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

141 Responses “What Is Restraining Order Abuse?” →
  1. WOW just whaat I was searching for. Came here
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    Reply
  2. The abuse of restraining orders is not just limited to the USA. I am a second year law student in Cape Town South Africa. We dealt with this issue recently in a tutorial based on a local news story about two girls called Danielle Vermaas and Lauren Fine who tried to abuse the legal system. In this case the applicant for the restraining order committed perjury which in itself is a serious criminal offence and yet we were told that even when this happens criminal charges are never bought against the applicant. To add serious insult to injury apparently the person who has been unfairly accused is not entitled to get any of their costs reimbursed. I have copied in the story below. In this case it appears that the one girl Danielle Vermaas has become a little obsessed with a guy. The guy isn’t interested in her and she appears to have had some fun trying to punish him by getting hold of his girlfriend and lying to her claiming that he has cheated on her. When the guy finds out about the lie she tries to get a restraining order against him to discredit him so that his girlfriend won’t believe him. Apparently Danielle Vermaas changed her name when this story hit the streets. Perhaps if more men dealt with the abuse of restraining orders like this women would think twice before trying to abuse them.

    Story –

    When mild-mannered Bishops old boy Colin Chaplin told his friends that the surprise domestic-violence order the police had served on him at work was obtained by a woman he’d threatened to unfriend on Facebook, many found it hard to believe – there had to be a more serious reason. Even more bewildering to the 36-year-old Chaplin is that the purported victim – a woman with whom he’d “shared a kiss or two” in the space of a week, years ago – said she’d been advised to seek the order by his ex-girlfriend, well-known Cape Town attorney Lauren Fine.

    The spurned friend is fashion designer Danielle Vermaas, who uses the professional name of Danielle Margaux. Two years after his flirtation with Vermaas, Chaplin hooked up with Fine. Their six-month relationship ended amicably, he thought, in July last year.

    “I just want you to know that I have done a search on you and I’m very anxious because you and my ex-girlfriend have several Facebook friends in common.”

    The ease with which strangers can connect through mutual friends on Facebook – and the painful consequences for Colin Chaplin – are what prompt his anxious first words when he meets with Noseweek at a restaurant in Newlands, Cape Town.

    Although lawyer-talk first alerted Noseweek to the story, it took some sleuthing to identify Chaplin, and then numerous emails through an intermediary, to set up this meeting.

    Noseweek had been tipped off that two of Chaplin’s exes – Lauren Fine, a one-time ballerina and now a partner in a top Cape Town law firm, and Danielle Vermaas, a local designer who goes by the name of Danielle Margaux – had purportedly teamed up to have a Domestic Violence protection order slapped on him, on charges that were patently without substance.
    A domestic violence order is no trivial thing but lawyers, policemen and even magistrates have all contributed to trivialising it. (See editorial in this issue).

    Fine and her partners at well-known law firm Bernadt, Vukic, Potash and Getz have since been briefed about the facts of the case, but have refused to meet the victim of the outrage.

    Chaplin finally agreed to see Noseweek as a last resort in a system that has failed him. “I’ve exhausted every avenue to clear my name,” he says.

    After matriculating at Bishops, Chaplin went to England where he obtained an LLB (Hons) from the University of Buckingham. Back in Cape Town, he has for some years been working in the property development industry.

    His story:
    “Several years ago I met a girl called Danielle Vermaas at a dinner party. We became friends and kissed once or twice, but nothing serious happened between us. It was a very brief fling. I did not take it seriously from a romantic point of view. Quite simply, she is not my sort of woman.
    “After that and during early 2009, we remained friends. She’d sometimes visit me at my parents’ home and became very fond of my mother.”

    Might Vermaas have been under the impression they were in an exclusive relationship? “No. It was just a fun friendship,” Chaplin stresses.

    During the first half of 2009, Vermaas started “getting weird”, says Chaplin: sending him numerous emails, phoning regularly, and constantly sending Facebook messages.

    “[As a fashion designer], she would make me clothes, invite me to functions, cook food and show up at my flat with it, unannounced. I always turned her down.

    “In a nutshell, she was in love with me. I kept saying, I’m not interested. Basically, I was just trying to say f-off.”

    Towards the middle of 2009, Chaplin says he decided to start putting some “serious distance” between himself and Vermaas. He produces Facebook messages sent to him by Vermaas to demonstrate the point:

    On 15 March 2009 at 11.07pm: Hi there! How are you? I am lying in my bed and thinking…I miss you and miss having you in my life and I would love to have you back in it…I do have a lot of issues, I know, and I suppose I am a difficult woman at times…In the same breath, I could have made the biggest tit out of myself now, because you might have met someone else…Deep down inside I hope you miss me as much as I miss you!…I don’t want you to feel that I am pressurising you…

    On 21 April 2009: Hallo Col, you must think I am crazy…I just read the mail I sent you on Sunday and it was a bit intense…It feels like my life is falling apart …

    On 13 July, 2009: Col, I don’t understand why you don’t answer my emails. Have you thought about what I said? I really think we’d be great together.

    Later that day Chaplin replies: Hi Danielle, I feel we keep going over this. I think you keep misreading my friendship. I like you as a person but am just not interested in going out with you. Please just accept this as you are making things awkward. Colin.

    On 18 July, 2009, Vermaas writes: You are obviously very angry with me and have decided not to contact me at all. I, on the other hand, am not a person of a few words, as you very well know and have decided to mail you, because I know you won’t even pick up the phone if I try to call you. I should probably just let you be, but…I have gotten used to spending time with you… You always say I am needy. Perhaps, but it is because I feel like the outsider in your life, the one you keep at a distance…

    You’re probably thinking I’m some sort of psycho chick and that I keep contacting you in all sorts of ways, but… I do mean well…Hope to hear from you soon, Danielle x.

    Vermaas’s overtures continued, accelerating in November 2009 when Chaplin began a relationship with Fine. When he speaks about her, it’s easy to see that this was a woman who clearly meant something in Chaplin’s life. “We had our first date on 17 November. Lauren is beautiful and intelligent.”

    About a week after this first date, Vermaas arrived at a bar where Chaplin was having a drink with friends, and tried to speak to him.
    “She followed me home and insisted we talk. She asked me whether I was going out with Lauren Fine and then said she knew I was. She knew Lauren was Jewish and told me her father was Solomon Fine. I didn’t know what she was talking about. It turns out that Solomon Fine was Lauren’s grandfather. How Danielle came by this information, I don’t know. Danielle also made some derogatory remarks about Lauren being Jewish. It took quite an effort to get rid of Danielle that evening. I had to repeatedly ask her to leave.”

    “She started crying, and told me she loved me, saying she was going to leave the country as there was nothing left for her here. She continued to slag off Lauren, using anti-Semitic comments.”

    The next day, a somewhat freaked-out Chaplin removed Vermaas as a friend on Facebook.

    On 30 November, Vermaas writes: Hey Col, I am sorry for the things I said about your new girlfriend the other night. I just think you need to know that this girl is not for you. This relationship will not last. She is a Jew and they will not accept you. They are not like us. Lauren Fine, sy klink soos ’n Jood. I am telling you this because you need to know. Danielle.

    The next day Chaplin responds: You need to leave me alone and stop saying bad things about my girlfriend – she has done nothing to you.

    After their showdown in November, Vermaas slowed down contact with Chaplin for a while, but a month or two later, she started sending more emails and Facebook messages.

    “The tone was friendly – she claimed she wanted to be friends. She sent me a Facebook friend request [again], which I accepted. During December 2009 and January 2010, she made contact again. I did not respond as I was really in love with Lauren and did not think much about Danielle. She contacted me a few times in 2010 It all seemed harmless.”

    For example on 1 January 2010, at 4.28pm, Vermaas writes: Hi Colin, haven’t spoken to you in a while and I thought it well to wish you all the best of luck for 2010…and especially with you starting a new job on Monday…good luck! I know that you will make a great success of it….

    Chaplin and Fine dated from November 2009 until the end of June 2010, when they split up. He stresses that it was an amicable parting: that she had wanted “space”.

    “There were no bad feelings between us. Everything was cool. In fact, she susequently sometimes asked me for my help, which I gave her freely.”

    When her mother was diagnosed with a serious illness a few weeks later, Colin was among the first she told, and he was there to support her.

    But this is where it gets really weird, he relates.

    “In early August 2010, a month-or-so after his relationship with Fine ended, Vermaas started “causing problems again” on Facebook. This included sending friendship requests to female friends on his site. “They would call me, asking who is Danielle Vermaas? Why does she want to be my friend? I sent her an SMS asking her to stop, or I would remove her as a friend from Facebook. I felt she was up to no good.”

    It gets weirder, he says, because, within a week, Fine suddenly blocked him on Facebook.

    “I sent her an SMS asking why she had done this, but she did not respond.”

    Chaplin suspected that, some time between 6 and 12 August, Vermaas used Facebook to establish that Chaplin and Fine were no longer dating, that she then contacted Fine with the intention of causing trouble and driving a final wedge between them. [He would be proved correct – but that only comes later – Ed].

    “Whatever Danielle told her, Lauren did not check with me whether what she had been told was true. I was confused and hurt as I couldn’t think of anything I had done wrong to her.”

    Chaplin, in the meantime, had maintained a friendship with Fine’s mother. “I would occasionally call on her – always by prior appointment – to take some flowers or just for a chat. She is a Mills & Boon addict. I started writing a Mills & Boon-type romance and would take bits of the manuscript to her for proofing; really just to entertain her.”

    On 27 September 2009 he arranged to visit Fine’s mother and took her some fluffy white slippers and some bath salts. He hadn’t visited in the previous three weeks, prompting her to ask whether he’d been away.

    “She asked if it was true I’d been dating another girl at the same time I was dating Lauren. She named Danielle Vermaas. I denied it emphatically. I explained that I’d had issues with Danielle before and that I’d always loved Lauren.”

    Now he knew for certain that Danielle had contacted Lauren.
    And, within no time he also knew that Lauren had rushed to tell Danielle that he knew. Because, within an hour they’d spoken to each other.

    Within an hour of his visit to Mrs Fine, Chaplin received a hostile message from Lauren Fine – the first communication he’d had from her since her birthday three weeks earlier: “It’s time to move on now and leave me and my family alone. Please don’t contact me and my family again!”

    (Later that evening, Lauren Fine SMSed him again: “Hi Colin. I apologise for my earlier SMS. I am really not in a good space. I do, however, think it is best for you to move on.”)

    Next day, it was Vermaas sending Chaplin and his mother an SMS, asking to meet. (She also got a friend to ring his mother with the same message.) All these messages were ignored. But that was hardly reason to anticipate the shock of what came next.

    Three days later Chaplin got a call from the manageress at his office: the police had called, looking for him.

    For an outstanding parking ticket?

    No, much more serious. In fact, the office manageress told him, the police had warned her that he was to be considered dangerous. They wished to serve a restraining order on him in terms of the Domestic Violence Act.

    Danielle Vermaas had filed for a protection order (a kinder title for the same thing) against him on the 28 September – the day after Mrs Fine had revealed to him that Vermaas had contacted her daughter and had claimed he’d been double-dating them.

    “The day before she filed for the order against me, she wanted to meet me. It was the most bizarre thing. When she filed for the restraining order, she told the police that I was to be considered violent. She gave them my work number and my work address. The police then made several phone calls to my office.

    “My head just spun.”

    Chaplin runs through the haze of what ensued over the next few days. His employers said they were concerned about how clients would react to the information. “I didn’t make a big deal of it. I just quietly left. What was I going to do?

    “I then had to present myself at the Cape Town Police Station with my parents to sign for receipt of the order.
    “I looked at Danielle’s statement and couldn’t believe my eyes. It was all bullshit. The reasons she gave for wanting the restraining order were that I was a dishonest person who did not pay tax to SARS. She then cited an SMS from two months earlier, in which I threatened to remove her as a friend on Facebook if she did not leave me alone.”

    He continues: “It was insane. There was one other thing: at the bottom of the application, she said the reason she was filing was that she had been advised to do it by my ex-girlfriend, Lauren Fine. I can’t describe how I felt. It made no sense.

    “So now I have no job, somebody has a restraining order against me for no reason, and I hear that my ex-girlfriend, someone I’ve only ever been kind to, is involved.”

    Danielle Vermaas’s application for a protection order – Noseweek has obtained a copy – is too long to reproduce here. Some excerpts:

    A few weeks ago he sent me a sms saying “stop this facebook crap with La. If I find anyone on her site tmrw who is not meant to be there my reaction will be extreme.” … on the 12th August 2010 one sms read (because I did not respond): “Call me in the next 5 mins or I am removing you permanently.”
    I received a call from Lauren Fine…She is a lawyer…She suggested a restraining order.
    I am an honest and trustworthy person who does not manipulate people. He is not an honest person as he does not pay taxes to SARS.
    Please grant a restraining order, because he clearly despises me and I am scared.

    Based on this affidavit, Magistrate Van der Spuy granted an interim protection order against Chaplin on 29 September. It reads, in part: “The respondent [Chaplin] is ordered not to commit the following acts of domestic violence: verbal, emotional, psychological abuse; not to harass, intimidate the applicant…not to communicate with the applicant at all, except through the courts or legal representatives”.

    The order had been granted without notice and without Chaplin having been given a hearing – a fact that irks him about the nature of restraining orders and the ease with which they are granted. “It’s bizarre. The man is simply presumed guilty. It’s a case of ‘better safe than sorry’.”

    Confused, but determined to get to the bottom of things, Chaplin contacted law firm Abrahams and Gross for advice. The attorneys took one look at the affidavit and told Chaplin he had a serious problem.

    “They said there were no grounds for a restraining order, but that it was essential to get it dismissed as soon as possible. They said that Vermaas could try to deliberately manufacture a breach of the order which would mean I could be arrested and go to jail.

    “My lawyers filed an opposing affidavit. It was quite simple – address each lie and show that the last contact you had with her was two months before she filed.”

    Chaplin was able to provide tax records to show that, in fact, he had overpaid tax and had actually received a refund from SARS.

    Chaplin’s answering affidavit is also in Noseweek’s possession.
    Excerpts include: “The application is… ill-fated and amounts to a mockery of the true objectives of the Domestic Violence Act…Applicant and I never lived together in a relationship or partnership of any sort. [She] was merely a friend like all the other male and female friends that I have… [If] the scope of the Domestic Violence Act were to extend to an area as in this case…any confrontation in the normal scope of a friendship could be construed as domestic violence, with absurd consequences.”

    His answering affidavit details how Vermaas sent “friend” requests to Chaplin’s friends on Facebook, which prompted him to tell her, in August 2010, that he was “permanently removing” her as a friend on Facebook. He says, “It is astonishing to note how the Applicant is distorting the true facts by using the phrase to mean that I have committed some sort of Domestic Violence against her”.

    A lawyer from Abrahams and Gross attended the magistrate’s court, where he served the opposing affidavit on Vermaas.

    Chaplin’s attorneys said they wanted to move to a court date. That was when Vermaas said that she wanted none other than Lauren Fine to represent her. Chaplin’s attorney reported: “[This} will be a complete disaster simply because Ms Fine will be a witness in the matter and I can see no reason why Ms Fine will want to get involved. Ms Vermaas also indicated that her main concern was that our client [Chaplin] was badmouthing her in and around the Jewish community from which she obtained most of her work.”

    The next court date was set down, for 3 November last year, which left Chaplin with the interim order hanging over him and the cost of yet another court appearance.

    On the return date, Vermaas showed up with an attorney – not Fine – and changed her tune once again. “Now she was asking for a restraining order requiring me to stop stalking her.”

    Chaplin laughs bitterly: “I don’t even know where she lives or works and hadn’t seen her in 11 months. She just wanted me to be found guilty of something”.
    Chaplin received the following confirmation from family law attorney Bertus Preller on November 3: “I wish to confirm that Ms Vermaas has withdrawn her application. Initially she wanted an apology and an agreement that you won’t stalk her in future, which we naturally refused and we demanded that the matter go to trial, however, her attorney backed off and withdrew the application.”

    When the attorneys phoned him with the good news that the application had been withdrawn, Chaplin heaved a sigh of relief. “I thought, phew, it’s all gone away.”

    Chaplin goes on: “So, the application is dismissed, she walks out. At this stage, one side of me is relieved, as the stalker girl is gone, but another part of me feels aggrieved. Firstly, I had incurred unnecessary legal costs – I had stopped counting at R20,000. Secondly, I was furious that an unsubstantiated order had been brought against me by ‘a woman scorned’ who lied to the court, and thirdly, I could not understand why Lauren Fine had become involved. I could not think of a single thing I had done against her. The only thing I was guilty of was doing good things for her and her family. In return, she branded me with the stigma of a domestic violence charge which never goes away. People just think that you go around beating up women.”

    Two weeks ago, Chaplin asked a woman out. “She had heard this story that I threaten women. Cape Town is a small place.”

    He can’t imagine having a normal life and a normal relationship. “To be honest, women scare the shit out of me at the moment. I have no plans to date any women for the foreseeable future.”
    Asked for comment on how on earth Chaplin had an interim protection order slapped against him on the basis of that application, Magistrate Van der Spuy referred Noseweek to Linda Unuvar, Judicial Head of the Family Court in Cape Town. While reluctant to comment on an individual case, Unuvar said:

    “This is an affidavit. [In Danielle Vermaas’s case, it appears to have been an unsigned statement. – Ed.] If a person takes an oath and says I have been threatened, and claims that someone is calling her at all hours and upsetting her emotionally, that is harassment. If she says under oath that any act of domestic violence is committed, the court must grant an interim protection order. That includes harrassment, intimidation, unwanted calling or SMSing. Even if such harassment is the only complaint, it still warrants an order.”

    Unuvar said that once the order is served on the respondent, “the respondent can come to court and say, ‘this was served on me and it is not true, I want to bring the return date forward within 24 hours’. We give him the earliest available date. If it is urgent, we will hear it”.

    Unuvar said there would have been nothing stopping someone in Chaplin’s position from asking for a counter order against his accuser and saying that in fact, he was the one being emotionally abused. “He would have had that right. He should have anticipated the hearing and asked the court for a protection order against her. We would have had a hearing within a few days.”
    Unuvar stressed that protection orders are not granted if the court is not satisfied that some form of domestic violence has been committed. “If an interim order is granted, and, on the return date, the court is not satisfied, it will not confirm the order.”

    Abuse of the system is the exception, she added. “We are all trained and experienced magistrates, but we do not know whether somebody is lying under oath.”

    Vermaas had this to say to Noseweek: “I have spoken to my lawyer and have decided not to comment. I am very busy and am not going to invest any time in this.”

    And Lauren Fine? She agreed to meet a reporter from Noseweek at a coffee shop near her office, and arrived accompanied by her colleague, Mia Gibson. The answers she gave to Noseweek’s questions do not always tally with the documentary evidence that Noseweek has seen, and were aimed at generally discrediting Chaplin, while minimising the interaction she’d had with Vermaas and her role in the latter’s application for the protection order.

    The closest Fine had got to giving Chaplin an explanation for her involvement in Vermaas’s application came in a letter she wrote to his mother shortly after the order was granted. Some extracts:
    “I am sure you can understand the tension it caused when he would visit my mother and she would not tell me that he’d visited. I would hear from Trayer (my mother’s domestic worker) that he had visited and what had been said. I did not make a big deal out of this as I didn’t want to upset my mother and I assumed Colin was visiting with only good intentions.

    “On 28 September I phoned home only to be told by Trayer that Colin was there again and talking to my mother about me. This upset me, as my mother had mentioned the day before that having visitors was very tiring. …When I came home … my mother confirmed … that Colin had made certain derogatory remarks about Danielle, which I do not believe to be true.

    “Since I had been advised by Danielle that Colin had threatened her in the past – and I now knew he was aware that she and I had made contact… I did telephone Danielle, and I told her that if Colin were to threaten her with any further legal action, she should contact me to discuss it.

    “Danielle advised me that she was scared Colin would harm her and she was thinking of taking out a restraining order… I advised her (as I would with anyone) that if she genuinely felt threatened… then she should get a restraining order. She asked me to assist her and I told her that she should ask the police…
    “I am certain that the contents of this email…will be upsetting to you. I have not forgotten the beautiful things that Colin has done for my family and me, but I have had equally numerous unpleasant experiences involving Colin…

    “Wishing you and Colin only the best. Lauren.”

