on him 2months ago and dropped it, she has since put another one on him for stalking last week, and now I have one on me for something I didn’t do. What can I do to prevent her from filing a false report on me and my kids end up in the street?

        • Reka, have you guys (you and your husband) appeared in court to defend yourselves?

          Is there anything to the allegations against either of you?

          Has the girl harassed you other than by abusing the law? Is she still doing it?


  11. robert

    July 25, 2015

    My wife ex husband put a restraint order on me so kids couldn’t come home. He was ordered to pay child support so now he’s doing whatever. He has seen his kids maybe 25 times in three years before. Well get this his girlfriend not him wrote down on paper false statement on behalf h
    Kids. Nothing in report is true. Their so stupid they tried to keep them from their mom. Cops said its against me not their mom. I’m stepdad. My wife asked them about restraining order details and they said they don’t know anything.. They were told his girlfriend was filing a o get her driver’s license. What can I do for this blatent false report

    • Appeal the order if you haven’t already (most states assign hearing dates; some require that you request a hearing). If you’ve had a hearing, and it went against you, you can file an appeal with the next highest court. If you can get a lawyer’s help, that’s advisable. I’m not sure if kids can be compelled to appear or speak in court. If they can be, that seems like it would be a good way of getting the truth from the so-called “source” of the accusations. Otherwise your wife could report to the court that she has asked the kids about the order, and they say they don’t know anything about it. Your wife’s testimony, at the very least, should controvert the accusations (i.e., call them into question). You could probably also subpoena the ex-husband’s girlfriend and require her to testify (him, too).

      I believe a tutorial on subpoenaing witnesses is here (this isn’t as big a deal as it sounds):


      “Subpoena” just means that the person has to appear to answer questions or be “punished” (that’s what the poena part means).

      • Sorry. I checked, and the blog of the attorney the link goes to has been revised since I first looked at it years ago. I don’t see an reference to subpoenaing witnesses there anymore.

      • This comes from WomensLaw.org:

        Court clerks have subpoena forms that you can fill out and the subpoena will have to be signed by the judge. There may be specific rules in your state regarding how the witness has to be served with the subpoena and even how many days in advance of the hearing s/he must be served. Be sure to ask the clerk or the judge for this information. In some states, the sheriff department will serve the subpoena; in other states, you may have to get someone over the age of 18 to serve it or a process server. You can ask the clerk of court how to have your subpoenas served.

        If the people you subpoena do not come to the hearing, let the judge know. The judge can penalize them for not showing up and you can ask the judge to postpone the hearing until the subpoenaed people appear.


  12. Roberto Green

    July 22, 2015

    Thanks for the report, it’ very informative. It sure opened up my eyes a bit more. And after reading this report about immigration it makes me think that maybe she had a plan. And I am saying this because, she is not interested in working things out, she pulled two restraining orders on me, months apart from each other for no apparent reason. I feel like she was building this case against me. Too bad I lost my job and c She pull this restraining order with bogus accusations, and she even introduced a picture of my son to the judge with a hand imprinted on his cheek claiming that I slapped him. The judge believed it, he didn’t even examined the picture. She fabricated that picture and imprinted that hand on my son. I am getting ready to also get in contact with a forensic psychologist because the hand on his cheek sure do not fit mine. I am worry about my kids..And then I need to file for divorce and I am not sure in what order I should do it. I Know that I need to file an appeal for this restraining order, but I am not sure when to file for Divorce. Should I wait until this is clear up or do I file now. Please advice.

    • Family/divorce attorneys aren’t strangers to this game, Roberto, so consulting with one as soon as it’s possible to would be a good idea (and brief phone conversations are free). Appeals aren’t their bailiwick, but a divorce lawyer you spoke to might be able to refer you. Also, if the settlement you anticipate is solid (“fer sure”), there might be a lawyer who would consider that as collateral for services. I’d call around right away.

      A doctored photo is a very calculated move. What shows in the photo, a red mark? There must be some kind of expert who could determine whether the image was tampered with. A police forensics specialist might be able to give you a lead. Worse would be if the photo weren’t altered and someone else hit your son. I don’t know if this might be grounds to open an investigation of some sort or whether you’d want the additional headache. I know it would concern me, though. Yeah, a forensic psychologist might be a good idea. Child Protective Services seems to be a nightmare (more records, more monitors, more invasions), but I don’t know why you couldn’t talk to a cop and express your concerns. At least consulting with a cop is free. Was the photo entered into evidence (given to the court to preserve as part of the record)? I mean, basically, her “evidence” is either proof that she’s committed fraud or that she has abused your son. I wonder if there are sites that tell people how they can get away with this kind of thing.

