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

255 Responses “What Is Restraining Order Abuse?” →
  1. Hello anyone out there that can help a man that is at the saddest hour of his life. For I feel life is not even worth living at this point due to the evil and malicious acts of my wife.
    We had been talking about a divorce for the last year and a half as we have been married for 4 years and been together since we were 22 for 16 long years. We have a 2 year old and 7 month old both baby boys. My wife has rage issues and extreme hormone issues I think PMSDD and she’s clearly depressed and I cannot help her anymore. When our marriage became a sexless one we agreed we were just roommates taking care of the children until we started our divorce. My wife was contacted by a jealous woman who wanted to destroy my life because I would not leave my wife to be with her. She told my wife all sorts of lies. They next day my wife filled for divorce but also filled a fake restraining order to ensure I burn in hell and its working.

    My wife did’t come home with the kids on Friday evening after picking them up from daycare. No calls, no answer, nothing. I called day care and I was advised that my wife picked the kids up with her mother around 4PM. We live in LA and her mother lives in Ohio so I was like her mother? I did’t know she was in town? Its now about 11:30 PM so I called the hotel her mother usually stays at around the corner on Sunset Blvd. My wife answers and says “my mother came in town to help us”, “she’s concerned about us”. I told her to bring the kids home because she didn’t pack and pampers, or a change of clothes for them. She said I’ll be home in the morning. Next day they still were missing, I left to run errands and my wife called about 6PM saying Im back home. When I got back home. They locks to my front door was changed. I bang on the door demanding to be let in my own house and see my boys. Her mother who was visiting said go away she doesn’t want you here. I called the cops and went downstairs to wait. When they arrived the cop instantly starting attacking me and beating me. I screamed I called you to help me get in my house! He was rude beat me and cuffed me then put me in the back of a patrol car, I was fin there for about 20 minutes. Finally I was let go un cuffed bleeding stepping our the police care and her mother is outside the police car and says you’ve been served and hands me a packet of paperwork. I thought wtf? a divorce cool no problem but it was a retraining order claiming I have did physical violence to my wife for years and years. I never ever breathed too hard on my wife so how could she say such claims??I lost my breath for a few seconds in disbelief.

    I had to leave my house as is, no money, in flip flops and shorts, no credit cards, no suits for work, no children, no food, nothing. I was threatened to be taking to jail if I even tried to call her or stopped and my boys daycare. My hearing wasn’t for another 25 days. I thought what can I do this is hell being homeless but most of all I am the full time dad and mom to our boys. I do all the cooking, cleaning, dishes, shopping, putting to bed, baths, everything. My wife have gave the boys a bath maybe 3 times in there entire lives. She wakes up at 6Am and leaves out the door while I wake up and bath the children, change pampers, fix breakfast, dress them, dress myself in a 3 piece suit and take them to daycare then work 11 hours at the office. My wife picks them up at 6PM from daycare then Im home at 7PM to fix dinner, put the children to bed, clean, and finally sit down about 11PM when my day is complete.

    I survived the 25 days of being homeless living in hotels and racking up around 12K in debt including a attorney for the hearing. The hearing was going great. My wife getting caught up in lies, backtracking, bringing up events where I may have pushed her on the bed in 2012, or I dropped a cup and she stepped on it in 2013, or I tell her im going to kill her everyday. yeah right! No proof, no police reports, no police calls, no nothing, no telling a friend just her words agains my words and phone records. I thought about all the women getting punched in the head, slapped in the mouth, and living in total fear of their husbands and how it must really suck to live like that. Then I starred at my wife on the stand lying about getting pushed on the bed years ago and that she was afraid of her life but still stayed in the house every night and ate my cooking, and commanded me to be her slave. The judge still sided with her and issued a permenate restrain order but now allowed me 18% visiting rights to my kids, my flesh and blood, my boys were drying to see daddy its been a month. No she’s getting child support too, I have 18% visitation and I cant even call my wife. I got a move out order but my wife and her mom made moving out hell and even called the cops because they thought I was taking so secret money stash in the house. I didn’t even collect my things before I was blocked in the driveway by my wife and her angry mother. I am a black man and the wife is white, it doesn’t go well for black men in my position. I never laid a finger on my wife and now after moving out I have my computer that I can access old text, pictures and support for my real hearing. She is crazy for sure and I have so much proof. Pictures, text, everything that I didn’t have before.

    I just had a chance to see my boys this last weekend on Sat and Sun from 6am-9pm. I cried like the world had giving me the moon when my 2 year old held on to my neck for 10 minutes and said “I miss you so much dada” I now feel so much anger and helplessness. It was heart wrenching that a woman could be this evil to take the boys away from a man like me. All the deadbeat dads and my kids are my only focus in my life. Im a CPA Accountant for a Corporation. My wife lied, lie after lie after lie on the stand and then even cried after lying she was not a professionally trained actress three times until my attorney asked “are you a paying member of the SAG organization” then she finally said “why yes I am” haha”

    Its killing me not to have any rights, I feel like my world have been turned upside down without my boys with me everyday. Im struggling still living in hotels blowing money left and right just to sleep, my car is full of clothes and legal cost are mounting. I feel like jumping off a bridge as the evil this woman has portrayed to me is irreversible. Now what do I do? I can’t take it im going to loose my mind and snap. Id rather she put a gun to my head and pull the trigger then to put me through lies and manipulation through the court and hurt my boys as they go insane when I have to drop them back to their mother. Its most disconcerting to listen to a 65 year old white judge tell me that I have 18% of my flesh and blood over he say she say not one ounce of proof at all. The judge was Judge B Scott Silverman Los Angeles Superior Court. Please help me God. Please Please Please.

    _Thank you for reading_

    The Man That’s Dying Slowly

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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