    Now, she told Noseweek that he was “weird”, that friends had told her he was an alcoholic (she confirmed that he had never consumed alcohol or smoked in her presence throughout their relationship in deference to her wishes, but now believed this to be a sign that he was “obsessive”); she said he was a “stalker” since friends had told her they had seen him “lurking” near her office and she believed she had seen him “lurking” downstairs from her Sea Point apartment; that he kept visiting her mother “day and night” just to irritate her [Lauren]; that she had shown his “Mills and Boon” manuscript to a psychologist and a psychiatrist she knew and they had both described it as “abnormal, verging on psychotic”. [She sent us a copy, which I read in lurid anticipation, only to find it pretty harmless, even good, as Mills and Boon novels go. My diagnosis: that psychologist and psychiatrist must be “verging on the psychotic” – Ed.]

    But, she emphasised, what really upset her were Chaplin’s “endless” lies. [i.e. don’t believe anything he tells you? – Ed.]
    Did she herself have any reason to believe he might be violent? “Yes.” Why? “When he got angry, he would just get up and leave.”

    Later Fine would add to the list that a “good friend” had recently told her Chaplin had plans to abduct her.

    Chaplin’s retort: “What am I supposed to do with her, once I’ve abducted her? It is becoming increasingly clear that in order to justify what she did last year, she has attacked my character by spreading rumours and lies about me. I have now been accused by Lauren of being a liar, capable of irrational behaviour, an alcoholic, a cheating bastard and most recently an abductor. The last is just ludicrous.”

    And what about Danielle Vermaas? Noseweek asks Fine.

    “She contacted me on Facebook and we arranged to meet. We compared notes and worked out that Colin had been cross-dating us. She told me Colin had sent her a “weird” sms threatening that if she did not leave me alone, I [Lauren] was going to bring court applications against her. [Vermaas has not produced any evidence to support this allegation. – Ed.]
    “I told her, if he threatens you like that, rather phone and ask me what the true position is.”

    Fine explained her involvement in Vermaas’s protection order. “Danielle called me on my cell phone when I was in the car rushing to Rondebosch to attend the HPCSA hearing of Sylvia Ireland’s former psychiatrist, Dr Berrard. She told me that Colin had threatened her – I wasn’t interested how – and that she was really frightened. She asked if she could get a restraining order. I said yes, if you’re scared. She asked if I could help her, but I said no, I don’t practise criminal law and I don’t want to get involved. I wouldn’t know where to start. I suggested she go to the police. It’s the advice I would have given to anyone.”

    That was it? All on the spur of the moment?

    “That was it.”

    Surely the evidence suggests Vermaas had been “stalking” Chaplin, rather than the other way around? “Yes, they’re both weird. I want nothing more to do with either of them.”

    Fine told Noseweek that Chaplin had given lawyer Mia Gordon copies of several of these illicitly obtained Facebook printouts. But, she said, she was not at liberty to show them to us as they were the subject of a police investigation. The police, she added ominously, believe they know the address from which the Facebook interloper operated.

    Matters get stranger still: between February and May this year, Fine’s Facebook friends started receiving abusive messages about her, all emanating from Vermaas’s Facebook address. A sample: “How’s your stupid Jewish friend now. She’s a loser.”

    She addressed a lawyer’s letter to Vermaas demanding that she immediately stop sending these messages and threatening court action.

    Vermaas’s lawyers responded by saying that someone had pirated Vermaas’s Facebook site and that her friends, too, had been receiving abusive messages. And that she had already reported the matter to the police.

    So who’s up to no good now? And who’s trying to mislead whom?

    Reply
    • Thanks, Nicole, and good luck with your studies. It’s cool to hear from a female law student who’s morally outraged by these travesties, which I’m sure are universal. Certainly there are outspoken critics of them in England and Canada, besides in the U.S.

      I put up a post about this story (only citing a few passages from it) but didn’t use the full names of the parties involved (I’m not a lawyer, so I’m leery of liability): “‘Women scare the sh— out of me’: When Restraining Orders Are Petitioned by Female Stalkers against Men Who Treat Them Sensitively.

      Worse yet than what you’re told in class is that perjury often succeeds, which means this “serious criminal offense” not only goes unpunished; it’s rewarded. I’m sure you appreciate that this case was only brought to your attention because it was investigated by a reputable news source and published.

      At least one American lawyer has voiced frustration on this blog with how offhand superficial or false allegations are accepted and validated (actually naming local judges whose rulings s/he was disgusted with), and many attorneys’ websites acknowledge restraining orders are used falsely and may attract plaintiffs who are mentally aberrant.

      The Cape Town judge quoted in the story admits that orders like this are basically issued automatically (ask and ye shall receive) and that judges don’t know whether petitioners are lying. Implicit in her statement is that no proof positive of anything is required.

      I don’t know what standard of evidence is applied to restraining order trials in South Africa, but here it’s discretionary. Whether orders are “affirmed” or “dismissed” just depends on how the judge feels about the plaintiff’s claims and what his or her sense of the plaintiff’s sincerity is—and since 1994, our federal government has passed legislation approving the appropriation of billions of tax dollars to be devoted to “training” our police officers and even our judges how to act (namely to treat allegations of abuse made by women as urgent and legitimate). This isn’t called prejudicing judges, because the government is the entity doing the prejudicing. Judges are in a sense literally bought. Grants are awarded to courts in return for their officers’ submitting to reeducation. Sounds like the stuff of conspiracy nuts, but it’s all done out in the open.

      Colin, the man in the story, was able to get representation. Most defendants can’t afford it and may not understand the need. No one goes into a courtroom after being issued one of these orders understanding how accelerated and biased the procedures associated with them are. They assume (reasonably) that they have rights, that the truth will prevail, etc.

      Here’s a story I just read by an American psychologist who advocates for men (who are usually the victims of procedural abuses): “In His Own Words: Dangerous Crazy Bitch Ahead.” At the end, it features a description of an abused man’s being castigated by a judge for introducing allegations against a patently disturbed woman.

      Reply

  3. Darwin Enicks

    November 11, 2014

    How can I fight an order? It’s in place. My divorce attorney didn’t give me proper guidance. Ex used it maliciously. It was false. Lies used to obtain. No evidence. Only a statement that I made a comment. She was “afraid”. No witnesses. Now haven’t seen daughter for over a year.

    Reply
    • Successfully fighting a restraining order typically depends on acting fast. Whatever you did now, you’d almost certainly need representation to ensure it had a chance at succeeding. For that reason, you’d probably be smart to call around and talk to some attorneys to discover if there’s one in your area who thinks s/he could help. Google might be of use, too. You’re bound to be more discriminating now that you’ve seen how legal games are played.

      Reply
  4. Can somebody please help me? A relative of mine was being harassed by a psycho ex girlfriend. After suggesting he get an order of protection against her for having people stalk him on her behalf, she filed one against him based on false claims of physical abuse! The judge ruled in her favor at the hearing, even though she brought no evidence, and couldn’t even remember the story she wrote in the initial temporary order when speaking to the judge! Now my relative has an ACTUAL record! He lives in fear that she or her friends will break into his apartment! Now that the judge ruled against him (she was female, by the way), what can we do?????????????????

    Reply
    • 1. If it’s at all possible, secure the services of an attorney. The protection order can be appealed to the next highest court. A new trial could even be requested if a lawyer determined there were grounds (like demonstrable fraud). If it’s not possible to hire an attorney, the order could still be appealed by the defendant (the odds of success just diminish significantly).

      2. Keep a log of all future incidences: trespassing, contacts of any kind, conversations on social media between the accuser and her friends, etc. Document anything that can be documented (that is, get any proof that’s available, be it records, photos, video, or whatever).

      3. Consider what witness corroboration may exist to substantiate the “psycho” behavior (that is, who else might be able to testify).

      When an abuser preemptively gets a restraining order (and especially when the abuser is a woman), it’s very hard to convince a judge of the truth after the fact. New evidence, though, might be grounds to get a restraining order—for example, if the woman and her friends did break into his apartment or even just threatened to. Your relative could still petition a restraining order even if no new abuses occur; it’s just less likely that a judge would approve it owing to the existence of the one against him (especially if he tells the judge there’s an order against him).

      Reply
  5. I have a restraining order against me from having any kind of contact with my ex girlfriend but we have been seeing eachother trying to work things out. Now we are no longer talking to eachother, will I get into trouble if she tells authorities that we previously had contact? Contact, meaning…
    Dating and dinners.
    I have records of text messages between us but im afraid of her filing a complaint of me breaking the restraining by having contact with her.

    Reply
    • Your concern’s a legitimate one, and if the restraining order was only one-way (i.e., if you were the only party “restrained”), then you would be the party at fault (exclusively). The real horror with these orders is that if someone’s feeling vengeful, they’re the easiest thing in the world to manipulate. She could say anything.

      It might be smart to “ride out” the term of the injunction (even then claims can be made, and it can be renewed). Hang on to all evidence you have that supports that the violation was with the plaintiff’s consent (texts, emails, phone records, receipts, photos, etc.).

      If it’s feasible, it’s never a bad idea to talk to an attorney. I don’t know what one could do for you in this situation, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask.

      It’d be great if you and you ex could bury the hatchet and get the system out of your lives even if you never talk to each other again.

      Reply
      • About 2 weeks ago, I sent her flowers (love) and she texted me saying she has a boyfriend now and im harassing her. Once I received that message, I have had NO communication with her in any way. Once I read the words harassing, that was a clear sign to completely back off. I plan on contacting a lawyer this week on this subject, in fear of charges being filed against me.

        Reply
        • Women have this bratty idea that they can do this, and it’s no big deal.

          You’re in various police databases already because of the order she apparently got for no reason. She said she was afraid of you in a courthouse then let you buy her dinner?

          Chances are she wouldn’t hesitate to complain to the authorities or a judge again, which could mean you were jailed this time.

          There’s no way you can backpedal from violating the court’s order, really, but maybe she’ll leave things be. Avoidance and distance is a good idea. Talking to a lawyer is smart, too, so you know your options and vulnerabilities.

          Reply

          • Anonymous

            November 2, 2014

            Yes, the court granted her a restraining order. I have weekly visitation visits for our 3 yr old son. Seeing eachother during our exchange brought us closer each week. It went from talking about our sons daily needs during his time with me, to talks about us and before I knew it, we were texting eachother daily and then eventually having dinner dates. I have all of our text messages and videos of her spending my birthday with me, a video of our complete family celebrating our 3 yr olds birthday together and another video of us having a family dinner at Applebee’s.
            Now does this sound like someone who fears me???

            Reply
            • It’s sad she wouldn’t have just moved the court to vacate the order. This kind of selfishness is sickening. I don’t know what an attorney could actively do for you, but you might consider asking whether s/he (the lawyer) couldn’t propose to your son’s mom that she have the order dismissed. If there haven’t been any allegations of child abuse, this can be a simple and noninvasive matter. She got the order; she can have it rescinded just as easily by filing a motion at the courthouse.

              Reply
  6. I recently had a roommate place a stalking TPO placed on me and a dispossessory mearly to have me and my 11 year old son removed from premises for no other reasons that she wanted us to leave. It cost me over $1,000 to be displaced with 15 minutes to pack a suitcase. After 2 months, the TPO was dismissed and I was awarded $630 for “relief” with the dispossessory.
    This still does not relieve the embarissment and mental anguish my disabled son and I have suffered at the hands of mad woman.

    Reply
    • Hi Steph,
      I certainly understand the mental anguish …mine came with a huge dose of humiliation. And it’s not just females. I am female and 51 yr. old. Two years ago my own sister and mother were granted ex-parte PPO on me. I fought till I had nothing left. Judge didn’t care. He didn’t even know MI law…WTF. My attorney objected on record…and still nothing. Hang tough and come back soon…I will write my story of injustice.

      Reply
    • Do I have this right? A woman who’s roommates with a woman accuses her roommate of “stalking” and has her and her disabled child evicted?

      Reply

  7. Jennifer R

    October 21, 2014

    I have a friend that has been married two and a half years. HIS FIRST INJUNCTION was made only five months after they were married. MY boy friend and I met Tim and Sara out one night in November. IT was my first time meeting Sara. I liked her actually. She was funny, outgoing and nice. AT FIRST . As the drinks went down, her attitude changed, right into a straight bully to Tim. AT the place we were at, she threw a drink in his face, still wondering why two years later, and badgering him. WE all decided to go back to their house, and my guy and I were hoping this wouldn’t escalate anymore. We got to their house, AND YEP, IT DID ESCALATE. ONLY BY ONE PERSON….SARA.. ..SO Tim went to the garage, where he spoke with Randy to just start out of sight. She and I were in the other room, where I just tried to get her attention elsewhere. SHE PACED, kept going to the garage, commenting on nothing TO DO WITH ANYTHING, JUST to be mean, slamming doors. The more he stayed away, the angrier she got. After awhile, Randy and I had to leave, it was way into the middle of the night. I wish now we hadn’t. Soon to find out, she put a domestic violence order in play, stating she woke up in the middle of night and found Tim in the garage choking the dog, then she stated, that he came in after her, threw her across the room , in which broke her tail bone. HE THEN kicked the phone out of her hand, leaving her last there in horrible pain, on the floor for an hour and a half.. THERE IS NOT ONE DOCTOR CLAIM EVER, HOSPITAL BILL EVER AND THAT’S BECAUSE IT NEVER HAPPENED, NONE OF IT, which THE EVER PART IS UP NEXT.. SINCE THEN, SHE VIOLATED HIM OVER A PHONE CALL ON THE DAY ACTUALLY 45 minutes before , the hearing, he was arrested, as soon as the 4 Minute hearing was over. She asked the court the weeks later to remove the order. IT WAS GRANTED, BUT IT’S ON HIS RECORD, HE WENT TO JAIL, AND COURT AS THEY CONTINUED TO LIVE TOGETHER.. TRUST ME, I WOULD HAVE NOT STATED WITH HER OUT ANYONE THAT DID THAT TO ME, TIM DID… NOW, he is in jail, fire the last four months two years AFTER THE FIRST CLAIM, NO FALSE CLAIM SHE MADE, with aggravated stalking charges. HE IS FACING TWO YEARS IN PRISON. HE IS A GODLY MAN, WHO LOVES HIS WIFE. WHAT THE HELL FOR? You GOT ME. HE LISTENED TO EVERYTHING SHE TOLD HIM. He believed her the second time she put in a junction, WHEN SHE SAID YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO TOMORROW, IT’S GONNA BE DROPPED.. AND SHE WASN’T GOING EITHER..WELL SHE did go, and he did go, but late, after a friend’s said ” get your as up there Tim”. He went, late. She WAS THERE. SHE CAME OUT AND SAID IT WAS BEING STORED AND HE COULD BACK TO WORK.. TIM IS AN IDIOT . I’M SORRY, BE IS AND I KNOW Y’ALL ARE THINKING IT TO.LOL.. SO HE DID, HE LEFT. WANT DROPPED.. AND SHE HAD HIM VIOLATED ONCE AGAIN, THE DAY THEY WERE PACKED AND READY TO MOVE TO MISSISSIPPI, WHERE HE WAS TRANSFERRED WITH HIS CURRENT JOB. ALONG WITH HIS BELONGINGS AND MAIL. THAT MORNING SHE TOLD HIM “don’t bother going to get the last of the storage stuff, your going to jail today and not going with me and her daughter, and Don’t worry, you’ll be out by Tuesday, laughed and said we won’t be here. TWO HOURS LATER, HE WAS IN JAIL FOR CALLING HER. THAT’S WHEN I STOPPED IN . IT’S BEEN Literally a full time job for two months. I HAVE THE PHONE SHE, in which she forgot to get sold off and erase the messages so she could lie even more like she did on her phone. I HAVE THE CALL LOG AND TEXTS, ALL 43 calls she made to him, the last four days of his freedom, he was living with her, he had thought the injunction was dismissed. I have records showing she rented a car after injunction, to go to MISSISSIPPI to get a new house with him, the record of the accident they got into while there, AND MORE, MUCH MORE. HIS MISTAKE. HE CALLED HER IN JAIL. CONFUSED, HEART BROKEN, HIS WHOLE LIFE JUST TAKEN FROM HIM. IT’S SO BREATH TAKINGLY SO SAD, MAKING US FURIOUS, WE HAVE BEEN NONE STOP, TRYING TO GET ANYONE TO TELL US, someone that matters to free him anyway. ” Ok YOUR RIGHT she’s malicious and ok, let’s redo all this.. Let’s hold Sara responsible for making false allegations.. ANYTHING BUT THAT..WE ARE TOLD, HE SHOULDN’T HAVE CALLED.. WWWHHHAATTT? Are you kidding? I want to throw my phone, bust something, scream when I am told that, and its been at least 15 times from people in higher authority.. Please help, cuz I am not gonna stop trying, for him, and for other men.. This town is biased.. And he’s gonna go to prison, I’d I don’t get some real advice that’s solid. And my thoughts on to TIM STAYING? I WANT TO KICK HIS AS, BUT HE’S GETTING A HORRIBLE BAD LESSON , I DON’T NEED TO STATE MY OPINION TO HIM OR THROW IT IN HIS FACE. PLease help me

    Reply
    • An attorney might be able to unsnarl some of this, Jennifer. Don’t invest in one or let your friend invest in one, though, unless you’re confident he or she can help.

      The woman you’re describing is an example of what’s called a “high-conflict person” or “disordered personality” (often these terms are synonymous). People like this usually aren’t “crazy”; they’re volatile, self-focused, and intensely invested in blaming, exacting revenge, etc. Probably the side of her you’ve seen wasn’t visible when she and her husband were courting. It emerged.

      Did you ever see that TV show “The Incredible Hulk”: “You don’t want to make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry”? These people know how to act to attract, but they don’t have any empathy, and they lie easily, impulsively, and well. Often it’s not even “real lies” that they tell; they just imply. They spin facts. They think emotionally, and they think in black and white. If they want someone to like them, they fawn, flirt, and win over; if they stop caring what someone thinks or resent what someone thinks, they go cold.

      Not all disordered personalities attack. Often they take out targets of spite or wrath by bad-mouthing them to others. Court processes that punish based on nothing more than superficial accusations fit perfectly with their m.o.’s. If you hadn’t seen this woman’s behavior yourself, even you might have been persuaded by her claims. People like her are very good manipulators.

      We’re all so conditioned to perceive men as “bad” that women who want to manipulate the truth have a very easy time of it. They don’t really have to make up much to implicate a man as violent or dangerous.

      The procedures the woman in your story abused are half-assed under the best of circumstances. Cops, judges, and district attorneys have had it impressed upon them that the priority is to prosecute, blame, and incarcerate. It’s not about the truth; it’s about what they can make stick—mostly against men who’ve been accused of violence or even just the threat of it. Almost anything can be made to sound sinister when it’s described by someone who’s saying (or implying) she’s afraid.

      Like I think you mention, hearings to give an accused person a chance to defend him- or herself may be just a few minutes long. They’re shams.

      I’ve defended myself with the same sort of evidence you have (phone calls, texts, emails). If there’s not an attorney arguing their importance, and a judge isn’t worried about a case being overturned by the court of appeals and an embarrassing opinion emerging, he or she may just blow them off. District attorneys and judges are often more politician than defenders of truth, justice, and the American way. They do what makes the system look good and what makes them look good, and they don’t want to invite more work by recognizing on record that lies have been told.

      The evidence you have may be grounds for an appeal, a motion for a new trial, or a lawsuit. Your friend will have to get representation, though. That’s critical.

      Probably a family/divorce attorney would be the person to start with. One who’s worth his or her salt will be familiar with the “blame game.” This kind of sh— goes on all the time. Lawyers report it’s almost standard procedure in divorces and custody battles.

      I’d recommend you do a Google search. Use terms like “family law,” “divorce,” “false accusations” (or “false allegations”), “custody,” and your hometown, and see who pops up.

      It’s really good of you to defend your friend. No one in the system is going to give a damn.

      I wish I could tell you there’s a way you could bring the evidence you have to light without spending money, but I’ve never heard of it happening after this much has gone down.

      Reply
      • WOW!!!!! I could not agree with you more. That exact same thing happened to me. I had concrete evidence my sister was lying. The judge didn’t care….We are supposed to look to those in such a position to KNOW the laws. Bull….they don’t know sh**. I had case law also. He didn’t care. The saying “to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” is the biggest line of bullsh*t I have ever heard. Our judicial system sucks….it has nothing to do with right or wrong. It has everything to do with what side of the bed the judge got up on. I would love nothing more than to call these people out. But…….it would take huge amounts of money I don’t have. Now, what’s wrong with that picture???? The liars and thieves are winning. Someday I’ll write a book about nonsense…this part will go in my chapter “Crock of Crap”.

        Reply
        • If you need someone to write a forward to your book, K., I can hook you up.

          Reply
          • LOL…I might take you up on that. Soon, I will find the time to sit and write my whole story. Like most all on here it is ridiculously unbelievable! The saddest part is the beginning, which was my beautiful 17 yr. old niece committing suicide by hanging. This is when my nightmare began. I’ll chat soon.