      I would consider (1) talking with some lawyers (who might give you some free counsel), and (2) talking with a cop. If you don’t have a copy of the photo but it was given to the court, you should be able to get a copy from the courthouse. Otherwise, you’d have to get a lawyer to compel your wife to produce it.

      Some preliminary stuff you could do yourself is get the digital recording of the restraining order hearing and copies of any filings with the court or the PD that you don’t already have. I don’t know how it works in California, but sometimes plaintiffs submit affidavits to the court (narrative accounts, usually) that are kept from defendants. You can request to see anything that’s been used against you and find out if something was held back (if so, report that you’re filing an appeal, and demand a copy).


  13. Roberto Green

    July 22, 2015

    one more thing..I’m willing to take a polygraph test and submitted in court but can I order suggest one for her as well. Will the judge admitted in court? I just want to be part of my kids life and this woman think that she can get away with it, because she did not get her way. I want to do anything that is legal that I can do on my own since until I can get an attorney.


  14. Roberto Green

    July 22, 2015

    Thank you for your reply. I went to court and yes the judge ruled against me. She was repeatedly asked is she was afraid of me, and and she just kept saying yes. I could not believe it! The judge has ordered me to do 52 hrs of domestic violence classes totally unfair . But this woman is insane. A week ago my sister went to where she is staying to take my son some toys and my wife refused to speak to her she had her sister talk to my sister and told her not go there. My sister who I know to be very peaceful left. But in court my wife said that she had to call the Cops on my sister because acted violent towards her. She said this after the judge asked me if I knew of anyone (under supervision) who could be present while I visited the kids for a few hours. And of course she objected by lying about my sister too. She is constantly lying in court, how can the judge not see this! I was even considering calling the police department and finding out if a call came thru for a disturbance at that address the day that my sister visited. And if there is no record of that, do you think the police will give me any paperwork that says that no call came in. I just want to show the judge that my wife is not telling the truth. On top of that during mediation, the mediator spent a whole hour with my wife and only 10 mins with. And when I received the report everything pointed against me. The recommendations were outrageous. It ruled all in her favor. I am going to appeal, but don’t know what forms to get, I know I have 30 days. And I am going to gather as much information I can. any advice will be well appreciated. One of my sisters suggested that I get declarations of my past relationships..Not sure

    • You’re welcome, and I hope it helps you guys.

      Just hit the courthouse on your day off or during lunch, Roberto. The clerks there should get you squared away, and I don’t think there’s a charge (there isn’t here in Arizona, anyhow, and California and Arizona law may well correspond on this). If the window to appeal hasn’t closed, you might consider filing a Motion for Oral Argument so that you can speak to the judge directly. You could also indicate that you have witnesses and find out if the court would allow them to be heard in person (otherwise you could attach affidavits—sworn statements signed by a notary—as “Exhibits” to your memorandum). If you can get an attorney on board, great. If you can’t, it should be a simple matter to find some example documents online so you can see how to format your appeal (how to caption your memorandum—i.e., what goes on top—what line-spacing, typeface, and margins to use, etc.).

      I don’t know how the court would feel about a polygraph. I believe you could get one (that you paid for). Whether the court would allow it or whether it would carry any sway, I couldn’t say. It could be attached as an exhibit to your memorandum, I believe. Maybe see what some research tells you—or ask the lawyer who you hope to get.

      (If you need to buy yourself more time to get an attorney’s help, consider filing a Motion to Enlarge Time and asking the court for an extra 30 days or whatever—after you file your notice of appeal.)

  15. My ex was physically and verbally abusive, I had to file a restraining order and moved out. Now he is suing me in court for all his legal fees. Saying it was a false report. I have evidence even a video of him punching me while holding our infant son. The judge let the temp order expire and denied a permanent one. He is still harassing me and online stalking me. Now I have to go to court for his suit. What are the chances I will have to pay his legal fees? The system has been so unfair to me so far. The courts have treated me like the criminal and him like the victim. its awful

    • I’ll try to offer some thoughts, D. Please fill in some blanks, though, if you would:

      1. Did the judge deny you the opportunity to present your evidence at the hearing for the permanent order? Was the temporary order you got based on evidence you showed the judge, or did you just report that you had been abused?

      2. How did you manage to get a video of your ex punching you while you were holding a baby?

      3. How are you being harassed and stalked?

      4. The two of you are separated but have a son together?

      5. You’re not married, right?

      Without a clear understanding of what all has transpired, I guess you might consider filing an appeal (i.e., appealing the dismissal of the order to the next highest court) and providing your evidence to the appellate judge. I haven’t heard of anyone doing this, but I don’t know why it wouldn’t be possible. If the lower court judge simply refused to consider your evidence, you could explain that. Then if you were sued in small claims, you could explain you have appealed the ruling and that a judgment is pending.