            Reply
            • If you’d like to publish the basics of your story here (and could stand an editor’s intrusions), you’re welcome to. Some of the most trafficked posts on the blog are about individual’s stories.

              Reply
              • I really need a ghost writer…I have had some unfortunate issues in the past few years. The only mental relief has been to make some (not all) funny. Even my Dr. said…K you should write a book about this some day. Hmmm..now that I’m broke (legal fees) perhaps I should entertain that. LOL

                Reply
                • Probably your story would have to be pretty compelling to interest a publisher, but you never know. A teaser posted here with the nuts and bolts would be something you could direct an agent’s attention to. A lot of agents accept emailed submissions these days. And it’s a lot smarter to get an agent’s approval before starting on a big project. Unless you’re just writing to get the poison out.

                  Reply

  8. Blindsided in Michigan

    October 17, 2014

    My fiance’s ex-husband filed an ex-parte false PPO against me in Michigan. I am in the process of appealing. Today, he began driving by my house slowly, and even pulled in when he knew he was not picking his kids up at my house. My question is whether or not until I am granted a hearing, do I have to leave my home when I know he is coming to pick up his kids?

    Reply
    • Does the order specify that you keep a minimum distance from him?

      Reply
    • why am i having such a hard time obtaining an elderly restraining order against this woman that has one against me???

      Reply
      • The game works this way, Ronald: if someone has done nothing, you can get a restraining order against him or her (especially him) by reciting these magic words: “I’m in fear for my life” or “I daily fear for my safety.” Presto! If you’re saying someone’s “out to get you,” has “lied about you,” has “ulterior motives,” etc. AND that person has gotten a restraining order against you by saying the magic words, you’re probably going to be disappointed.

        It’s all about the magic words.

        It’s often reported judges don’t “find” merit in an accuser’s claims, per se; what judges say, rather, is that it’s more important to them that someone feel safe. They act on the magic words, not the facts. The don’t appreciate any of the ramifications of receiving a damning verdict from the court (like encouraging a liar to go on lying, like emotionally scarring a wronged defendant—or like completely upending his or her life).

        Do you have grounds you could recite to a judge that have given you cause to “fear for your safety”? An urgent and present motive for fear?

        The reason the game isn’t exploited even more than it is is that a lot of people can’t be dishonest. They expect reasonable facts to be interpreted reasonably by judges.

        It doesn’t work that way.

        Reply
    • It would probably be wise to be scarce when this guy visits. If you know when to expect him, and there’s another adult to look after the kids, maybe pop out to a coffeehouse for an hour.

      Reply

  9. NtheMiddle

    October 17, 2014

    About 4 months ago – I started a friendship with a local neighborhood woman. I didn’t know her very well – and was only familiar with her and her boyfriend from a local bar that I used to frequent.

    The friendship started when she and her boyfriend broke up. She saw me walking down the street one day and caught up with me as I was buying my lunch. She ended up sitting at my table while I ate my lunch and it was she who informed me about her breakup with her boyfriend.

    She told me almost immediately from that first encounter that her boyfriend was abusive towards her. In hindsight – this should have raised a red flag, but I’m a sucker when it comes to defending people from bullies.

    To make a long story shorter – for the next 2 months – this woman and I became friends. I genuinely believed that she had been abused by her ex-boyfriend. And I felt a little trapped in that I did not want to abandon her – since she pointed out that part of his abuse was getting all of his friends (which were also her friends) to ostracize her.

    My friendship with her ended when I decided to sit down and talk frankly with her ex. I wanted to hear his side of the story since I had only exclusively heard her side. And to be honest – I was starting to have my doubts about a fair amount of what I was being told by her. This distrust stemmed from an incident in which the woman asked me to lie for her and pretend that I was present to witness an incident of abuse. Of course, I declined and was upset with the request.

    After speaking with the ex a couple times. Long discussions that took hours each time; I came to the conclusion that I had been lied to by this woman from the beginning. What she claimed as abuse was actually just coincidental run ins with her ex because the community we live in is a college area and it is difficult to not hang out at the same places.

    Fast forward a few months later and I just recently heard from the woman’s ex that she had filed a RO against him claiming abuse. When I last spoke with him – he had sworn to me that he wasn’t stalking her or threatening her prior; and also promised me that from that night on – he will have absolutely no contact with her. And I believe him based on conversations I’ve had with some of his friends. He has move one, and yet he gets slapped with this RO.

    I’m considering if I need to step up to help the ex-boyfriend. Maybe testify on his behalf when his hearing comes up. There is one more incident that is the main reason why I feel I need to help; during one of my conversations with the ex – he asked me if it was okay if he handed over to me some fragile items that belonged to the woman that he still had at his apartment. I told him that I would bring this up with her and that I fully expected that she would be delighted to get these items back. But when I brought the subject up withe woman the next afternoon – she went crazy and went on a four hour rant about how I should have forced him to return the items himself. She said she refused to accept the items from anyone but the ex. When I pressed her for a logical reason for this demand; she said that in her mind; she did not make the decision to end the relationship. So because of that – to her the relationship isn’t over. She said that by forcing him to deliver the items himself – she would have a chance to force him to explain to her why he wants to end the relationship.

    This – in my opinion is action that is contrary to someone who is filing an RO. He was trying to get away from her – and she was the one who would not let go.

    The question now is do I get involved. Should I get involved?

    Thank you for any advice you can give.

    Reply
    • I’ll reply at length soon. I think your help could make a big difference in how this man is perceived by the court.

      Compare this woman’s story (from Saturday) to yours:

      http://restrainingorderabuse.com/restraining-order-q-a/#comment-34468

      Reply
    • Sorry, I saved your comment to review last night, but my system wiped the browser during an automated Windows update. So I’m responding from memory (the reliability of which has become iffy). Don’t hesitate to comment again. I’m usually able to reply within 36 hours.

      You could, yes, testify on this man’s behalf as a material witness. To acquaint you with the “appeals process” very briefly, it’s often over and done with in minutes (the accused stand there stunned when a summary verdict is entered against them and wonder what the hell just happened). Men who’ve been accused of stalking or abuse typically have a window of 10 to 20 minutes to hastily disgorge their version of the facts. If their versions don’t decisively confute the allegations against them, they stick. Plaintiffs (particularly female plaintiffs accusing men) don’t have to prove they’re in danger, per se. They merely need to make a forceful impression. The expression of fear coupled with some unascertainable claims (he did this, he did that) works great. Details can even be pure fictions (there’s no fact-checker). No proof of anything is necessary. Allegations = facts.

      In this case, the contradictory testimony of a woman could make all the difference. Even your presence there could make a judge check his or her (especially his) impulse to drop the hammer. It’s a shame on the system, but often these hearings are just a pretext for judges to enjoy some gratuitous badgering and belittlement. Grown men leave the courtroom in tears.

      The standard applied to these hearings is “preponderance of the evidence.” Preponderance means weight. Whoever makes the deeper impression wins (or at least that’s how it’s supposed to work). Since defendants start with a judgment against them (the preliminary order) and since an accuser’s being a woman is already a preponderant factor, the man in your story needs all the counterweight he can get. An attorney, of course, would be ideal, but even the presence of an attorney may be insufficient.

      If you can cast doubt on the motives and mental stability of the accuser, that could be big. (Accusers are often motivated by spite aroused from rejection or criticism—whether real or just real to them. People with character disturbances are hypersensitive to anything they perceive as an injustice or slight.)

      I can’t guarantee anything will make a difference, because it’s often the case that judgments are automated, but your controverting this woman’s claims might make the decisive difference between a win and a loss (which has far-reaching ramifications that aren’t acknowledged or appreciated by judges and that include psychological corrosion besides impact on relationships and employment prospects).

      It’s good of you to think of helping. Most people—and I speak from experience—prefer to avert their eyes and avoid involvement.

      Being accused is very isolating—and being successfully accused can be very isolating for a long, long time.

      Reply

  10. Sarah906

    October 7, 2014

    My boyfriend just found out he was going to be issues a RO from his neighbor. The neighbor claimed she is in fear of her life which is preventing her from even going outside. She is claiming he is harrassing her by being outside (period) and making noise in his garage.

    Back story…this women (aka Sally) has called the police on just about everyone in the neighborhood claiming harrassement in one way or another. She called the police on him last weekend for riding his 4-Wheeler. This is not uncommon in this neighborhood as it is very small neighborhood, very family oriented and out in the country.

    The first ‘incident” was well before any noise disturbance ordinance. He and another neighbor did get a ticket because her security camera’s showed them going from his house to the other’s house. The ticket was for riding on a paved road. The police officer informed him had he been in his yard there would have been nothing she could do about it. Since then he has made sure to stay in his yard. It just so happens he is off this week from work and has been working in his garage on a few projects. The garage is on the side of the property that he shares a property line with this women.

    Today he was working in his garage and cutting a very large metal trailer. A neighbor sent him a text message that the Sherrif’s department was at “Sally’s” house again. After the sherrif left, my boyfriend called the department to inquire as he was fearful she was calling about him and sure enough he was informed she is seeking a RO against him. We just don’t understand how this is even possible. He was outside doing work and she’s calling the police on him. We aren’t even sure if we need an attorney or what his rights are. At this point it very much feels like she is harrassing him. Is there such thing as a counter-suite? Defemation/Slander? We just don’t even know where to go with this…we are completely dumbfounded. This is his neighbor…soon to be our neighbor as I will be moving in with him by the end of the month. So are we stuck with having to have these false allegations thrown our way until one of us gives up and moves?

    Any advice or direction would be greatly appreciated!

    Reply
    • I’ll reply at greater length soon, Sarah. Briefly, though, you, your boyfriend, or you, your boyfriend, and others of your neighbors could (separately) apply for restraining orders against this woman if she’s tormenting everyone in her vicinity. Your neighbors could also testify in your boyfriend’s defense. Talking to an attorney would be a good idea. You could also start thinking defensively, documenting this woman’s actions and behaviors, etc.

      Reply
    • You’re not the first person to report this kind of thing from a screwball neighbor, Sarah. I can tell you that one woman I corresponded with did successfully petition a restraining order against a cranky neighbor who made accusations against her and others in the neighborhood (which only inspired the screwball neighbor to flip her off).

      These processes are so easily abused by people with kinks and perversions (like hysterics and attention- and vengeance-seekers). In about half the cases I’ve had described to me, the neighbor was in late middle age or elderly and alone. People like this answer to no one and have nothing better to do. I’m generalizing, but to some kinked brains, even negative attention is attractive.

      If you follow the link in the paragraph above, you’ll read a story about a man who’s been put through hell. His neighbor has a security camera, too. There’s in fact a theme of security cameras running through a number of comments on the blog about the behaviors of screwball neighbors (and the presence of a camera is by itself suggestive of how these people’s brains are wired: a component of socially malignant personality disorders is paranoia—and an urge to blame or get the dirt on people).

      This post is about filing a cross-petition or reciprocal restraining order: “‘Can I Get a Restraining Order against the Same Person Who Got One on Me?’” It explains some of the obstacles. Generally, though, it is possible to get a reciprocal order if you’re persistent enough and file a separate petition. You’d have to work out a basis for applying, though. It’s unfortunately the case that saying, “I’m afraid for my life!” works great (especially for women), but saying, “This lady has it out for us,” may not count for anything. Filing false reports with the police probably is statutory harassment (check your state’s harassment law). This all gets knotty, though, because if the court upholds the woman’s order, it’s not going to want to recognize that the woman’s reports were false.

      You see why enlisting an attorney is a good idea.

      A lawyer always improves the odds of success in court at shutting this kind of conduct down, which can become chronic if it succeeds even once. (One 60-year-old woman I’ve corresponded with was forced to vacate her home to avoid further allegations from her female neighbor. When I last talked with her, she’d been accused of murdering her neighbor’s horse—and her neighbor had reported her to animal rights organizations, besides the police and court. The woman was single, living remotely like your boyfriend, with no family nearby. She was the feminist ideal—a self-sufficient woman. When she last wrote, she was planning on selling her house and was living as a refugee with a virtual stranger, a man she met who was good enough to take her in.)

      As ridiculous as what you’ve described sounds, I can’t tell you a judge won’t find it compelling. To quote Law Professor Aaron Caplan: “As with family law, civil harassment law has a way of encouraging some judges to dispense freewheeling, Solomonic justice according to their visions of proper behavior and the best interests of the parties. Judges’ legal instincts are not helped by the accelerated and abbreviated procedures required by the statutes.” What he means, essentially, is that there’s a very real element of “anything goes” in this arena, and procedures are started and finished in minutes. The woman you’ve mentioned doesn’t have to prove she’s in danger; she only has to convince the court that she’s legitimately afraid.

      If you elect to talk with an attorney, emphasize that this woman has accused others of harassment. Talk with your neighbors and get the details (and copies of the actual reports). If you weren’t named in any of this woman’s complaints, you could do the legwork safely to save some money (don’t, however, initiate or respond to any contact from her). You should consider doing the same thing if you choose not to hire an attorney. Basically you’d probably want to show the judge that this woman is a serial accuser (loony).

      Definitely (and promptly) apply for an appeals hearing if the court doesn’t automatically schedule one. Some states (Michigan and Arizona are examples) don’t automatically slate hearings. (If you’re in Arizona, incidentally, you can postpone requesting an appeals hearing immediately. Arizonans can petition a hearing at any time during the term of the injunction).

      Also, keeping a low profile would be a good idea until you’ve had a chance to answer the charges. It’s not unknown for screwballs to petition restraining orders and then immediately report contrived or imaginary “violations.”

      (The necessity of having to do this, by the way, might be the basis for petitioning an order of the court of your own: you feel like you’re living with crosshairs on the back of your neck. Check with an attorney about this if you choose to hire one. Consulting with an attorney by phone to learn if s/he could help you is free. You might also Google restraining order defense + attorney + your hometown and see if there’s someone locally who specializes in this area of law.)

      Restraining orders are the best “foot in the door” for screwballs to completely dismantle others’ lives with a little hysterical exaggeration and BS. They’re a power-trip gateway drug.

      Reply

  11. sadMommy

    October 2, 2014

    my ex husband’s family just filed their second bogus restraining order against me to overturn custody of our 13 year old. the first one, 3 years ago, i spent 3 months and $25,000 to fight and got my son back. this one? i promised myself not to fight if they tried again and i didn’t and lost today in court. they upheld the emergency order of protection and extended a restraining order against me for no contact with my own son for nothing i did at all, for 2 years. my son wants to be with them, so i’m not fighting. i just don’t want him to grow up thinking i did anything wrong and that’s why they took him from me. i don’t need to lose any more money and get fired from any more jobs trying to fight… i’m done.

    restraining orders such when used for ulterior motives. unfortunately, they’re used to legally kidnap children and i wish anyone who’s going through what i’m going through strength and health.

    Reply
    • I’ll put up a post about your tribulations. Thank you for bringing them to light. You’re a brave and persevering person, and I’m sorry for your anguish.

      Reply

  12. Anonymous

    September 28, 2014

    My son was divorced 6 years ago an in the divorce he was awarded custody of his two children because of the mother’s alcohol and drug abuse. Prior to the divorce filing she had went an obtained a Order of Protection against him claiming abuse an wanting custody of their children an for him to leave the residence but her mistake at this time was she gave the children to him before he was served with the papers so he kept the children with him an then the divorce proceedings were filed.
    Recently they decided to try an reconcile after she had finished her rehab an contacted him an told him she missed her family she was sorry and she knew that is was her fault etc etc. Against my advice he moved back in with her an lived with her for about 8 months when he realized that things were no different she was still abusing pills an god knows what else. The day he was moving out she went to the court an filed another order of protection alleging abuse against her and the children ( she had been secretly tape recording their arguments were he told her that he had custody of their children an when he left they went with him (loudly) never any physical abuse. The court granted the temporary order an she received temporary custody of their children (which was dismissed at the hearing) but she maintained temporary custody until he proved that he was not a drug addict and until he took all these classes anger management, drug course and parenting class but nothing has been required of her an she was the one who was absent from her childrens life because of drug addiction for about 5 years maybe seen them 8 or 10 times, she has been to rehab not him, she has never maintained a permanent residence up until a year ago.
    Well it was time for the case to go back to court for the final hearing on the custody issue, when she had him arrested for domestic assault at a football game for their son alleging that he beat her with a helmet in front of a hundred or more people she only alleged this about an hour after the game had ended and he was arrested because she he a red mark on her chest. There was witnessed that told the police they did not see anything happen and they all walked out together but he still went to jail. Just a note she had her boyfriend, brother, brother in law, mother and several friends with her at this game nobody could confirm anything except her mother. After this about a week later he was served with another order of protection an has not had any contact with his children for over a month. I have seen them an they have told me their mother says that they cannot see their daddy anymore the only parent these kids have ever know up until last year. The kids are 10 an 8 years old you can see the pain in their eyes they are even scared to ask about the father because they may get in trouble with their mother.
    I truly believe that this law needs to be overhauled as to better meet the needs of woman who are truly abused an need it, but I do not know how to start

    Reply
    • Telling your story is a start. The first annual International Conference on Men’s Issues was held this year, and it has aroused some attention—even some favorable attention. The kinds of abuses you’ve described have been tolerated for decades. They’ve become standard practice. The system is virtually automated, like a machine. So it’s terribly difficult to inspire policy change. The federal government has, besides, invested some $10 billion over the past 20 years toward beefing up the laws that your daughter-in-law exploited.

      Spreading the word and bringing cases like this to light is a positive step. The most zealous advocacy of these laws comes from women. So it’s especially valuable for women like you to contribute to the dialogue. The sort of woman who supports these laws only pays attention when other women report injustices and abuses.

      I’m sorry for your pain and for your son’s and grandchildren’s.

      Reply
  13. My soon to be Ex had a restraining order on me. My spouse threw me out of the house and took my kids away from me. We went thru a full evidentiary hearing in early this year. It was finally dismissed last week. Now, how does this affect the custody hearing? I also have a forensic report in my favor to have custody of my kids.

    Reply
    • Anything I said would be speculation. If it’s within your means, an attorney’s help would be worthwhile. It’s said judges favor moms, but I know of a mom who’s broke, whose husband is charming (literally, I think, a used car salesman), and who was assigned a female judge. The mom got the short end of the stick. Probably more often dads do. Some judges know restraining orders aren’t trustworthy and discount them, some know and pretend otherwise, and some don’t know.

      Some people are issued restraining orders by judges who aren’t even judges. If you ever see the phrase “judge pro tem,” it means the person wearing the robe is temporary help.

      The conceit is that there’s a uniform procedure for fairly determining rights and consequences, and that rulings are uniformly just. Neither is true. People I work with and I were deceived by someone we were in a barter relationship with a few years ago. The paper contract (drafted to satisfy the board of directors) and our “gentlemen’s agreement” were very different, the “partner” abruptly reneged, and an attorney said the law was in his favor since the barter deal wasn’t documented. Then the attorney said, “Of course, you could win the case ‘cause the judge liked your tie.” The matter was settled out of court.

      Consult with a lawyer would be my thought. Calling and having a brief confab on the phone isn’t a commitment to hire an attorney or shell out money you may not have, and you might chance on someone you click with or who at least gives you some great practical advice.

      Reply
  14. Question for you: A Civil Harassment RO was filed against me by a sociopath. She lived in a completely different city, lied and claimed I threatened her, lied and claimed I had harassed her every day for 2 years, etc., etc. The judge DENIED her initial TRO request.

    I then hired a lawyer, submitted a declaration and was prepared to fight it – when she dropped the RO request. I’m being told there’s no way to get awarded attorney’s fees now.

    Can she abuse the process this way? Or are there any avenues to get my money back?

    Reply
    • Your attorney would be the best source of counsel, but I don’t see why you couldn’t sue for recovery of your costs in small claims. You could even allege pain and suffering, that kind of thing, but judges aren’t sympathetic to claims like this. I can’t imagine suing for the recovery of your actual costs wouldn’t be considered, though. People who prosecute frivolous lawsuits are routinely required to recompense defendants for their legal expenses.

      Be glad to be rid of this, either way. Double-check, whatever you do, that the traces of her allegations have been scrubbed from your record. Even lingering vestiges of vacated orders sometimes trip people up (cost them jobs, etc.).

      Reply

  15. flsoldier

    August 18, 2014

    Last year I went to a friend (or what appeared to be a friend) at her residence to talk to her. I was not under the impression that she was deliberately ignoring me but that with us going to different colleges and her having no social media and me not having a cell phone when we last spoke that was the only option to contact her.

    I never even touched the property and I went on a day where many strangers approached the same house. When I was talking to the young woman her boyfriend interrupted saying that if she didn’t want to be friends with me I didn’t have to (despite the woman shaking my hand, identifying me, smiling, and saying NOTHING like what he was saying). The literal first thing I asked her was “can we speak in private”. If she would have said no I would have left immediately and never talked to her again. If she would have said yes the conversation would have been short and simple but her response was “what do you want to talk about” which I thought implied interest.

    This woman’s father said he was not going to let me “harass” his daughter on his property. I wasn’t on his property and I explained to him that harassment is unwanted attention and that she could let me know if she feels uncomfortable. He then said he didn’t give a (expletive) what his daughter said. I then told him I didn’t give a … What he didn’t give a… about. He threw me against a car and laughed telling him I was not intimidated by him. He struck me and what I assume where his family members were holding him back. We argued and the boyfriend of the young lady hit me from behind and TRIED hitting me once again with me looking at him but I deflected the hit. When the dad told the young woman to call the cops I called them first from my cell phone. I told the 911 dispatcher who hit me and where I was at. I said that if they were to let me go that I didn’t want any police to come or charges to be filed or anything. On my ride home I noticed that my eyeglasses were knocked off. I had my mother go back to get them and when they were being hostile towards her I pulled out my camera phone to discourage them from doing anything else and an argument ensued because my mom was upset at what happened.

    days later a mutual friend of me and the young lady requested me on Facebook. Hours later she unfriended me and it appeared to be some kind of trap to get information out of me. I then explained what happened on Facebook. Days later I’m getting a restraining order from the young woman and another friend of hers that I never met. I am under the impression that the woman was desperately trying to protect her boyfriend and father from legal action against them for their attack on me. The other girl seems to have some longstanding grudge about some ex boyfriend of hers that was a high school friend and neighbor of mine. Both reports sounded so similar and were filed on the same day that I assume one person came up with both. Each was filled with many flat out lies, plenty I could prove and a few that would have been able to be proven if pre 2013 MySpace messages were still available to print.

    I hired a lawyer and I mediated. I never even got to talk to a judge or either woman. I never even got to find out the name of the boyfriend who assaulted me. The da said it’s the sheriffs department’s job to file perjury or assault and that nothing could be done. The sheriffs said that assault is merely a misdemeanor and that I should have vindictively pursued them when they appeared to no longer be a threat. My lawyer said that it’s too late. The sheriffs say I could try civil court but I don’t know the boyfriends last name only his first. I would really like something to be done about my legal fees, my time I lost from college because of the time the I needed to take to get everything, the money for the transportation to get to the court and to a lawyer, to print out evidence, the pain and suffering caused to my family, the perjury committed, the slander made against me, the harassment, the stalker like attempts to get information about me through others even going as far as running my father’s license plates to see what city I live in etc. I also don’t want them to feel like they can do this without consequences.

    Reply
    • In these kinds of he-said-she-said snarls, it’s really hard for authorities, etc. to figure out what went down. Where are you at now? Was the restraining order dismissed, or is it still in effect? Were you issued two orders?

      I can clarify a little about process.

      First, only one person can petition a restraining order (unless things are exceptional in your neck of the woods), so if there’s only one order, your “friend” must have requested it, and her friend must have testified as a witness (or just been on hand). “Sister solidarity” is common in these situations. If you were issued an order petitioned by the “friend’s” friend, there probably weren’t sufficient grounds for that, and you’d stand a good chance of getting it “vacated” (dismissed). If you were issued an order petitioned by both the “friend” and her friend (two adult women, one order), then the order was improperly issued and may be “void” for lack of jurisdiction (in other words, the judge didn’t have the legal authority to issue it on behalf of two plaintiffs). See if both names are on the order if you only got one.

      I didn’t notice you mention you appealed the order(s). That may still be an option. I know that in some states, defendants have the right to request an appeals hearing at any time during the term that an injunction’s in effect. You’d just need to file a motion with the court (and ideally procure an attorney’s help again). You could call the courthouse and ask or look up your state’s restraining order laws.

      Cops don’t handle “perjury,” incidentally. Perjury is lying to the court, so it actually is the DA who would pursue those charges. A cop could probably refer a case of “false reporting” (lying to a police officer) to the DA for prosecution. Neither false reporting nor perjury is ever seriously pursued, however. They’re ignored even in cases of really heinous lying, like filing false reports of rape. So that’s a blind alley.

      If you could persuade a judge with the evidence of lying you have to dismiss the restraining order(s), then you might stand a chance of being awarded costs in small claims court. If you already did appeal, and the order(s) was (were) dismissed, same thing.

      I can’t advise you on legal courses, because I’m not an attorney, but you might consult with a different lawyer than the one you had. Sometimes attorneys specialize, and you might find a specialist by Googling restraining order defense + your hometown and seeing what that turned up.

      Restraining orders are outrageous, because they can very easily be obtained on lurid testimony and crocodile tears, and undoing them can cost innocent defendants thousands. Years of people’s lives can be consumed by a court process it took a liar a lunch break to exploit.

      Depending on what exactly happened, you could also apply for a restraining order yourself. Or more than one. Success would depend on whether you could convince a judge that you’re reasonably in fear for your safety. The boyfriend seems a likely candidate—or the father. Or even your accuser or her friend. The truth is that sometimes these orders are just rubber-stamped. The allegations might have to be refreshed if much time has passed, but you never know. If you happened to take any pictures of injuries, they might come in handy—or your mother’s or a doctor’s testimony might work.

      Whether it’s in your interests to opt on a course like this is something you’d have to decide for yourself. Like I said, I can’t conscionably advise you either way. I’m just trying with limited information to point out possibly recourses.

      Typically false accusers only recant if they have an interest in doing so, that is, if they have something to lose by not coming clean. If everything your accuser(s) has (have) said has so far worked in her (their) favor, you’d probably need to improve your leverage to persuade her (them) to negotiate a peace.

      It’s a lot easier to get a restraining order than it is to get relief from one.

      I’m sorry for your ordeal. I know what hell this business is.

      Reply

      • flsoldier

        August 19, 2014

        2 separate orders. They arrived to me on separate days from the same officer but reading the date that they were filed they were definitely made the same day. I am not a psychic so the best I could do in regards to figuring out how they think is to merely speculate.

        I imagine my “friend” or her family exaggerated or lied about the Halloween incident to the second girl or maybe they don’t like me so much that this was done to intentionally hurt me.

        The actual report is kind of funny how false it is and how random some of the things said were. It seemed filled with so much sarcasm and personal attacks I couldn’t believe that any competent professional could type it with a straight face. Even their printed out “evidence” from emails came from one another’s emails.

        I’m in California. I definitely know that I could prove I did nothing illegal and that I am not a threat to them but I feel my mere interest in her from the past and the male/female biase of people was enough for them to be granted an order “for the sake of safety”.

        I have no interest in talking or associating with anyone that wants to be left alone but it is bad for my record and job future to have an order on me. I to this day don’t get why anyone couldn’t just blatantly say “I no longer want to talk to you please refrain from further contact”. It would literally have been cheaper, quicker, and easier for them that way in addition to me and my family.

        As far as my lawyer goes it was a “cheap” lawyer that I got at the last minute that actually gave me quite a discount. I feel that with more time, money, and support that I could have made a much better case than what actually happened.

        My own mom was too lazy to get the phone records that were in her name to prove that I made the 911 call. My father (who drove my mom and me to receive the glasses) was very reluctant and slow to get me the lawyer to begin with. Even my friends who drove me there initially want me to act like I never got a ride from them. Teachers and students that know both of us and have seen a lot of past interaction between us didn’t want to say anything for or against either side.

        I am the only person among my own family and friends with a squeaky clean record yet I was treated like a criminal and the people closest to me seem to either have indifference or a fear of ending up in trouble to help defend me.

        From this point forward I feel like if a woman is nice to me not to trust her because she can randomly change at any moment without notice. I also now know that my friends and family won’t help me when I need them for something. I am really more upset that real abusive and dangerous men are actually getting away with crimes as we speak because their sociopathic skills make them likeable enough to get away with it, while people like me are targeted.

        I actually regret my boxing and martial arts past because I would have let myself get hit more if I knew that injuries were going to help me in court instead of dodging and deflecting further hits. I also imagine if I had a friend or 2 with me they wouldn’t have felt so confident in attempting to beat me up. Had I initially pulled out the phone and recorded everything their actions would surely have been different but my original concern was my “friend’s” privacy and comfort. I had no way to predict that complete strangers would be willing to hurt me.

        The internet is the last place I went for any advice. I honestly think that money was the second biggest obstacle in this whole situation. Any jobs I get are temporary and part time because I’m a full time college student. I feel like the world is against me but your words are very encouraging and make me feel better. Only 2 people have sympathized with me in the whole situation: you and the woman’s cousin whom had a private talk with me and a mutual friend and apologized on behalf of the family. My story pales in comparison to the countless fathers who have their children snatched away from them over these orders.

        Reply
        • This is from a 2007 law journal article by Prof. Dan Subotnik I was just looking at:

          XY was walking through a friend’s room during a fraternity party at Brown University when he spied XX, a female student, asleep near a puddle of what seemed to be her own vomit. Waking up, XX asked for some water, whereupon XY invited her into his room to drink something. She entered under her own power, seemingly in control. After talking with XY for a while on his bed, clothed, she began kissing him. He kissed her back, and, human nature running its course, she asked if he had a condom. After he donned one, they had sex. They then talked and smoked cigarettes before falling asleep in XY’s bed. Although there is obviously more to the story, there is no gainsaying this account. XY is the only one with memory of the night’s events, which took place a decade ago.

          The parties talked briefly in the morning about the prior night’s doings and XX gave XY her phone number. When he called her thereafter, however, she did not answer or return his calls. One month after the night in question, XX reported the story to the Dean of Student Life and XY was thereafter brought up on a disciplinary charge of “non-consensual physical contact of a sexual nature.” The Brown Daily Herald broke the story in an EXTRA edition, which identified XY by name and photograph. The XY case, which prefigured recent rape charges leveled at three lacrosse players at Duke University and led to a nationally publicized manifesto signed by 88 Duke faculty members and administrators, became a cause célèbre on the Brown campus. It led to a rally against sexual assault, which featured XX as a speaker and resulted in XY being widely shunned. Following a hearing, the University Disciplinary Council found XY in violation of school disciplinary rules and recommended his suspension, a penalty later reduced by the Provost to two semesters of probation.

          Among hundreds of faculty members and administrators at Brown, not a single woman spoke out publicly on XY’s behalf; among men, only one actively and openly supported him.

          Nothing has changed. In fact NPR is featuring a series right now on sexual assault on college campuses. This is what informs the kinds of reactions you’ve gotten.

          Reply
        • I was just thinking and writing about feminine psychology. There’s no criticism intended by this, per se, but some women in a situation like the one you describe may have a hard time rejecting attention even if they know they should (they’re conflicted). The reason this blog exists is because women may seek attention when/where they shouldn’t and under false pretenses. The attention factor can account both for improper entanglements and false allegations, because both are sources of attention. Feminists may reject the idea, but women like attention.

          The most recent post I put up was prompted by news stories about women seeking comfort (sexual attention) where they shouldn’t have and accusing men of rape to cover it up.

          Consider that in your story, you provided attention (made your “friend” feel sought after, perhaps), her boyfriend and father provided attention by “gallantly” coming to her rescue, and then the whole series of events provided attention by giving the girl something to talk about with her friends and something to report to the police and the court. Common denominator: a whole lot of attention.

          Psychologist Tara Palmatier acknowledges in her writing that women make allegations to gain attention. BullyOnline.org has a page devoted to this. Attention-seeking, too, is an across-the-board character trait of (“cluster-B”) personality-disordered people and a common trait of “high-conflict” people (who often have personality disorders).

          This lies at the root of a lot of abuses of process, I think. The conceit is that people who seek restraining orders do so to reject attention, which is why it seems counter-intuitive to most people to hear the opposite being argued. And the opposite is often the truth: people seek restraining orders or make (false) allegations to authorities for attention.

          You mentioned you tried to mediate a resolution. Did you ever appear before a judge in either case to appeal the order? If you never formally requested an “appeals hearing” in either case, that may still be an option. You’d have to check California’s statutes to see if there’s a deadline for moving the court to hear an appeal or whether you can apply for a hearing at any time during the period an order is in effect. If you applied for hearings, incidentally, and your accusers didn’t show, the orders would probably be dismissed (for “failure to prosecute”). This is something you could ask your attorney about or investigate on your own. If the term of the orders is 12 months, and they were petitioned in October 2013, there may still exist an opportunity for you to request a chance to defend.

          Reply

        • Carol Dimeo

          August 23, 2014

          PURE EVIL

          Reply
  16. I have seen vicious women do evil things to my older brother several times, but never thought it could happen to me.

    long story short my girlfriend begged me to move in with her and I did. Six months later I wake up one day and she’s telling me if I don’t leave in 2 weeks she’s changing the locks and throwing my stuff out. being smarter than her and knowing my rights I knew she couldnt do that in Virginia.

    little did I know all she had to do was go give the magistrate a little sob story, tell him I threatened her, and BAM I’m homeless until the protective order heading, 14 days. The very same day she filed an eviction notice, and BAM that’s permanently on my record that very same day.

    What?

    So you can just decide to file an eviction notice, and permanently disrupt someone’s credit and ability to buy/rent a home..on a whim!

    so my court date for the protective order comes up today. I go in there feeling semi confident because I have multiple recordings of her verbally harassibg me in the home as I tell her over and over “I consider this harassment please stop talking to me”

    she tells the judge that I threatened to kill her animals and her. nevermind that my record is flawless, totally spotless, never even been accused of a violent crime-he outright dismisses 7 divergent records of her screaming at me, all at different times of the day, saying “well sir in Virginia that’s technically not harassment.”

    he then proceeds to tell me that her safety is more important than me having a place to sleep at night. Totally shocked by this, I can see Her snickering and smiling from the corner of my eye.

    She also accused me of hitting her, without a shred of evidence.

    so the judge proceeds to give me a 2 year long protective order and tell me that I’m not allowed to own or even be around a firearm for these two years.

    I asked him what about all of my possessions in the house? she jumps in and says all of my things are in her car and she can give me them today. Meaning, shattered she decides to give me is what I get. the judge says if there’s anything missing I can file for that stuff.

    Dumbfounding. Totally shocking.

    Reply
    • I’m really sorry, Mark. In Virginia, these types of rulings are made at the judge’s discretion. A judge can “decide” whatever s/he wants. It’s a travesty of justice (travesty means a gross imitation, a farce).

      I think this is the applicable law:

      VA. CODE ANN. § 16.1-279.1(A): “In cases of family abuse, the court may issue a protective order to protect the health and safety of the petitioner and family or household member of the petitioner.”

      Martin v. Martin, No. 2740-01-2, 2002 Va. App. LEXIS 350 (Ct. of Appeals, June 18, 2002): “Order may be issued if the court finds the petitioner in ‘reasonable fear of immediate, serious bodily harm.’”

      There is no requirement of proof. According to the law, all someone has to do is say s/he’s afraid. To accuse someone is to “prove” that person’s a threat. The court presumes that someone making an accusation has a real and honest motive.

      I don’t like saying it, but I’ve seen this myself: Judges relish crushing people. And they don’t consider the consequences that you’ve mentioned. Or don’t care.

      This is now on your permanent record. You’re officially a threat to girls and puppies. You can be denied leases irrespective of your credit. Just the presence of a “protection order” on your record is enough to prejudice a landlord (or an employer). I work for some landlords who investigate renters very thoroughly.

      If you opted to appeal, incidentally—I can’t counsel you one way or another, but a lawyer could—you might consider that not only do the recordings you have speak to your ex-girlfriend’s nature; they also speak to your nature.

      Violent people do not say, “I consider this harassment. Please stop talking to me.” Like—oh, I don’t know—ever?

      Judges aren’t stupid; they just don’t think. They don’t feel personally obligated to, and the law doesn’t say they must.

      As Loyola Law School Professor Aaron Caplan points out besides, these kinds of rulings almost never reach state appellate courts, so they never get scrutinized. Most restraining order recipients, especially in the domain Prof. Caplan writes about (“civil harassment law”), never even have attorneys.

      Judges set their own rules.

      Reply
      • So sad. what you said about judges relishing crushing people really struck home..the judge seemed as though he had already made his mind up about two minutes into the hearing, he was smirking at me and had something to counter me with each time I spoke.

        Now I’m homeless, sleeping on a stranger’s couch that I met at a bar, and driving 30 miles a day roubd trip in an overheating car just to work 4-6 hours a day for near minimum wage.

        Suicide has become a very real and tangible exit strategy. So much damage has been done to me so quickly that I don’t think I can recover, and I have no support network whatsoever. It’s all too much.

        Reply
        • There’s something very exciting to some people when they’re granted authority. I’m terrible with it, because the idea of someone being “invested” with superiority over others by virtue of a ceremony or having the favored regard of someone else “invested with superiority” is ridiculous to me. I taught undergrad students for a few years at my university, and I never asked anyone to call me “mister.” Some of the students were older than I was. It would have felt silly. Several of the best professors I’ve ever had would have been fine with students addressing them by their first names, too. But I knew a lot of grad students younger than I was—more than one of them pompous nerds—who did insist on the “mister.” (Female teachers/professors should be excused from this criticism, because many of them do need to create a boundary to maintain their credibility.)

          One of the many ironies of our justice system, it seems to me, is the idea that equity or equality can be ensured by someone who’s been given a robe and a wooden mallet and told s/he’s special. If everyone’s equal under the law, there is no “special.” The make-believe is that there’s something fair and just called “The Court,” and judges are simply objective conduits of it, like priests who are channeling values and ideals greater than themselves. I’ve encountered a number of judges who seem pretty convinced there are no powers above them. Judges forget that they’re representatives of authority. The politeness litigants in a courtroom are expected to show is to a venerated social institution. The problem with a lot of the protocols required in court is that it makes the representatives of the law they’re directed toward feel like royalty. Psychologically, it’s totally understandable. Instances of judges berating unruly litigants or even (this has happened) drawing weapons in the courtroom, though, isn’t because they’re offended by those litigants’ not paying the institution its due respect; it’s because they themselves expect to be treated with deference and obsequiousness—and they mostly are.

          I was in court last year, and I had the same experience you had (and have had it in the past, too). The judge began the ceremony by pronouncing a motion I’d filed was “denied.” He emphasized the word and was obviously looking for a reaction from me. I’m generalizing based on my limited experience of them, but judges seem to determine for themselves who the “bad guy” is (often on few facts) and derive some satisfaction from making that party hurt. In these quickie restraining order procedures, the defendant (especially when that person is male) is almost always pegged as the “bad guy.”

          The problem is there is no “let the punishment fit the crime” in these sorts of adjudications. The “punishment” is standard, and it’s severe, irrespective of what was alleged. Allegations don’t have to be proven, and they can range from verbal harassment to rape. The “punishment” is the same. And the implications of that punishment are always closer to the rape end of the spectrum. The groupie who sends unwanted fan mail and the domestic tyrant who has scourged his wife with a belt buckle for years are treated the same. Likewise the person who didn’t even do what s/he’s accused of.

          I’m really sorry, Mark. Would it help you emotionally to present your story here?

          Reply
  17. My ex g/f got a rest order against me & it expires in a few months. I found out she is trying to get another one & I have to go to the hearing for it. We did have some problems but she basically got the order because I didn’t move in with her. The very same night after the judge approved the order she sent me 4 emails saying if I ever change my ways & do the right things & move in she will drop the order. Well needless to say we had problems & I got in trouble for violating the order. After I got in trouble she contacted me & really wanted to see me & me being an idiot I did. It didn’t workout & I’m lucky she didn’t call the police again. She moved out of state for awhile but was sending me emails, texts, etc. She came back to the state I live in & we met out 1 night. We had a nice time & the next day we were talking on the phone on & off all day & she wanted me to meet her at a different hotel. We were talking on the phone for about week & she wanted to me come to her new place. I had no idea where she moved to after she moved back here. I told her I was going to a sporting event that weekend with a friend & she got upset. She sent me nasty messages for a couple weeks then she said she married someone else, which I know wasn’t true. Then a week later I got a call from an officer who said she accused me of raping her. I told him I did no such thing & told him how she wanted to meet me the next night & why would she want to do that if I supposedly raped her. The officer was very cool & didn’t press any charges or anything. He did ask if she had any psychological problems & I said I’m not sure. I’m lucky they didn’t even charge me with violating the restraining order. That as the last time I had any contact with her. I would get facebook messages sent to me once in awhile about she hopes I’m doing well & hope I find the woman of my dreams etc. Then about every few months for the past year I get nasty messages from her saying stop remote accessing my computer & getting in my phone & all my accounts & that the police are watching me. I have no idea how to do any of that kind of stuff. I called the police & they said she has never filed a complaint or anything saying I’ve done any of that. Now I have another hearing in about a week for the new restraining order shes trying to get. Do you think I have a chance to beat it ? I kept all the messages & emails she sent over the past couple of years. I think it’s a control issue with her & that she’s not afraid of me at all.