      This is all puzzling, though, if you’re the parents of an infant child. You think he wants to take you for a few thousand then, what, sue for custody?

      I’ll try to offer more ideas when I have a better sense of your situation. Meanwhile, preserve and document everything, D. Keep records (screenshots or whatever) and a log.


  16. Roberto Green

    July 20, 2015

    by the way my wife filed a previous restraining order against me back in September of 2014, and that is how I ended up at my sisters. A few weeks later she calls me and asked me for forgiveness, she was staying at her sisters because she lost the apartment that we had together. While staying at her sisters she contacted my sister and asked her if she could move in with me. She didn’t follow up on the restraining order after moving in with my sister, I was ordered to appear in court and she didn’t show up. And during mediation that restraining order was never mentioned only the present (or second she just recently filed a month ago). I have been disable for a couple of months and waiting on a large settlement and feel that the only reason she contacted me is because of that settlement, I am not sure. At this point I just want to be able to clear my name on this one and be able to be a father to my kids.


    just some additional information.


  17. Roberto Green

    July 20, 2015

    My wife of 3 years soon to be my ex-wife filed a restraining order against me. Claiming that I abused her and threatened to killed her. Which is are all false charges against me. How do I prove the judge that is not true. I have never committed domestic violence to any woman that I have been in a relationship with. One thing that I am guilty of is of committing a crime when I was 19 and did time for that, which was drug related. Also very unfortunate, 10 years ago I got a misdemeanor when I worked as a bouncer for a fight that ended bad against a gang member who ended up at the hospital. But I have never, never, never committed a crime against a woman, because I don’t hit women or kids. But my wife is using my past as an instrument to sustained that she was abused, when is all not true. Unfortunately, my past is hunting me because its being used against me and the judge granted her that restraining order, based on my past. I feel like I am being tried again for something I already paid for and is being used against me to keep my children away from me. And now I am being forced to take 52 weeks of domestic violence classes for something I never committed and she is being granted full custody. I wouldn’t be able to see my kids until I complete this course and who knows what else she is going to come up next to keep me away. What can I do to defend myself. Can I get statements from my previous relationships to prove that I never committed any domestic violence against them. I was also previously married for 10 years and my ex-wife is willing to write a statement and be in court to testify on my behalf. Can this help me. I am willing to submit to a polygraph test to prove my innocence and will like the judge to order one on her also. We lived with my sister for two years and she is also wiling to testify that no violence ever occurred. My wife and I also worked together for two years repossessing vehicles and now she’s telling the court that she is afraid of me and cries in court to play a victims game. When she was way more bold than I when confronting the people that we repo and recover those cars for an agency. … I am just trying to clear my name in this one and to be a father..any advice. By the way she is an illegal immigrant and I am a U.S Citizen..our children were born in Califonia where I reside and where the restraining order is in effect. Until next year.

    • Were you granted an appeals hearing, Roberto? That would have been a good time to introduce witness testimony if the judge allowed it. If you’ve already been to court and the judge ruled against you, you could consider filing an appeal.

      Any chance you could afford to hire a lawyer? If that’s not possible now, I’d recommend you plan on hiring help when you’re able.

      I’ll try to offer some more ideas when I have a better sense of where you’re at and what kind of time has elapsed.

      You think she’s building leverage to get a share of the settlement you’re expecting? Is she still “illegal” in spite of your being married for three years?

      See this report, Roberto:



  18. George Michel

    July 18, 2015

    I was framed into an order of protection double jeopardy cover up by Melissa Nieves director of education at union settlement association to prevent me from ever being in my sons life in 6/29/09 I was told I was being arrested for aggravated harassment cursing her out on her voice mail when I was trying to make a civil judgement I was released instead without my knowledge she went to family court the next day 6/30/09 I had no further contact at the time two months later on 8/11/09 homicide det Jennings come to my home an arrest me then forced me to sign a blank document saying it was pertaining to family court the truth is there’s no telling what I signed they regenerated the complaint that I was supposed to be arrested for back on June 29 of 09 then when I was served in family court I had to explain it was before the 30th if I hadn’t I would done time for violating an order that was never violated then when order was subject to family court order she brought a birth registration form claiming the child was born way after then I was told it was medically impossible for me to be the father it wasn’t valid birth record they didn’t take my averdavid of service and didn’t allow me to get an attorney nor dna an believe she using special interest an social media to target me and take my life also believe she has friends in organized crime an might be affiliated her self tried make a complaint to fbi doi email news spoke to public corruption he told me he found something new then didn’t tell me and then said he doesn’t think its public corruption when it was clear like something was done not to help me an not to believe me seem to be to many secrets against me she even made educational domestic violence films on we are new York around that time which could have only been accessed through her at that time which I never seen she a vindictive smart criminal with my child for all the wrong reseans

    • It’s hard from this sketch to absorb what exactly happened. If you would like to tell your story here, George—in a post, I mean—you’d be welcome to.