    Reply
    • Fatal attraction—I’m really sorry, Brian. I’m not a psychologist, but I can tell you that I’ve heard the same story before with a lot of significant overlaps. In fact I just wrote about a case with significant overlaps. Another one is here. Your ex probably does have a personality disorder, likely borderline personality disorder (BPD). See here for the kinds of false accusations borderlines make. I’ve heard from men and women who go through the same thing: reel in, pull away, reel in, falsely accuse, pull back, reel in, falsely accuse, withdraw, and on and on. This is when the relationship is a romantic one. Victims always describe an on-again, off-again relationship, often one whose basis is pity. That’s the deep outrage: victims are punished for caring. Personality-disordered people, once you see through them, are basically emotionally arrested children, but they have an uncanny skill at orchestrating horrible manipulations (more than one psychologist summarizes some such manipulations this way: “I hate you! Don’t leave me!”).

      False allegations about hacking emails and phones are weirdly common. My guess would be they stem from paranoia, which is a trait of personality disorders.

      If you’ve documented all of this carefully, that should be pretty compelling. Make sets of copies for yourself, for your accuser, and for the court (phone records, texts, emails, screenshots of Facebook—everything you’ve got). Because you’ve met with this person in violation of a restraining order, this gets a little dicey. Plaintiffs aren’t accountable for anything they do; only defendants can violate orders. So the blame for your meeting with your ex against the prohibitions of the order is yours in the eyes of the court.

      Based on what you’ve said, what you told the police officer is what you’re going to want to tell the judge. The constant calls, emails, Facebook comments and taunts, etc. should put the judge wise to the kind of emotional manipulator your accuser is. You need to get across that this person has played with you like a yoyo and is abusing process to hurt you—and that she’s “off.” It might help to organize a timeline.

      Personality-disordered thinking is black-and-white thinking. If you do what the person wants, you’re white; if you defy him or her in any way, you’re black, and s/he wants you to suffer. Period. Personality-disordered people don’t have qualms of conscience, will lie with a straight face and flat affect, and are immune to reason. Don’t expect your ex to admit to anything. Expect, in fact, that she’ll lie automatically and in ways that will make you wonder, who is this person?

      Obviously if it’s possible to get an attorney in on this, do, especially if you can find one who knows what a disordered personality is. If an attorney’s services would be within the realm of possibility, Google restraining order defense + your hometown.

      You’ll have to decide whether you want to admit to violating the first restraining order or not. Technically, it makes you guilty of contempt of court and subject to sanctions—which can include jail. A lawyer could tell you whether you’d be putting yourself at risk, but you’re accuser could tell the judge herself, so they’re may be no concealing it. It could be judges don’t act on this information if the violations were never reported to the police. I honestly couldn’t say. If you could at least consult with an attorney, it would be a good idea. You might learn a lot just from a phone call.

      See also “The Restraining Order Plaintiff from Hell: Malicious Prosecution and the ‘High-Conflict Person’” for descriptions of how personality-disordered people think and act.

      Look out for yourself, Brian. I hope you can wash this out of your hair.

      Reply
  18. Okay so I have a ex parte that is against me to stay away and have no contact with my ex. As the ex parte stands she has contacted me and I have contacted her and she has had pently of chances to turn me in we just had simple convos to figure out what was going on in are love life and this ex parte she has told me that her parents are blackmailing and kicked her out to fill out the rest of this ex parte they are holding her car that my ex pays for, its in her name they’re making her do something against her will because she doesn’t want to get the ex parte against me,she’s 20 years old too she has told me this herself and I have saved all messages too. I just want to know should I show the judge the text I got from about her parents blackmailing her?

    Reply
    • This all gets tricky, Trent, because under the terms of the injunction against you, you’re prohibited from contact with the plaintiff. To introduce that text to the judge would be to admit that you’ve violated the court’s order, which isn’t wise. You could be charged with contempt of court or something similar.

      Is there any reason your girlfriend couldn’t file a motion with the court to have the order dismissed and not tell her parents she did it? I can appreciate that maybe she doesn’t want to deceive her parents, but how is that worse than deceiving the court? If your girlfriend’s an adult and it’s her property, her parents can’t “hold her car.”

      It seems like it’s really your girlfriend’s job to say she was coerced or offer some other explanation to the court and get the order dismissed if it’s a fraud. Also, if you’ve already had an opportunity to appeal, you’d probably have to move for a new trial to introduce “new evidence” (the blackmail text). None of this is easy. The procedure for your girlfriend to move the court to vacate the order is straightforward.

      If a lawyer’s counsel is something you could afford, it’s possible an attorney might be able to propose an alternative course, but I think s/he’d probably say that if the petitioner doesn’t really want the order, she should have it vacated.

      Incidentally, if a hearing has been scheduled but hasn’t occurred yet, and your girlfriend didn’t show up for it, the order would probably be dismissed.

      I appreciate you’re trying to look out for your girlfriend, but I don’t see how she can satisfy her parents’ expectations and be fair to you.

      Reply

  19. richard albritton

    July 16, 2014

    I am a victim of restraining order abuse I live in ca and it was filed in Mississippi it’s an order to keep me from my kids in which she has been diagnosed bipolar and allowed my children to drive out here and stay with me once I herd about the abuse I filed an emergency custody order and it was denied because she had called in and said she already filed in which she didn’t then I received a restraining order I have no money to retain an attorney and cps is involved and ca gave Mississippi jurisdiction today

    Reply
    • Is CPS involved because you reported abuse or because she did? She’s claiming you abused the kids when they came to visit?

      Are there any grounds for moving the Mississippi court to allow you to testify from California (teleconferencing)?

      Reply

      • richard albritton

        July 16, 2014

        I am a victim of restraining order abuse I live in ca and it was filed in Mississippi it’s an order to keep me from my kids in which she has been diagnosed bipolar and allowed my children to drive out here and stay with me once I herd about the abuse I filed an emergency custody order and it was denied because she had called in and said she already filed in which she didn’t then I received a restraining order I have no money to retain an attorney and cps is involved and ca gave Mississippi jurisdiction today Cps is involved and I am in the army and was gone for a year and came back to my home being foreclosed on and me homeless I thought she had herself together but then I started to find out my children once I had them the next day in my care they had told me there’s videos of them being hit with a horse whip and it just goes on but Mississippi has jurisdiction because the children hasn’t been with me for 6 months

        Reply

        • richard albritton

          July 16, 2014

          And no I didn’t abuse my children her and her boyfriend has been and threatening the children if they told anyone

          Reply
        • Richard, consider calling and talking to someone in the FBI. If videos have been recorded of your children being hit with a whip, I think that supersedes some civil court BS. That could qualify as child exploitation. If the beatings were just meant as punishments, why would they be recorded? I don’t know what kind of response you could expect, but you might ask the person you talked to who in government is accountable if you’re denied access to your kids and then they’re molested—or worse.

          Also, are there any military resources you could take advantage of? Can the VA help? You’re saying military duty has kept you away from the kids? What if you say you’re afraid for your kids, you’re being framed by your ex, and you’re feeling desperate and don’t know where to turn?

          Regarding the civil court case, from what I know about how things work in Mississippi, the court does have to assign a hearing date, and the window is tight: a week to 10 days, like that. Any chance you have records of the mom’s mental diagnosis? Maybe you could reconstruct a history.

          You could move the court in Mississippi to grant you a continuance (more time). Call and tell the court you’re in California, and ask how you can file a Motion for Continuance. You might be able to file other pretrial motions, also. If there’s a reason you can’t travel, maybe you could testify from California. Could the Army provide you something that says you can’t travel?

          Reply

      • richard albritton

        July 16, 2014

        There’s not even a court date for the restraining order

        Reply

  20. A. Brooks

    July 11, 2014

    Currently I am in a situation where I find that I might have a bunk order taken out on me, and I feel helpless to stop it. Before I get in to my delimma, I just wanted to say thank you for the amazing pages of advice you have here.

    The long and the short of my issue is thus: I live on the east coast, while the other individual (let’s call her Jen) lives in California. We have never met in person and I hope we never do. Some years ago we were members of the same artists forum, and on this forum Jen became well known as the sort of person that would trace other’s work and call it her own – very looked down on. Silly forum drama, and then of course Jen is banned for stealing other members work. Last we ever hear of her, right? Wrong! Every year or two she somehow has managed to pop back up and locate several of these people that were all involved with her being banned, and would just start posting random fictitious junk about them. Still with me here? Because this is when it goes from ‘just a dumb kid on the internet’ to ‘holy crap call the cops that’s creepy’.

    The first thing she did was call our local sheriff and claim to be her own mother, saying that I had been abusing and harassing her daughter so much that she had tried to kill herself and now was in hospital care from it. Because I guess if that were the case it would /totally/ be on mum to make the call to sort it all out, right :/

    The second, and by far the most nasty: One day I woke up to an email in my box with a link in it to a blog. A blog this woman had painstakenly made about me. She had not only photos of me (from my private, friends only Facebook, no less) but also had screencaps of Google maps of our house, posted our full street address and phone number, and then a whole wall of the most nasty pornographic stuff you could imagine, claiming it was me and other friends. She posted this link on nearly every public site I used at the time. I made a full save of the entire blog, and thank God that Blogger’s abuse team acts fast. :/

    But this story doesn’t stop there. You see, I still couldn’t really /prove/ it was her. But then she started emailing the animal sanctuary I work at, telling them how I “abuse disabled people and should not be left alone with the animals” and some such nonsense. She signed the emails with a different name. A name that with the most basic amount of Googling, I discovered, just so happens to be the IRL name of Jen’s sister, and through that I was able to get enough of an address to go to the police. I went that day with printouts of everything and filed my TRO and later got a full no contact… The issue, however, is that now she is counter filing against me. Has, actually, several times. I’ve been served papers twice from her c/o the local sheriff, and at this point I’m starting to feel pretty harassed just by how many times she’s sending cops to my door with paperwork.

    I have no clue what kind of evidence she’s even trying to present, and it would not surprise me one lick if she flounces in there and lies her butt off until she finds a judge that will believe her.

    Is there any option open to me that I might not know about? I feel like almost everything I find online about no-contact orders are about people you know. This is such a bizarre, unique situation.

    I’m a disabled, low income student from NC, there’s no way I can afford a lawyer, really, period. For what its worth, though, I’ve kept very meticulous records of everything she’s sent me (I’m a little ocd and to be honest it helps me cope with dealing with this trash.):

    Reply
    • She sounds personality-disordered.

      These documents you’ve been served with by the cops—were they temporary restraining orders? If so, definitely appeal them.

      The trouble with people like this is they can pass for normal. And they’re much harder to deal with than actual crazy people. You can soothe a crazy person, even reason with one. People with character disorders like this seethe, fixate, pour enormous amounts of energy and venom into frauds to realize revenge fantasies. Their motives are real, urgent, and valid to them.

      The honest truth is they don’t answer to reason or decency, don’t back down, and never tire.

      The only way to make them stop is to make it too painful or frightening to them to persist, which is hard to do within the law.

      False reporting to the police is a crime. It also constitutes statutory harassment. The problem is no one cares. The county attorney’s office isn’t going to spend taxpayer money to prosecute someone for false reporting or even perjury.

      In other words, someone can have the cops show up at your house every day (I can put you in touch with a guy who goes through this), can apply and reapply and re-reapply for restraining orders, can call various agencies and report you for misconduct (dogcatcher, child protective services, etc.), and that’s fine. No one in government will do a thing.

      If someone, however, alleges someone else is “domestically abusive” (“She hit me with a box of Twinkies!”), the mere claim may get someone tossed in jail.

      Short answer: Within the law, you can threaten the person with legal consequences if she persists (requires an attorney), you can apply for another restraining order (or an extension or modification of the one you have or had), you can report this woman has violated the restraining order you may have now, you can file a lawsuit, or you can move someplace she can’t find you.

      Reply
    • I had another thought. Let me preface it by saying I’m not an attorney. It’s the thought of a layperson who appreciates what you’re going through.

      A lot of feminist politicking over a few decades has led to any kind of allegation’s being credited on reflex, so any determined liar can make a person’s life hell. Response to allegations of threat or abuse by the courts is hyperactive; response to harassment that uses the law as its tool is none. Even worse, if you complain about abuses of process too vigorously, you can get penalized for it.

      The noble route is to walk the high road and not dirty your hands, which tends to mean you’ll have manure dumped on you. The only things that won’t be dirty are your hands. The practical route is to exploit the system’s biases.

      If you were to take a printout of the pornographic blog to a judge and show him or her the images coupled with your personal information, this would be very inflammatory. I can’t recommend you say that you know this woman posted the blog if you don’t know, but if you did say, “Look what she’s doing now, Your Honor!”, there’s an excellent chance that with a restraining order already in place, a judge would respond in your favor and broaden the prohibitions of the restraining order you have, especially if you emphasize how tormented you’ve been.

      To nail the coffin shut, you could say you’re being stalked, cyberstalked, and/or cyberbullied. Judges have been acutely sensitized to these words and respond to them accordingly.

      The fact is many judges don’t know the first thing about the Internet. One respondent to this blog told me a judge s/he was before used the phrase “the Twitter.” It’s highly unlikely a judge is going to require some kind of forensic proof that the woman posted the offensive material. Contrariwise, there’s a good chance the judge will take it on faith. If you don’t express any doubt, the judge probably won’t have any.

      My thought is use that blog. If this person receives more heat from the court, she may desist. People like her have no regard for other people, but they will protect their own necks. You could use the letters to the animal sanctuary, also. Explanation isn’t important, only effect (how things look on their surface). Follow the creative writer’s dictum: Show, don’t tell.

      Use the blog in your defense, too, if you have to appeal false restraining orders this woman has applied for (say you’re disabled and require teleconferencing—get a doctor’s letter now if you anticipate needing it, something that says you can’t travel, which can be faxed to the court). I can virtually promise you a judge will physically recoil from dirty pictures, especially if the judge is male. You might also move that the court dismiss the restraining order(s) “with prejudice”: “Defendant moves the court to dismiss Plaintiff’s restraining order with prejudice.” This phrase recognizes misconduct and is supposed to mean that’s an end on it.

      Proof means nothing in these procedures; it’s all about impressions. You show a judge what you’ve described, and the impression it leaves will almost certainly be craterous.

      Ignorance of the Internet by cops, incidentally, isn’t as dependable. If you were to take the blog to the police to report a violation of the restraining order, there’s a decent chance a cop would ask, “How can you prove she’s the author?”

      Use it in court, instead—where the standard of proof is whatever the judge wants it to be.

      Reply
  21. any cases where restraining orders get revoked or the plaintiff gets sued?

    Reply
    • Both, sure. Orders aren’t issued and “revoked” because of bad conduct by the petitioner (who’s perfectly free to stalk and harass the defendant), but orders may be dismissed on appeal or as relief requested in a lawsuit. I’ve yet to hear about anyone receiving a significant monetary award for a malicious prosecution, though.

      Reply
  22. My ex lives in Washington and I am in California. I have several threatening text messages regarding cutting my visitation off with my children as well as harrassing and profane messages. My children are scared. My ex is living with a felon and the felon was just recently arrested for beating up my childrens step brother, who also lives in the house. How do I go about filing a No-contact order on my children’s behalf in another state? Do I need to go to Washington to do so? I fear for my children’s safety as well as my own.

    Reply
    • Before you act, my advice would be to talk with a family attorney and get his or her counsel. When a volatile person like your ex is in the equation, sometimes acting rashly stirs up a hornet’s nest of woes. For example, I recently heard from someone with concerns similar to yours who called child protective services, and the mother retaliated by vengefully filing a fraudulent restraining order (same deal: from another state). It’s possible your ex could do the same thing even if you applied for a restraining order first. Or complain about you to another agency. It sounds like your evidence is the stronger, but oftentimes the truth or falsity of allegations brought by a high-conflict litigant isn’t as important as how forcefully s/he puts those allegations across. And it sounds like your ex could be pretty vehement and spiteful. Hang on to the messages, of course, and see what an attorney recommends would be my thought. There’s no cost for a few-minute phone call that outlines your options.

      Reply
    • Jacqueline B. from Ledyard, CT writes:

      There is much truth to this story .It is all real. I have watched a case where the father of 3 children has been in court for since 2006.
      The marriage just became to mentally abusive for the husband . in order to keep his sanity he filed for devoice & custody of his children.
      The ex-wife moved a man in with her to have some one take care of the children. This man had substance abuse & long term abuse to others. Every year he is arrested for either Drugs or assault- 52 police calls to his home.
      This man began abusing the children & Girl friend .
      Even with proof & pictures of the abuse the courts did nothing to help this a father protect his children. Now after 8 years .
      the ex wife destroyed every thing in her home & took sword’s & cut up all the children’s things .When the new husband phoned the police she began throwing money into the air in front of the police.& took a bunch of pills to kill her self. Had these children been there that day they would not be alive.
      The oldest of the three children gave birth to a child by the time she was 15 and being allowed to do what ever she wants by DCF & drag the infant from home to home. How ever the court has granted the father custody of the children .Only DCF has given the now 16yr old permission to go where ever she wants ,dragging this infant into danger. This is in violation of a superior court judges court order. The police were lied to by 2 teenagers and they assisted this child to run away. This older child 16 now is with a man who is violent ,has no job abuses her and holds her imprisoned.
      The boy friend of the 16 year old is not a U.S.A. citizen and is demanding that this 16yr old is his wife. She has a trust fund and he needs to marry .He has threated her & stalked her .This Shows his intent.
      This child has problems that she and the infant need to be Protected. DCF and Law Official’s are looking the other way.

      Reply
  23. My own sister is lying through her teeth. She has a temporary restraining order on my boyfriend, she dont like him so she lied and said that he s threatened her. Were figjting it all the way, and i can only pray the truth prevails. My sister and I have not spoke in 5 weeks i feel really sad, but I will stand by him untl the court date to prove his innocence.

    Reply
    • I hope for the best, Deb. These kinds of accusations are very hard to counter, because there’s no way to prove them false. Beyond saying she’s lying, you might want to consider how to show that your sister has an ax to grind. If there’s some evidence or additional third-party testimony you could provide to the judge, that might help. For example, if there are other people who know she doesn’t like your boyfriend whom you could enlist as witnesses, if she’s made threats before, if there are reasons you can give for why she doesn’t like him—that kind of thing. Too often someone’s just saying, “I feel threatened” or “I feel harassed” is deemed good enough. Your sister can say, “He always calls me a [fill in the blank].” She can say he hit on her or groped her or anything. She can say he threatened to shoot her. There’s no way to disprove it. She can even invent the place where this is supposed to have occurred (shopping mall, on the street, post office, whatever). It’s he said, she said. Most of what passes for evidence in these cases is hearsay. It’s just somebody’s word. There are people labeled “stalkers” based on phone calls. No one knows what was really said, of course, except the plaintiff and the defendant. Plaintiffs, in other words, can make up any stories they want to hurt people they’re feeling spiteful toward. If you could bring in some more people, that might be influential. When it’s just he said, she said, courts often rule in favor of the accuser. They reckon where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Keep in mind that it’s all about what’s most influential. Lies don’t matter, and neither does the truth unless you’ve got some super evidence. It’s mostly about impressions. Consider introducing anything in court you’ve got that might sway the judge in your boyfriend’s favor. Also consider using simple, positive declamatory sentences. Instead of saying things like, “That’s not true” (denying), consider saying things like, “The plaintiff is lying to [do X, Y, or Z]” or “The plaintiff is lying, because [X, Y, Z].” I’m not an attorney, but I have a broad experience of how these things go down. If you can afford an attorney, get one. If not, try your best to think like an attorney does. They don’t pull punches, and they say things very categorically to make a fast and hard impression, like a jab. For example, I was in court last spring, and the opposing attorney said, “She says you propositioned her.” I had to ask him what he meant. “That you offered her sex,” he said. It was a disgusting lie and ridiculous in the context, but disgusting, ridiculous lies work really well. You see what I mean, though. He just said this baldly. That kind of thing has whammo power and psychs out the person who’s accused. I should have asked them to clarify what it was I’m supposed to have said, but jabs knock you off balance. Something you might think about finally is whether this attack is also aimed at you (maybe even mostly aimed at you). Consider whether your sister is jealous or wants to get at you through what you love.

      Reply

  24. Robin Savage

    April 22, 2014

    what can i do if im beingblackmailed. i havea order of protection against my nephew and my parents are going to take my car that they gave me away if i dnt let him move into the house and keep my mouth shut. my wife has cancer and i need the car to take her to doc appt and stuff. the title is in there name so i no they can tske it. what can i do to them for doing this. they brought him home last night and hes here now. scared and unsure plz help.

    Reply
    • Robin, what’s the reason for your fear? You’re all in the same residence? Are your nephew’s parents still alive? Are your parents elderly?

      Reply

  25. Brandi

    April 9, 2014

    Good read! Feel much better now! Cops came to my doorstep today and handed my girlfriend, her father(who just happened to be here), and me papers with a summons from a petitioner.
    She suffers from bi-polar severely and had not been taking her meds for several months. Just so happens she was my girlfriends business partner.
    She just got out of the mental hospital 3 days ago….
    After I read all the alliigations, it’s quite humorous and sad at the same time.
    But now after reading this, I must share it with my girlfriend because now she thinks her life is over if she ends up getting a restraining order.
    Thanks again!!!

    Reply
    • Glad if I’ve helped.

      As preposterous as all this seems, though, Brandi, your girlfriend should take it seriously, because what’s obviously insane to you has already fooled one judge. Judges aren’t stupid, but they don’t care one way or the other. And the allegations will be on public record, and a restraining order can affect employment (not to mention, of course, the nerves of its falsely accused respondent). Your friend should retain an attorney if it’s possible. This will relieve her of a lot of stress and better the odds of a favorable verdict. An attorney could subpoena the petitioner’s medical records and introduce them in court, because they’re obviously relevant.

      Best wishes with this. And please provide more details as it progresses if you feel like it. People genuinely don’t get that this sort of thing happens.

      Reply
  26. I need some help with something that might cover a few different laws.
    Right now I have charges against me for stalking and a 2nd offense. I didn’t receive the orders yet and can’t remember what it was.
    What happened was I dated this girl for a year and moved to this are for her. We were talking about getting married for many months and were looking for houses to rent together. We broke up about a year and a half ago. We randomly got back together off and on the following year and over last summer we dated for months.
    At the end of summer she randomly broke up with me and never gave me a reason why. There was no fight or argument or anything bad.
    A little after that she refused to see me or even talk to me and if i contacted her over anything or asked what happened she just put me down and called me a stalker or psychopath or schitzo and stuff along those lines. Even just asking if I could get my stuff back she replied with that stuff.
    At one point she said that she has all her friends and family fearing for her life. I had a friend from awhile ago that I only knew a short time and stopped being friends with whom is now a friend with my ex. The girl I was friends with is now calling me names and threatening me contacting me in regards to my ex. She was even making threats against me saying that they had people following and watching me everywhere I went and that if I didn’t leave town bad stuff would start happening to me.
    So I made no contact for months to anyone. After christmas I called and emailed my ex asking how her christmas was and how her daughter was doing and asked if she just wanted to get a drink or see a movie. The same stuff we always did for years up till we broke up at the end of summer.
    I got no reply and then randomly one day a cop called me and said she got a No Contact Order against me and to not contact her. I asked why she did that and what she was so mad at me for and he gave no answer. Just before that a couple times her and her daughter saw me in town and she smiled and said Hi to me. Even when I wasn’t even looking at her.
    Then a few weeks later I saw her in a store and said Hi to her and she smiled at me, then walking off my son ran up to her. My ex and I were really close and our kids all loved each other. My kids were talking to her even after I called them back. I went up, said Hi and she complimented how I looked and was smiling at me and talking to me. We talked about getting drinks and it ended with her saying she was going to contact me soon.
    The weekend after that I didn’t have my kids for a day and I called her and then texted asking if she still wanted to meet and maybe get that drink.
    The next day a cop called me saying I was going to be charged for a misdemeanor for talking to her in the store and for calling and texting her.
    I told the cop what happened about how she was nice and smiling the whole time and how she complimented me and how we talked about getting drinks and how she was going to contact me. He said that she said nothing like that happened. I told him to watch the video surveillance from the store.
    The next day the cop calls back and is really mean and stern saying he talked to my ex again and she pushing for charges against me and now the whole story changed. He said she was only smiling and said yes to all that because she was fearing for her life. He took the charges to a judge and because she’s saying her life is in danger he’s pushing for extreme charges against me and now I’m being charged for Stalking and something else. I was then taken in and fingerprinted for all this.

    Here’s my thing, yes I said Hi to her which I shouldn’t have, but there was no fear in her. Never once in the years has she known me has there ever been a threat or have I ever raised a hand to her. I never even yelled at her or bitched her out. There was never anything. The only reason I called or sent a text is because we spoke about meeting for drinks and she said she would contact me.
    She’s told her friends and family horrible stuff about me making me out as if I’m crazy and a psychopath. Even people she doesn’t know she has said that stuff to. The girl I was friends with for a short time but not anymore says she says it and she never even met her. Another friend of mine who just messaged her on Facebook after we broke up asking what happened she said the same stuff to. My ex said to me that her family and friends were fearing for her from me so she definitely said stuff to them as well. Now she’s telling the police officer and maybe judge she’s fearing for her life from me.
    I have never once even hit a person in my life or threatened anyone.
    I honestly don’t see how she could ever provide any proof for any of this.
    I don’t ever go to her place or by it even though she lives on the main road in town. I never contacted her family or friends over anything.
    Because of my ex and through one of her friends I have gotten threats months ago, numerous put downs and name calling.
    When this all happened I asked numerous people what to do about these threats and such and they said just ignore them. So I deleted my texts and Facebook messages and blocked her friend. Some of the threats and put downs were aimed towards my kids as well. When that happened last fall I did go to the police in my town to get it to stop and they did nothing. They basically said the only way to get someone to stop was to hire a lawyer and sue for slander.
    I’m a single parent with no help and not a great job so having extra money is no option with me.
    So now I’m facing heavy fines, possible jail time and a police and criminal record because of lies from someone and I honestly don’t have the slightest clue why.
    Also another thing to add to this, I have still yet to ever see the No Contact Order the officer spoke of.
    Even If I get free legal aid or so for help, what can I do to stop her from lying in the future or just saying I did something I didn’t? The officer did say she’s trying to get charges pushed on me and wants me punished.

    Reply
    • Also I’m in PA and I have no criminal history. I don’t want any record of this because like I said I’m a single parent and this could keep me from doing stuff at my kids school or even stuff with my daughter’s girl scouts. It could also keep me from getting jobs in my future.

      Reply
      • Reply
        • I’m sorry for writing again, I’m still not sure what to do. I was given free legal aid, I spoke to him on the phone for a few minutes and that was it. I’ll meet him the day I meet the judge for a prehearing.
          The lawyer basically doesn’t seem to care much or will do much of anything. He said it doesn’t matter that I was never served any forms or ever saw any. He also said the emails and messages of threats and constant put downs make no difference and it’s all too old anyways even though it was from just months ago. He also said the fact I went to the police and they just turned me away doesn’t matter at all any way. The way he made it out was that I have no defense and nothing I mentioned matters in the slightest. The girl who started all this just last week was texting and calling me a few times but I didn’t talk to her. I asked the lawyer about if she was calling to drop the charges and he said even if she wanted to drop the charges it wouldn’t matter or make a difference and that she doesn’t even need to be there.
          I honestly don’t get any of this, the lawyer will be there but basically doesn’t seem to really want to do one thing except show up. If she has no proof of harassment, no papers were filed or served to me, if shes calling me and talking about hanging out and such in person I don’t get how I’m being charged and have to go to court.
          To me it seems like basically the cop said “don’t do this” and that became the law and what is being held against me.
          I’m so overwhelmed and lost, I really don’t know what to do.

          Reply
          • There’s no making sense of it, and none of these people care until they’re on the receiving end, which they rarely ever are. I would call some other attorneys, Chris, and just talk with them. You may find one who responds differently than a hack public defender who’d obviously rather be doing something else. If there’s anyone you can call on for help, seriously consider it, because even a sum like $2,500 might make an enormous difference in the odds of your beating a bum rap.

            The only things you can’t do are what a judge says you can’t do or the law says you can’t do. It’s not obligatory that you accept the lawyer you were given. You can refuse counsel. From what you’ve said, you’re being prosecuted by the district attorney for a crime. Have you gotten all available information on what you’re being prosecuted for? It’s also possible a criminal restraining order was issued. All this can be done independently of a request from the woman. It’s practically automated.

            If you’re being prosecuted for a crime, it’ll be in superior court, presumably, and you really should have an attorney. These things are so evil, because even when the allegations are bogus, you don’t want to advertise to everyone that they’ve been made. A lawyer, though, would probably tell you that character testimony from people who know you would be useful in your defense. From what I understand of these things, you’ll have a decent window of time between the pretrial hearing and the trial itself. As god-awful as it may seem, you should probably talk about this among your circle and try to enlist what help you can.

            Try Googling “false allegations” + “criminal attorney” + your home town.

            The desolating fact is the only person with legal chops you can expect to take a sincere interest in your case is one who’s profiting from that interest ($). At least talk to some other attorneys, because you might find one who says something encouraging.

            Reply
    • I’m sorry, Chris. I wish I could make some sense of this for you, but there is no “making sense” of it. A psychologist could propose an interpretation of this conduct (and I can recommend a good one who consults by Skype if you want—see the hyperlinked page in the third to last paragraph below), but that’s not likely to help you legally. I can tell you yours isn’t an isolated case. In fact I can tell you this as someone who’s gone through something similar (involving multiple female parties who smiled at me and invited themselves into my home). I’m not a psychologist, but I would venture to reassure you that you were targeted for this kind of mischief because there was no real fear that you’d retaliate violently. You were targeted for abuse by bullies who, contrary to what they’ve told everyone else, feel safe. It would be superficial of me to say that “women” enjoy this kind of power trip and the attention it arouses, but this certainly seems to be true of some. A psychologist might suggest your ex has a personality disorder, but how this accounts for the conduct of her girlfriends is uncertain. It’s as though this behavior is contagious (maybe because thrilling). The reaction of the family and other third parties who don’t know you is understandable, because they’ve been conditioned as everyone has to take allegations like these at face value and assume they’re legit. Once a woman cries wolf, people will suspect you or even hate you without knowing a thing about you. It doesn’t matter if you’re a single dad or a soccer coach or a war hero with a prosthetic leg and a chest full of medals. And it doesn’t matter if you’ve never even gotten so much as a speeding ticket. Women like these and the parties they deceive and manipulate (including governmental ones) will destroy your life without compunction. The latter parties will even believe they’re acting nobly like white knights.

      Brass tacks:

      First, if you were never handed (and I mean handed) an injunction (an order of the court) by a police officer or agent of the court (constable), then you were never served a no-contact order, which means, at least technically, that no valid order is in effect. It could, of course, also mean that no such order exists. You can find out if an order was petitioned by inquiring at the courthouse. If one does exist, but you haven’t been served, it will expire unless you’re served with it (unless the document is placed in your hands).

      Second, it’s regrettable that you’ve disposed of evidence, but there’s nothing stopping you from applying for a restraining order against your persecutor. To present what you’ve written here to a judge, you’d need to pare it way down to manageable chunks of pointed information. You’d need to explain that you got involved with someone who has repeatedly taunted and baited you only to make false allegations to the police and harass and demean you (and your children) publicly and among acquaintances. Repeatedly making false allegations to the police is criminal harassment (you can confirm this by looking up your state’s harassment statute: Google your state + harassment statute or harassment law).

      Third, you place yourself at absolutely no risk by applying to the court for a restraining order. You place yourself at enormous risk, however, by contacting this woman or anyone affiliated with her. That means to say hi. Sever all association completely. Don’t even answer a phone call (but do log the call and save the record).

      My impression, based on what you’ve written, is that you’re a decent, tolerant man. This may prompt you, if you decided to talk to a judge, to detail everything and try to present a fair and thorough accounting of your relationship. Don’t do this. To shut this misconduct down, you’d need to emphatically communicate how stressful this has been; that you feel anxious all the time, because you’re being taunted and terrorized by a woman you dated “off and on”; that you’ve been told you’re under surveillance/being monitored; that you’re not sure what this person is going to do next; that she knows and is known to your children; that both you and your children have been threatened and “put down”; and that you’re concerned for your safety and theirs.

      I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but what I’m saying is that in order to defend yourself effectively, you can’t be the nice guy. Nice guys are lunch. You wouldn’t want to say, for example, “You see, Your Honor, it’s like this.” You would want to say, for example, “Your Honor, I’m desperate, anxious, and daily concerned for my kids. They’re everything to me….” You could also inform the judge that you’ve reported these concerns to the police, and they turned you away. Also that this woman has “appeared” unexpectedly at a place or at places you frequent, led you on with smiles and compliments, and then represented the encounter(s) as “frightening.” You don’t need to document everything (in fact you don’t need to document anything, and scrupulous accuracy can work against you). You’d be trying to make a decisive IMPRESSION. It’s not about truth (at all), Chris, and it’s not even about facts. It’s about perception. You wouldn’t want to strive to establish your innocence (that’s irrelevant, and the more you assert your innocence, the more guilty you sound); you’d want to establish that the woman is a “credible threat” to you and your kids. It’s all about presentation.

      Abuse of legal process, Chris, and making false allegations to the police is stalking. Nothing less. See this behavioral checklist by a psychologist whom you could consult with if you wanted.

      Your best defense in a situation like this is to turn the tables and try to remove the persecutor’s power. Bear in mind that there’s nothing you do through the court that you couldn’t undo if you wanted—you can have an order you petition quashed oftentimes—but undoing what someone else does to you can be next to impossible. And once someone like this gets a foothold, the abuse can become addictive. People like this don’t back down or reconsider. It’s a rush for them.

      I don’t know that this person and her friends are monsters, but I do know that these processes make monsters.

      Reply
      • Since I was never “handed” and injunction could this all be dismissed? When the cop called me the very first time telling me about it he told me I would receive it in the mail. He said she filled it all out herself. He never said anything about a judge signing it or anything.

        The second time he called when I was reported for talking to her and calling I mentioned I still never received that order and he said that didn’t matter if I ever received it or not because he told me about it.
        Is this something I would simply receive in the mail? Could I be held liable the same as if I was served because an officer told me there was one?

        Reply
        • It’s no lie that injunctions are dispensed carelessly, but it’s insufficient for you to be “told about” an order of the court. In other words, you need to see for yourself what a judge has ordered you to do or not do. You can be jailed for violating an order of the court, so you have to know exactly what it specifies, and the law has to prove that you knew.

          When people can’t afford attorneys, cops know what they say goes. I’ve known some cops who took the letter of procedure very seriously, and I’ve known some who used all the play in the rope they could. If no injunction exists, then you can’t be charged with violating it, obviously. It’s possible, though, that a cop could charge you with other crimes based on his judgment.

          You’re entitled to copies of all records about you filed at the police precinct. Knowing what exactly has been said and what you’re facing would good a start.

          Reply
          • I never saw the order like I said, but how would I ever prove that? What the officer said to me the first day was that when she walked into the police office she already had the form filled out and knew it all, without him saying a word to her.
            I’m guessing there is an order though since I was already fingerprinted.
            I still never received anything yet. Not the cargoes or anything. I’m just going off of what the officer told me I was being charged with on the phone a week ago.
            Thanks for the help by the way, I’ve been looking all over for something like this. I feel so overwhelmed and scared over this not knowing what to do, there’s no way I could pay any fines and my kids are with me all the time. I have no clue what could happen if i go to jail with them.

            Reply
            • Best wishes, Chris. Find out what you can. Obviously if you were charged with a crime, you should have been taken into custody already.

              Incidentally, there’s no harm in calling and talking to a criminal attorney briefly by phone. Until you provide an attorney with a retainer and sign a contract, you’re under no monetary obligation. Maybe a 10-minute phone chat would clear some things up for you after you figure out what this cop is talking about.

              Reply
            • Incidentally, too, Chris, even if the woman hasn’t actually applied for a restraining order, there’s no reason she couldn’t do it next week. Or next month. What it sounds like is she declared her intention to apply for a restraining order to the police officer you’ve mentioned and hasn’t done it.

              This is all the more reason for you to act first, and I’d renew my encouragement to you to apply for a restraining order yourself. This will controvert anything this woman says far, far more effectively than anything you tell a judge in your defense after a restraining order has been sought against you. The person who’s issued a restraining order first is always the “guilty” or “guiltier” one.

              I appreciate that you want to end this, not exacerbate or escalate it, but do think about this seriously.

              Reply
              • I’m going to the courthouse to do like you suggested today. With kids it’s hard to get time to do this stuff.
                But just yesterday in the local newspaper my name, age and town was listed saying I was charged with stalking and harassment by repeatedly contacting my ex girlfriend over the course of a month after being told not to do so.
                Now this is on the internet as well. At the end it says I was charged Friday for Stalking and Harassment.
                Is there anything I can do about this? I’ve still yet to receive one thing, a police order, a no contact order or even the charges against me from the police, yet it’s in the newspaper and online now saying this

                Reply
                • For starters, Chris, I’d say call the desk at the newspaper that’s in charge of publishing this information and explain that you’re a single dad who doesn’t stalk people and that you want these allegations removed immediately because they stand to damage and humiliate your kids. Maybe include that you’re being viciously pranked by a disturbed woman and her friends who have stalked and harassed you. I wouldn’t recommend threatening a lawsuit if you’re blown off, but don’t hesitate to say that if this isn’t fixed you’ll have to consult with an attorney about a legal remedy—and make a point of asking the desk editor or whomever you end up talking with how his or her named is spelled.

                  An attorney could tell you what the process is for having a police report sealed.

                  Reply
                  • I did as you suggested I went to the courthouse and tried to get a restraining order. They said they don’t do restraining orders and that I would have to apply for a pfa. After hours I was turned down for the pfa with them saying there’s no abuse so no reason for me to get one. So I’m stuck. I don’t know what to do.
                    I did find out my charges and court date. It’s criminal charges against me. Everything I’ve tried to stop any of this and I’m always just getting turned down, the police, the courthouse even applying for legal aid before. I really have no clue what to do or to get any of this to stop. Even the courthouse said there’s nothing to do to really stop them from saying stuff about me or lying about me to others.

                    Reply
                    • A “protection from abuse” (PFA) order is a restraining order. They’re called different things in different places. Consider reapplying, Chris, after you’re really up on this stuff and maybe after you’ve talked to an attorney. It may help if you can quote the statutes (laws). The snippet below is hyperlinked.

                      18 Pa. C.S. § 2709.1. Stalking. (2003)

                      (a) OFFENSE DEFINED.– A person commits the crime of stalking when the person either:

                      (1) engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts toward another person, including following the person without proper authority, under circumstances which demonstrate either an intent to place such other person in reasonable fear of bodily injury or to cause substantial emotional distress to such other person; or

                      (2) engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly communicates to another person under circumstances which demonstrate or communicate either an intent to place such other person in reasonable fear of bodily injury or to cause substantial emotional distress to such other person.

                      (d)   FALSE REPORTS.– A person who knowingly gives false information to any law enforcement officer with the intent to implicate another under this section commits an offense under section 4906 (relating to false reports to law enforcement authorities).

                      Stalking

                      Harassment

                      Related Offenses

                      Pennsylvania Statutes (select sections)

                    • This is driving me so crazy and I’m so stressed about all of this. I get threats against me and my kids and people talking lies about me for months to many people. I go to the police they do nothing, I try to get a restraining order, nothing, try to get a pfa, nothing. Try to get legal aid, nothing.
                      Then my ex simply walks into a police station and says she wants no contact from me, provides no proof or anything and I’m getting calls from the police. She talks to me in a store and is making plans with me after then goes and lies to police and now i”m getting criminal charges.
                      I’ve been trying for months going to the courthouse, police station many times and am always just turned away. She simply calls a cop and I’m instantly getting in trouble.
                      I’m sorry i keep messaging but this keeps getting worse and i’m at my wits end and nothing is working.
                      And it’s hard for me to do any of this, go to the courthouse and stuff along those lines because I have children and barely ever have free time, so I’ve been missing work trying to do this stuff.