  19. I was wondering if I can put one on people who have jumped me around a couple months ago. They recently moved really near me and I feel so angry as if I want to fight them. But I’m trying to control myself, I also feel unsafe, for me and family. What can I do?

    • How serious is the bad blood between you, Juana? Is it the kind of thing you could talk out (maybe with your family)? It’s possible a judge would approve an order, but you should understand that a court order is just some paper, and being publicly accused will make them hate you more. Also, the people you complain to the cops or courts about can complain to them about you.

    • Were you hurt?

  20. I’m a female with a restraining order on me in IL. I just dropped my exs domestic and op. He put one on me after he drove me to get an abortion claiming I falsified his charges when there’s hospital records. I blew up his phone worrying about him for several days. Do you know what they look for in Il hearings?

  21. I’ll try to keep this short.

    I moved out of my house 19 months ago. For the first 12, my wife and I were going to therapy and working on reconciling. She invited me to sleep at the house twice. On October 31st 2014 she told me she wanted to divorce. I resided in the house 2 separate times after that for about 7 days each when she went on business training. We have 2 small children. I go to the house regularly 2 days a week as I have been responsible for childcare those days from the time they were born. There has been nothing filed anywhere so far. I was given notice that I need to leave my apartment by months end. Due to significant financial distress and after consultation with my attorney I decided to move back in. I showed up last Friday with a suitcase, food and bedding. She went ballistic. She told me I am not moving back in. She threatened to try to have me arrested. She threatened to get a restraining order. All of this and more in front of my children – who got VERY distressed. She called the police. After having their legal department review it for over an hour, the police said I had the right to enter the house. She took my 2 kids and went to her mothers a few blocks away. Question 1 – I suspect she will at least follow through on her threat to try to get a restraining order – There has never been physical violence. I was even calm in the face of her angry intensity last Friday – her goal is to get me out of the house – 1) what is your opinion on the likelihood of her being able to do so? 2) This is not the first time she has spoken to me in a demeaning and/or angry way in front of my children (my therapist called it verbal disparity). I have notes of at least 3-4 times past and I recorded (audio) the events of last Friday. Do I have grounds to get a limited (not harass, etc) order against her? I am in Nassau County NY

    • To the best of my knowledge, H., protection orders are issued in New York either in conjunction with a criminal charge or in family court. You would take the latter route from what I understand.

      I’ve heard some New Yorkers describe a female domestic partner’s application for an order as a slam dunk, so I wouldn’t discount the likelihood. Also, if she’s out for blood, she could say anything, and there’s no standard of proof applied to petitions. They’re civil instruments. The standard, basically, is convincingness.

      I can’t recommend to you how to proceed, but I do know that being the first one up the courthouse steps often counts for a lot. An instrument you petitioned is one you could probably exercise some control over. For example, in New York, it’s possible for someone to have a protective order that doesn’t deny the defendant the right to cohabit. An instrument against you is one you could contest but probably not control. You could find yourself living in a shelter.

      Talking with your attorney before acting is never a bad idea.

      From what little I know of your situation, it sounds like you might have persuasive grounds. You could probably play the tape for the judge, describe your history and your wife’s volatility, and express your concern for your children. You could also consider witness testimony if applicable. I don’t know what a judge would allow, but if you decided to go to the courthouse, you’d probably be smart to have as well-fortified a case to make as possible. (FYI: you may mean “verbal disparagement.”)

      Finally, I can say with the authority of having listened to a lot of people’s stories that a wrathful woman seldom pulls her punches. I wouldn’t count on her cooling off. It sounds like she’d gladly have you removed from the picture and that divorce is probably an inevitability. My thought is since you’re more conscience-bound than she is, you ought to privilege your own interests. The ax can fall fast and hard, and accusers don’t second-guess themselves even when they know they acted in heat.

1 Trackback For This Post
  1. FILING FALSE PROTECTION ORDERS | scornedbutnotbeaten

    […] For a more complete description and discussion on the topic of restraining orders, check out Talking back to restraining orders. Using a protection order in this case should be illegal. The person doing this has perjured […]

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