                    • Don’t hesitate to write as often as it helps to, Chris. This is exasperating and exhausting beyond expression, and the police and courts discount the pain and suffering of victims of this kind of abuse. What you’re saying here (and in this way) is what you need to impress upon a judge. Will you be assigned an attorney? Appreciate (I think you do by now) that you have to be EXTREMELY emphatic, and you need to plot your presentation. The effect of this on your children is your most sympathetic argument. Don’t neglect that. Use words like taunting, and emphasize the threats. It’s the case that you need to make it clear that you feel threatened and distressed to extremity. And catalog the effects of that distress on you, on your kids, on your job performance, etc. Men and the stresses exerted on them in these situations are discounted. Women are “victims”; men are “perpetrators.” Dispelling that prejudice is your obstacle. Write down everything. Absolutely mention Facebook, too, because just that word suggests Internet bullying and stalking to some judges. Everything about these processes is perseverance and assertion. You can still get screwed, obviously, which is why this blog exists, but keep in mind that the reason these processes work so well and have had such endurance (and receive little scrutiny) is that their victims despair and throw up their hands. It’s by design. Prep as well as you can. Know the statutes, be able to cite them, blend them into your arguments (everything in law is argument and citation), and consult with an attorney if one is assigned you (even a lawyer, though, may discount your pain and suffering). It’s a Sisyphean struggle, but your only alternative is to eat the indignity and loss. People go through this sh*t for months or years.

    • Sorry for writing again, but something weird has come out of all of this. All the court dates and everything is done, I ended up getting 3 years of probation and have large fines to pay. My lawyer had to really push to get the stalking charges dropped and the other side was against dropping anything. The girl who started this had them drop the stalking charges part. Even my lawyer was saying this seems really sever for them to go for such harsh charges.
      As I said in my original post, there was a no contact order and then I saw her at a store, my son went up to her and she started talking to me and we were making plans. Then I just called her and texted after that about the plans. After that an officer called saying i was going to be charged with a misdemeanor and it would be a small fine. I told him how she talked to me, she was saying she would call me and was wanting to hang out. I told him to even watch the video surveillance, which he was saying he was going to get.
      The the next day the officer called back saying she is now saying she is fearing for her life, and that’s why she said yes, and now the judge wants major charges against me.
      That was always weird to me, I knew this girl for years and her saying she was scared for her life just seemed weird and absurd to me, especially considering she has texted and called me numerous times since that date.
      At the hearing she never once went inside and was outside the building the whole time with the detective and lawyer going out there.
      My friend talked to her last week and she’s insisting she never once said she feared for her life. She swears up and down she never said anything like that and it’s really getting her mad the officer used those words. She was even going to the police department to try to get that fixed and some of my charges dropped or lessened from it.
      And I do completely believe her over that. When it was mentioned by the officer and the way he described it seemed completely out of character for her.

      So my question is, is that legal? It seems that could be illegal to me. They didn’t have much to hold to me or charge me with so the officer added stuff to push the charges thru and make it more extreme. Nowhere on the police report does it mention she feared for her life, but the judge read that allowed, when she wasn’t there. The paperwork my lawyer had mentioned her saying that and the detective had that information also.
      It seems an officer did that on purpose.
      Have you ever heard of anything like that? Is there anything I could do about it?

      Reply
      • I’m really sorry for this (totally unnecessary) hell you’ve been put through. Some of this still puzzles me. If you were never served with the no-contact order, I don’t understand your being punished for violating it or why your attorney didn’t raise the matter during the proceedings.

        This may be a basis for appeal if you’re up for it. From what I understand you’re saying, you were issued an injunction that you didn’t get or didn’t understand the gravity of, bumped into the petitioner, and that she invited a conversation and then reported you.

        Unless I’m missing something, that’s vicious. I don’t get it—or the Facebook taunting, giving everyone the impression you’re dangerous, etc. This person knows you have small children in your care.

        I do understand your consternation with the system. The fact is it’s presumed that when a woman complains to authorities, she’s complaining because she fears for her safety. In many cases, judges and police officers have been instructed to leap to conclusions. It’s wrong for them to presume anything, of course, but the blame properly falls on the accuser. This person knew what she was doing, obviously. She may not have explicitly said she feared for her life, but what she said may have implied that degree of apprehension. After all, why complain otherwise (unless you have other motives)?

        The most generous spin you can put on this kind of conduct is that it’s impulsive. People pull these stunts without really considering the ramifications.

        If you had lots of money to throw at this, it’s possible a lawyer could unravel a lot of it. A man on a petition I monitor sued a police district in my state and managed to win an out-of-court settlement…three years later. He was falsely accused of domestic violence by his wife, was arrested and prosecuted, lost his job, etc.

        These, horribly, are the consequences that may ensue from a single act of finger-pointing. (The man in this case was the actual victim of domestic abuse.)

        Accusers often just act on malicious impulse, and victims of false allegations or fraudulent representations reasonably assume their government will be looking out for them, and they’re disappointed. Government looks out for itself.

        If the means present themselves, absolutely talk with a criminal attorney and see what s/he could do for you. Depending on the severity of the effects of this business on your life, I guess there might be grounds for a lawsuit. From what I’ve observed of other people’s attempts to realize a measure of justice, if you’re caused physical hardship or monetary hardship, the court recognizes loss. If your hardship is mainly psychological, the court doesn’t care and may think it’s funny.

        If it seems like the woman who made the allegations is now thinking better of them, it may be the case that a lawyer could assist you, with her help, in undoing most of this. Don’t contact the woman yourself, of course. With the help of the plaintiff, though, a lot of legal mischief can be cleared up. My legal knowledge is limited, but from what I’ve gleaned, it seems bizarrely to be the case that it’s easier to have minor criminal records sealed than to have a restraining order vacated and expunged.

        If you don’t have a lot of money to toss around, it might be the best course to hope that this woman comes around. Talk to an attorney, though. If nothing else, it doesn’t sound like this person has a will to damage you further. See what an attorney could do for you when you can afford to hire one would be my advice, and if nothing else, start putting a little aside here and there toward washing this business out of your hair down the road.

        If you’re hit with a lot of penalties by the courts, you may be able to have them deferred, waived, or made payable in installments. Again, talk with an attorney, Chris (other than the public defender).

        If your accuser has a conscience, maybe there’s a resolution to be realized in time.

        Reply
  27. So happy. I have two attorneys interested in taking my case. Thanks for all the great advice an support. Two things u really need when u have your life throw in the street. Yes I was floored , fearful!!!!!!!!!!!!, confuse for three months. But it’s been 16 months an I’m feeling powerful with this site. What dosnt kills u makes u stronger. U got to educate yourself. In knowing is power. Thanks again for the support. Let u know how it goes.

    Rhonda

    Reply
  28. My husband of 23 years used this tactic against me. He now has control of the family home (which I put $300,000 of my inheritance into completely remodeling 10 years ago). Our corporation, which has four businesses under it, clears $1,498,000 a year. I have been placed in our RV and am only getting $500 a week. I was told I was lucky to get that by my last attorney. That’s right my last attorney. It has been 18 months. I have not even seen a judge yet. My husband’s attorney keeps postponing our court date, and now has asked for a two-day trial. Let’s just say I eat a lot of refried beans. I have four beautiful children. Their father has turned his back on them, also. I guess the almighty dollar and his women are more important than his family. That’s okay, because they have me. I don’t have an attorney at this point. I need $20,000 for an attorney to take my case, because a forensic CPA needs to be hired to go through the business. This has been exhausting and frightening. My rights have been taken away from me with his lying RO. His attorney is strong-arming me to take $500 a week and the RV, using the RO as a bargaining chip. It’s really simple. I have no access to any money (my husband made sure of that by closing and canceling accounts and credit cards). If my husband wins this untrue restraining order, I get nothing. I was a housewife for 23 years and never worked. If I have to stand up in court by myself, I will, for the truth and my kids’ family home and a safe place for my family to gather. I just hope the judge is honest. My two-day trail is on 3-10-14. How could someone be thrown in the streets like an unwanted dog? I feel like I’ve been put in prison and convicted for the last year and a half. If anyone has any info, please share. I’ve believe education is power.

    Reply
    • I edited your comment, Rhonda, for clarity and because I think what you have to say is important. People don’t appreciate that restraining orders are used to gain ownership of property and simply discard anyone who’d otherwise have claim to a share of it. Who you should talk to is a divorce attorney. Clearly your family’s assets are significant, and it might be worthwhile to an attorney to take your case on contingency (no money upfront). This has got to be a common situation.

      I happened to catch a radio program over the weekend called “Handle on the Law,” and a man called in with a story similar to yours and was given the counsel (by an attorney) that I’ve just passed on to you. The man wasn’t even a spouse; he was a long-term, stay-at-home dad who wasn’t married to the mother of his children (and who hadn’t worked for over a decade outside of the household). He clearly had no money, and that didn’t seem to be a limiting factor.

      Call around and consult with some divorce attorneys. Until you provide an attorney with a retainer and actually hire him or her, talking isn’t a financial obligation. Act promptly, though, because success always depends on timing. The man who called into the radio show waited years and was told he didn’t have a case because of the delay. His girlfriend had accused him of domestic violence, etc., and though he was cut off and didn’t say as much, my guess is the guy was floored for a while. And it’s more than understandable that people are floored (plastered, more like) by false allegations and horrible betrayals by friends, lovers, spouses, and exes. That’s what no one gets—including officers of the court (lawyers and judges). They can’t grasp why defendants don’t just automatically defy heinous allegations, stick their chins out, and go running to attorneys to say it’s not true. It’s because they’re bewildered, mortified, depressed, and scalded.

      You’re being strong-armed because it works. Defendants are reduced to poverty and desperation so they’re impotent to counterattack. Your claim to your family’s assets is legitimate. You just need the right representation.

      If it turns out a lawyer won’t take your case without money upfront, consider tapping friends and relatives either by direct appeal or by starting a legal fundraiser through a site like GoFundMe.com.

      Also check out attorney Terri Weiss’s blog, From Bedroom to Courtroom. Maybe even drop her a line.

      Reply
    • Thank u so very much for your time. I’m seeing a attorney this week. This has been so very devastating. There are times I just want to crawl into a hole an die. I will move forward. Keep your fingers cross that this attorney will take my case, with no money for retainer. Im seeing a attorney outside my area. Because I have found out the attorneys in my area rub each other bellys. I will update u after I meet with him. Grabing my gut moving forward.

      Rhonda

      Reply
      • That’s great news, Rhonda. Don’t hesitate to see several attorneys if that’s what it takes, and I really think it’s a divorce lawyer that you want to settle on. You can always call around, too, and do some legwork without having to travel. You’re right that there can be a lot of cronyism among judges and lawyers. I appreciate your pain, and congrats for standing tall even though gut-shot. I’ll be rooting for you.

        Reply
  29. You have a big heart…I can’t imagine taking on the burden of all this drama. In fact it is a bit painful to be subscribed to your blog, a reminder of the ugliness. But good for you…I am hoping it is cathartic for you.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Cindy. I’m hoping it promotes some good.

      My capacity to monitor progress is minimal, but I’ve tried to get a feel of currents on the Internet in the last couple of weeks, and there seems to be a stilling of the “abuse, abuse, everywhere!” fervor of years past. I think the tide is turning against the “ultra” perspectives (one or the other of which is very hard for victims to resist drifting toward).

      I’ve been trying to discover where the center is, and it seems to be firmly possessed by a terrific writer named Cathy Young (some of her stories and editorials are on the Blogroll). I read several of her pieces when I started this blog and was afraid she’d disappeared, but she’s apparently still going strong. Her writing on restraining order abuses, specifically, seems to have trailed off, but she still writes about the gender divide, which is the subtext to all of this. It’s veiled from most people who are wounded by state processes that are outrageously arbitrary (that is, that don’t conform to reasonable, consistent, or even explicable standards), because all that victims perceive is the surface injustice: vicious accusers rewarded by cruelly unfair or indifferent judges. It’s not the case, though, that cruel and unfair people are drawn to the bench; it’s that judges have been subject to the invisible influence of gender politics (exerted simultaneously from the top down and the bottom up). Cathy Young’s is old-school, courageous, even crusading journalism (really just journalism proper but virtually extinct in these days of the pandering, advertisement-driven, 24-hour cable news network). I studied journalism in high school, and the first “dictionary word” I was ever taught was objective. She is objective and extremely lucid.

      The value of blogs and petitions, I’ve come to appreciate, is as a counterbalance to rhetoric. Voices like Cathy Young’s are going to do more to influence the mainstream, but the stories of actual victims of this process are what expose the visceral truth.

      Look at a “Fact Sheet” like this one, and you’ll see how rhetoric has contributed to false perspectives on what’s meant by “restraining order abuse.” The ideas that are being subtextually established are that violence is what restraining orders (“protection orders”) are addressing, that claims of false allegations are only claims of false allegations of rape and violence, etc.

      The truth is that violence is alleged rarely. The most generous statistic I’ve read is that it’s alleged half the time on “protection orders,” and if you accept (and you should) that some allegations are false, less than half of this fraction of restraining orders have anything to do with violence at all. Furthermore, it’s hardly the case that false allegations are only of violence. Furthermore than that, this “Fact Sheet” indicates that as many as one in four allegations of violence is unsubstantiated. That means one in four accusers may be lying, and one in four defendants may be innocent. One in four is a big percentage. It also recognizes that standards for determining and defining falsity vary and observes that there “is no doubt that false allegations of rape and domestic violence sometimes are made.” What it fails to argue upon making this observation is that standards should be in place to protect against such allegations, and such standards aren’t in place, because the presumption is that allegations are true. How much easier then is it to put over false allegations that may be as damaging in their consequences but aren’t as lurid and sensational as rape or battery?

      My background is in analytical thinking. When I read someone say (as the author of this study does), “Women living with domestic violence often do not take out protection orders and do so only as a last resort,” my mind is immediately prompted to ask, “If that’s the case, then doesn’t it suggest those who do take out protection orders may be lying?”

      Someone like Cathy Young, whose brief is to maintain a reasoned neutrality, can’t credit the largely anonymous and unverifiable accounts that appear on blogs and petitions, but I’ve looked at enough of these accounts for my conscience to be assured that they’re sincere. The worst that you can say about them is that some may be one-sided. The problem that even biased perspectives highlights, though, is that there is no balance: one side “wins”; the other “loses.” Since the process is tilted in the first place, a goodly percentage of the “winners” are rewarded unduly, and even plaintiffs who have a legitimate case may be partly to blame, and they aren’t blamed. They walk away with the whole shebang, which may be everything the defendants possessed and made living worthwhile to them. You can identify with this, I know.

      The antidote to sanitized statistics is the blood and tears that stain these testimonies. The argument isn’t that domestic violence, rape, stalking, etc. don’t happen; the argument is that when they or any other claim is falsely alleged, the false allegation should be detected and sanctioned. Lying, in other words, shouldn’t be easy, should never be rewarded, should always come with consequences to the liar, and should be grounds for immediate dismissal of a false prosecution.

      I’m preaching to the choir, I know. I commented in a post on the kindness of your offer to the anonymous victim who was living on the streets, by the way. I’m proud that I’ve come into contact with people as big-hearted as you.

      Reply
  30. The following is a letter that I wrote to the Judge in a Restraining Order violation show cause hearing in Wrentham Massachusetts. I don’t know if he even read it, but it explains my situation well. Because I couldn’t come to the hearing, they have issued a warrant for my arrest. I am stunned.

    Being Disabled and living on Social Security I would have thought the Public Defender would have helped, but the court would not even allow my brother (who went on my behalf) to talk to them.

    The whole Restraining Order was a farce – given back in 2005 to my Sister who is a good actress and rather vengeful person. It turns out that it doesn’t expire. It’s permanent. A perfect weapon for someone to use to wreck havoc is another person’s life. I don’t know what to do. I’m actually facing Jail for sending a text wishing her Happy New Year.

    My letter follows:

    Wrentham District Court
    60 East Street
    Wrentham, MA 02093

    January 22, 2014
    Subject: James Nelson Criminal Complaint – Norfolk Police

    Your Honor,
    I am unable to appear before you because I live in California on Social Security and cannot afford to come to Boston. I have given my brother, Robert Nelson a Power of Attorney to appear on my behalf and I hope you will allow him to do so or allow him to make some kind of arrangement with the Public Defender to help me out.

    My problems with my sister centered around a dispute about the care for my dying mother back in 2005. The restraining order was the result of accusations that my sister made against me which were proved false in Framingham District Court and I was found not Guilty by Judge Stoddard. My mother ultimately died eight years ago and all the court cases between my sister and the other members of the family were resolved a few years ago. I frankly thought the restraining order was part of that past history and it had expired as they do here in California.

    I’m 66 years old and was diagnosed with emphysema last summer. This New Years, I resolved to try and heal the rift so that I could see my niece and nephews before I die and so I tried to reach out with a simple New Years greeting by text– it obviously backfired. But my intent was pure of heart and I love my sister in spite of her efforts to hurt me – and I always will.

    I did not wish my sister a “Shitty” new year as alleged by the Norfolk Police Detective I talked to. I wished her a good one. The “rotten” in the text was an auto text error on the iPhone that I corrected in the next tweet as soon as I caught it. The exact transmission was: “Happy New Year to your children and husband. May you have a rotten one. Love, Your Brother James – Sorry, auto type error. May you have a good one.” If my sister did not give you the complete text, she was misrepresenting the message.

    In any event, I sorry she doesn’t want to hear from me and I’m surprised that the restraining order is still in effect. Obviously she will never hear from me again. Hopefully, we can leave it at that.
    Regards,
    Jim Nelson

    Any help you can give me – or any of your readers – would be wonderful.

    Reply
    • Wow.

      I say that, but no perfidy really surprises me anymore. Obviously, I’m sorry, Jim. It’s obscene that you should have to deal with this on top of a life-threatening illness. You’re the third commenter this week who’s reported having a restraining order petitioned by a (female) sibling or parent. That’s pretty obscene, too.

      If you’re saying the order that the alleged violation stems from was quashed, there was no basis for the show-cause hearing. The “cause” was that there was no order in effect for you to have allegedly violated. “Quashed” = vacated, null and void, invalid, finito.

      Maybe you’re saying the “not guilty” verdict applied to a different prosecution. Your sister went on a spree?

      You need to move the court to dismiss the warrant. If you can afford to hire an attorney to represent you out of state, great. (Gregory Hession is a Massachusetts attorney who’s one of the most vocal opponents of restraining orders out there.) Otherwise you could either call a Massachusetts attorney, explain the situation, and have him or her walk you through the steps to take from out of state (lesser cost); or you could download a motion form from the Internet for the court and jurisdiction you’d be filing it with (or have that court send you one), and mail it yourself.

      If you were found “not guilty,” but the restraining order was upheld anyway, anything as harmless as a butt-dial from your cell phone can be construed as a “jailable offense.” It’s an outrage, clearly. Call an attorney in any case to find out whether you have to worry about being picked up in California. And I would definitely recommend you call Gregory Hession’s office even if the cost of having him represent you would be prohibitive.

      Again, I’m sorry, and I hope this helps. I also hope your sister did have a [bleep] New Year’s! Finally I hope you fight the disease and beat it. A close friend of mine, not even out of his thirties, died of cancer not long ago by misplacing his trust in the curative powers of medicine. Please promise me you’ll investigate some dietary protocols for healing. I don’t trust drugs, but I know the body has an amazing propensity to heal if it’s fed right. Look up the names Johanna Budwig and Ann Wigmore. Be well.

      Reply
      • Jim, you might also consider obtaining a letter from your physician that says you have a “terminal illness” and that you’re “restricted from travel.” This will give you or your attorney some mitigating testimony.

        “Mr. Nelson would have appeared in person, Your Honor, but he is terminally ill and unable to travel. His medical condition, furthermore, requires that he be on oxygen 24 hours a day….”

        Yadda, yadda.

        Reply

        • upsetmom

          January 24, 2014

          It might be worth calling the court clerk and explaining the situation. You might be able to vacate it on delivery of service, summons, or notice. They should have made arrangements for a phone appearance. This is a failure of due process and there are many statute codes on this. If you have any energy left I’d also consider a perjury charge and perhaps a civil lawsuit.

          Reply

  31. upsetmom

    January 20, 2014

    Is there anything anyone can do to counteract the abuse? Can you petitition for a slander and obstruction of justice? What about due process? My mother got a restraining order on my little brother because he called her a bad name. But it doesn’t just happen to men. She had tried to convince me to get one against a woman who she felt wronged by. I refused to do it.

    She has also gone to family court and has a temporary restraining order against me and obtained temporary custody of my son. I do not drink, do drugs, and I don’t know how this could happen. I was never summonsed or served. It’s terrible.

    But I can’t find a way of stopping her from abusing the system.

    Reply
    • It sounds like your mom’s enjoying the attention and the power trip. I’m sorry you’ve been put through this. It blows me away to hear that a grandparent can wrest a child from a mom without basis.

      My immediate thoughts are these: (1) you and your brother could apply to the probate court to have your mother deemed “mentally incompetent,” which would enable you to become her guardians or have her placed in state care (an e-How tutorial is here); (2) you (or you both) could petition for restraining orders against your mom; and/or (3) you (or you both) could sue her. The one of these options that doesn’t require an attorney’s guidance or any money is petitioning for restraining orders (or going to talk to adult protective services about your mom’s mental instability). You have a pattern of misconduct here. Write down what else your mom has done that shows failure of good judgment, erratic behaviors, any medical conditions she has or meds she’s on, etc.

      Don’t talk to her about what you’re considering, obviously, especially before you know whether any of these courses is viable.

      Reply
    • Published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

      Handling False Allegations of Child Abuse and Neglect

      Reply

      • upsetmom

        January 23, 2014

        Thank you very much for that feedback. I managed to vacate the order and had custody restored but I still have a hearing. Not too sure that I can more here, but I have a lot to say about it.

        Reply
        • Good for you. Does this mean you’ll still associate with your mother?

          You could, absolutely, turn the tables and get a restraining order against her if you wished, alleging harassment and expressing concerns for you and your son. The appalling fact is there is nothing you can do within the law to shut this kind of conduct down. Your mother (don’t tell her this) could apply for a restraining order against you all over again. And if you had that one vacated, she could do it again. And again. And again. There’s no statutory limit on the number of times she could do this and no consequences to her for doing it.

          Reply
  32. Well, I recently learned from a steathly third party that the grandkids (3 out of 4) have followed their mother’s (our daughter – who obtained a court order against me for our verbal fight over the telephone across 3 or 4 states) example by dropping out of school, getting into drugs, use of very found language. So far, apparently, at least they are not involved in doing any juvenile detention time. This information really ruined my day today and made me sick to my stomach all afternoon. So, after some soul searching and discussion with other family members, we may decide to not try to vacate the court order (since apparently the 3 kids probably are down on us). There is some indication the 4th boy is still on the straight path – if he is and if we can make a determination accurately (and communicate) we are thinking of rewarding him somehow. Maybe some college tuition or some long term investment only for him. It is so hurtful and frustrating to not be able to communicate legally.

    Thanks for allowing venting ….

    Lee

    Reply
    • I appreciate how desolating this must be for you, and I appreciate too your emotional triumph in putting consideration of the boy’s welfare above consideration of your own. You can seek vacation of the order anytime. You’re limited in how soon you can apply, but there’s no deadline. If you can bear it, wait until the time seems right. The important thing, really, is to know this option is available to you.

      Vent anytime, Lee.

      Reply
  33. My ex gf applied for and was granted a temporary injunction was entered against me on March 1, 2013 after my ex gf was shaking and crying before a judge alleging that I had threatened and hit her in the past and she was currently in fear. The order prevented me from going near her home or her rental property, and her. After a hearing on March 11, 2013, which I mistakenly attended without counsel, the injunction was made final through December 2014. On March 18, 2013, my attorney filed a motion to modify the injunction so that I could visit a friend next door to the rental.

    On March 20, 2013, my ex gf called the police and stated that she was tending to one of her rental properties when she noticed my vehicle driving by. I was immediately arrested on March 21, 2013 and kept in jail for 2 days.

    On March 26, 2013 I had the hearing for modification, which was denied as my ex gf was again crying and shaking about her fear of me, and the judge said she had a right to tend to her rental property and collect rent. During her crying, my ex gf stated that I had been arrested after her tenant saw me driving by (COMPLETELY different from the story she told the police).

    My attorney working on the alleged injunction violation obtained all the recent police reports from the county police office that my ex had called in. To our amazement, one of the reports was from March 1, 2013, (the same day as the petition for the temporary injunction), where my ex said I had stole some items. In the police report, the officer specifically noted in capital letters that my ex said I had never battered and had never threatened her during our relationship!!!

    She clearly is abusing the system and I feel like there is nothing I can do. I was placed in jail for 2 days, lost 20 pounds over stress, lost my freedom, and lost my job because of the false allegations against me. I want to remove the injunction but I feel like she will just cry and say that she was scared to report the truth to the officer. I just do not know what to do, I am looking at jail time when I have been nothing but kind to this woman, was not near her house. I feel like I should have some case with the contradictory police report and petition for injunction filed the same day, then the police call where she saw me but then in court says the tenant saw me???

    Reply
    • I’m sorry, Will. Who can appreciate how much damage these sorts of shenanigans can cause in a few months let alone the toll of years of enduring them after they start bouncing around the court system? I’m glad, at least, that you’ve got an attorney working on this now. You can certainly subpoena the tenant and force him or her to testify. That testimony plus the contradictory police reports you’d expect would expose the truth to a judge. I won’t tell you a judge will admit to perceiving the facts even if s/he does, but you have a stronger case than most. And having representation gives you a credibility advantage that, again, most defendants lack. You could also, I suppose, see about obtaining the testimony of witnesses who can speak to the nature of your relationship with your ex-girlfriend, as well as character testimony. Later on down the road, you might consider suing for damages, too.

      If you think your ex-girlfriend might have a history of engaging in these kinds of abuses, you could check court records or put a private investigator on it if the cost wouldn’t be prohibitive.

      Document everything. Everything: your suffering, the effects on your health and prosperity, your financial losses, everything. See a doctor. See a counselor. Keep records, and get statements from them, too. And stay in motion. This is the hardest thing, because the natural reaction is to retreat. Success in all things legal is about acting promptly while the facts are fresh and confronting everything bullheadedly. Often summoning the emotional resource is the hardest thing.

      Best wishes to you, and let me know how things turn out. Get some B vitamins, nourish yourself well, and try to stay well-rested and positive. Maintaining your fortitude is essential.

      Reply

  34. Anonymous

    November 8, 2013

    My wife is abusing the system and as best I can tell being convinced, forced by her family in particular her mother to stay in the USA. INSTEAD, of talking about the situation before making such a harsh, bad decision she has signed the forms and now I await my day in court to have it denied.

    She is abusing the system, because her USA family has enough knowledge of the visa process where she might be able to obtain her visa, without me, by claiming abuse(VAWA). Sadly, that will fail just like the protective order will since there are not hard facts to prove abuse, cause it never happened. It is family members that did not like us together to start with that have pushed her to do this to me. She has NO knowledge of the system in the USA and “has” to believe everything her USA family tells her. There is more to the story, but we ended up here due to my decision to give her a ticket back to her country after a heated argument..it was a very bad idea done at the wrong time! If I could only talk to her, I know we would work it out.

    Reply
    • I wish you the best with this. Just be very aware that having evidence of lying is only as good as your ability to articulate how that evidence negates the legitimacy of her allegations of fear or whatever. A judge who thinks (or just imagines) that where there’s smoke there’s fire will disregard your evidence. Proof isn’t the standard on which these matters are judged, and lies aren’t even acknowledged. The best you can expect a judge to do is declare that he finds your story “more credible.”

      Reply
  35. I am new here, found this site by chance. i have read a great of nasty things and I feel for you all. I haven’t found a situation like mine yet. Trust me I don’t like be in this world of isolation and fear. i not only can say yeah the RO is full of lies blah blah, like they all are for the most part. But I can actually show mine…ugh…her’s are forgery and flat fraud. i just posted this issue on avvo as well just to see if any lawyers will bite. If anyone can help or cares to help get this handled the way I know we all would like to see, her getting her come to a realization that she can’y lie to cover this lie.I can attest to what I hear from others in the RO life. Its pain, dark and cold.

    here is what I put up on avvo;

    issuing court, Madge Bradley SUPERIOR SD.
    List of things wrong.

    TRO forms- all pages in courts stamp area conveniently whited out on date and time, app and OAH donot have this issue.
    TRO-the last page does not have clerk signature certifying that the copy is the one on file.

    OAH-MANY ISSUES!!
    RO/OAH-was used by PTNR in dissolution in AZ, filed RO/OHA order with answer to that case. I took the copy on record at Madge (one legal got it) and compared the final orders, they look the same but the clerk’s signature in not on the case file in SD but is on the one filed in divorce case in AZ.
    SDSC-025 OAH-rev is low 4/12. hand writing … someone I know!! reads odd, says PTNR present for hearing, RSPN check NP. But then checks saying notice was present and aware!!
    This is seriously horrible.

    I can post a link to a dropbox folder later on or email people copies of what I am talking about.
    I had to spend 1y with a forced classs 1 mis for ass/dv due to her nonsense but I just handled my own post-con relief petition with evidence have out side of these, but I did include in the exhibits her dirty secret. The petition for a prior TRO/RO in SD SUP Court back 97. Same acts and liberal story telling. She lost the RO hearing and got slapped with a binding mutual on both young parents saying get consent or order before baby snatching!!

    I know I can probably just walk upto the judge and say umm… WTF is this ? But i thought it would be mutually beneficial to tell it to others first just in case it is help. I apologize for the size of the post.

    Reply
  36. Thanks.
    Yes, some of these people are very, very difficult to deal with. In our case, based on your advice, we made initial contact with an attorney office in that area. It sounds very positive. However, we are having second thoughts about getting back into a scene with our daughter. It seems not to be worth it. IF the kids could only give a sign, we would go through with the process. But, we fear the worst. Perhaps in a few months we will rethink it. One issue is the trusts setup for college. We learned from high school graduation lists that, apparently, they did not graduate this May, as they should have. This may mean they have acquired our daughter’s (their mother’s) values. In effect, she dropped out in her sophomore year of high school. To get back into that scene and turmoil seems too much at this stage, especially since it may be an uphill struggle to get them interested in education. Although, one extremely favorable quality of life in the U.S. is there is always hope for education, even later in one’s life.

    Thanks for the help/advice. Sometimes it’s helpful just having someone to share bounce things off. Best wishes for the others suffering from such issues. Thanks again ….

    Reply
  37. Understand on the possibility of vacating court orders. Thank you. I had no idea a vacation were possible. We definitely would retain an attorney for this should we do it, definitely.
    Thanks again.

    Except for our relationship with the kids, the last four years have been nice and peaceful. If we decide to go for the vacation, I will contact an attorney over there.

    Btw, should there be any doubt, the most serious crime made the newspapers here at the time. I believe the avoidance of punishment was an attribute to certain sociopathic skills that most of us lack in dealing with certain judges.

    Anyway, nuf said probably. Thank you again for the advice on the vacation.

    Reply
    • Sure, both avoidance of accountability/punishment and having no qualms about lying to judges, police officers, or anyone else. Whatever works. These people don’t have any self-reproach.

      Please let me know how things turn out, Lee. If you can bear the indignities of leaping through their hoops, I think you’ve got a great chance of scraping this off.

      Reply
  38. Gads, how I wish I had known of this blog a few years ago.
    My wife and I suffer from our daughter’s restraining order against me in 2009. It was from an argument I had with our daughter over the telephone. I, probably unwisely, told her that if she were here (in our Washington home) I would strangle her for her behavior). We had problems with her since about 13 years of age. One issue/problem is the state in which she obtained the order is Colorado. Apparently, in CO such orders are in effect for life. In our state of Washington, they are in effect for only 6 months. We know this because once we had to obtain a restraining order on her boyfriend at the time for threatening my wife, the daughter’s mother. That guy was formally assessed as a paranoid schizophrenia personality. One day while I was at work, he came to our residence and tried to kick in the front door to get at my wife, our daughter’s mother.
    During childhood, our daughter forged her mother’s name on our checking account, regularly stole from GAP and Nordstrom and Safeway. As a very young child she suffered from a playground accident in which she took a hit to the side of the head by an adjacent play swing on the school grounds. Entering junior high school she suffered psychomotor seizures that were at times extremely upsetting. We sought help from a top neurologist in Harborview Medical Center here in Seattle. He was never able to observe her in a seizure. However, we did observe her in many different seizures over the following 2 or 3 years. From reading I did at that time, some experts held a belief that such seizures ‘sometimes’ are related to criminal behavior.

    Our daughter left school during her 10th year. We did not realize it until receiving a letter from the school advising that she did not have enough credits to graduate. Apparently what happened was my wife drove her to school, however, once dropped off and once her mother drove off, the daughter would soon leave for the streets of Seattle with others. We learned later that she got into drugs, free and wild sex – a former gal friend of her’s (who is an RN who works with clinical sociopaths) told of an instance in which she (our daughters) was arrested by Seattle police for swimming naked with a group of men in Gas Works Park in the city. Anyway, we did not learn this until late in life. During our daughter’s elementary and junior high days, my wife participated in school activities, field trips, cookie bakes, etc., to contribute our interest in her education.
    Our daughter had three pregnancies (delivering four children, the two oldest are identical twins) all delivered via welfare within a three year period. We tried to talk to her about this behavior. My wife described how it would lead to a life of difficulty and poverty – her response was that she “was already poor”. Finally, the State ordered her to be sterilized so she would avoid a fourth pregnancy. Her first pregnancy was created with a stranger on the backseat of a Greyhound bus enroute to Quebec. Her last child, a little girl, was conceived with an illegal farmworker from Mexico on her boyfriend’s parent’s dairy farm – she and the illegal farm worker were caught in the very act in the barn by the boyfriend’s mother.
    In the summers of 2007 through 2009, the boys visited us for the summers. They told us of their mother (our daughter) having sex with her new boyfriend while taking little or not precautions to remain privacy. The youngest boy as well as the little girl told us of their mother having sex with her boyfriend with the little girl (6 years old at the time) sleeping in the same bed with them (daughter and boyfriend), except the little girl was not asleep! We immediately became worried and told the three boys to do what they can to make their little sister sleep in her own bed in her bedroom. We told the little girl this directly too.
    The youngest boy began to describe to me over the telephone starting when he was about 10 years old stories/descriptions of his mother and the boyfriend having sex. The boy described this completely unsolicited, utterly at his own volition. It struck me as highly unusual for a 10 year old to be talking of such things to his grandfather. His descriptions included that of oral sex. Now I wish I had taped those descriptions to use in court.
    When our daughter applied for the court order against me for threatening to strangle her if she were here in our home in Washington on the phone when she was in Colorado, I was served in Washington the notice of the court hearing in Colorado less than 24 hours before the upcoming hearing. I was at work on a City of Woodinville street project. I could not get away from that project to travel to Colorado for the hearing the next day. I needed to give daily verbal project reports to the Director of Public Works and would have needed to recruit a replacement. The detective who served me the order told me (after I explained all the problems we had had with our daughter over the years including her and her boyfriend killing a fellow and trying to hide the body) of how so many such people know more about the justice system than normal citizens who spend their lives working their daily jobs. He suggested I call the Court Clerk to request a delay for late notice. He also said she probably deliberately coordinated the delivery so we would have minimum notification. I called and was given a delay of a few days.

    My wife and I contacted a local, Colorado attorney to request help. He told us it would cost at least $2500, plus airfare and motel, etc., and he could not guarantee our success. I could not get away from the City project. My wife declined to go by herself because she was fearful she would breakdown in court and cry and be unable to be very effective. So we elected to write the judge a letter (after first asking the attorney whether this would be acceptable and not an offense to the court). The attorney said it would not hurt to try, but he advised us the magistrate would no doubt share those letters with our daughter. So, both my wife and I wrote letters to the court magistrate. I described how we had had difficulty with our daughter over the years, described her 6 or 7 jail sentences and how she and her boyfriend killed that fellow and tried to hide the body. I pleaded with the magistrate to either believe me regarding the youngest boy’s descriptions of sex starting at about 10 years of age or at least direct a professional to assess that situation. However, apparently, he either elected to toss the letters or merely ignored them. The magistrate ordered me to not make any kind of contact or communication with our daughter or her four children. The previous attorney advised me to take the matter very seriously – I absolutely did – he also told us the order is for life in Colorado, not merely six months like in Washington. This means we can never speak to the four grandchildren, ever. Two of the children wanted to live permanently with us. We also wanted that. While staying with us, we enrolled the boys in summer camps and art school (the two oldest are/were serious art talents). We purchased quality clothing and shoes (they had worn out and small shoes). We set up trusts for their educations. Now we learned the two oldest did not even graduate from high school this last May.

    It has been very frustrating and exasperating. We could not care less about communicating with our daughter, however, it really hurts to be denied our grandchildren. Over the years I am confident we have spent over a hundred thousand helping our daughter only to have her do this to us. We now believe it is not worth spending any more money on or for her. We believe she has poisoned our grandchildren against us. If one or all of the children were to communicate with us, we would, however, spend whatever it takes to have the court order adjusted to allow communication back and forth with them again. But, even though the two oldest are now 18, there is no communication from them.

    Reply
    • God, Lee, what a horror. I’m deeply sorry for you both.

      Ways of attacking these instruments vary from state to state, but I do know that in Colorado there is a process for vacating a restraining order after four years have gone by (if that point hasn’t been reached, it should be soon from what you’ve told me).

      Click here for the motion to the court that you can download:

      JDF 395 Instructions for Restrained Person to Modify/Dismiss PO R3-12

      For more info, Google “instructions for restrained person motion to modify / dismiss protection order” or “JDF 395” + “motion to modify” or “Colorado” + “dismiss protection order.” Double-check to make sure that the order you got is a “PO R3-12” (an order of protection). I’m assuming from what you’ve told me that this is the instrument you received.

      Please leave another comment, anyway, so I’ll know you got this.

      It’s an ordeal, and the motion is one you’d want to craft slowly and deliberately, ideally with the help of an attorney. You’d have to complete a fingerprint-based criminal history record check prior to filing your motion and then file your motion within 90 days of getting the record check.

      This would probably be like reliving the whole horrible thing all over again. It would at least give you a shot, though, of undoing some of your daughter’s wreckage. If you could get the restraining order vacated (which means canceled/invalidated), you might be able to petition the courts for rights to contact, visit, or even gain custody of your grandchildren. This, of course, is also something you’d have to get a lawyer’s help with.

      If vacating the order holds out any hope for you, please do try to get an attorney’s help, because this can truly make all the difference. Having been issued a restraining order is extremely prejudicial, and just an attorney’s name in association with a motion to undo one will give you a measure of credibility you wouldn’t otherwise have. An attorney knows what to say, how to say it, and what to leave out. Talking with one, incidentally, is usually free.

      You have my very best wishes.

      Reply

  39. Frustrated in memphis

    March 16, 2013

    Also, if I apply for jobs and am extended offers but denied due to the background check because of these false charges…. Can include those salaries as damages due to lost wages in my lawsuit against the city?

    Reply

  40. Frustrated in memphis

    March 16, 2013

    Todd… I came to you back in December inquiring what I should do and if you could give me any insight on my very awful and bizarre case. Since subscribing to your blog, I feel I am not alone in this. Restraining orders are so awful and wreak havoc on so many people. If you recall, my ex boyfriend, a Memphis police officer, had me arrested several times by spoofing my number. Internal affairs wouldn’t help initially. Well, he did it again. He alleged to have two missed calls from my old number, which I had disconnected way back in September, on Christmas Day. I had an upcoming court date on January 3, 2013 and my birthday was on January 2,2013. I feel as though he tried to send me to jail for my birthday. I almost turned myself in on myself so I could bond out and not miss a flight I had booked for myself and my best friend to NYC for January 4-6. Well, my ordeal turned into a 5 week long stay in the county lock up. At a subsequent bond hearing the prosecutor merely said to the judge, well, we have the photographs of her calling him and the judge took one look at the text messages that were exchanged between myself and my exes girlfriend back in September and refused to reduce my bond. The prosecutor also said, well how do we know shes not faking her own number?! ugh! that was so heart breaking. By the way, my bond was up to $60,000 because each time he has me arrested my bond doubles. So now here comes the craziest part. While in jail, my lawyer and their lawyer then say they want to work out some agreement so that they can have the ex part orders dismissed off of me and off my exes new wife ( he married her three days after my initial arrest). The first draft of the document says I won’t retaliate in any way. Can u imagine how I felt reading that while sitting in shackles down at the court. I refused. My lawyer was able to talk to the lead prosecutor and she released me on my recognizance after spending 5 weeks in jail because the alleged crimes were non violent and they were repeatedly able to say that I am in fact a phd student and member of the jr league in my city. At my next court in mid February my lawyer came up with another agreement that included this line ” ms. Jones will not retaliate in any way by the filing of false charges or criminal harassment charges.” I signed this agreement because no where in there does it prevent me from suing the city of Memphis for failing to investigate my claims or protect me. The fact that this is so easy to disprove is completely mind boggling to me. But I do understand that my evidence won’t be shown until I have a trial. I hope to avoid trial because I want to move on with my life. I signed the agreement because I want them to think they won in a sense. I wan them to think they’ve bested me. I know I must tread carefully when dealing with members of police departments and one of their own. I want to ask you what should I do? My lawyer advises me to wait until the charges are dropped at my next court case date and then wait several months before moving forward with my lawsuit. Naturally, I want to move forward now. Also, if I sue the city wil that force them to investigate his claims against me and possibly result in him being fired? To any reasonable person, I think that showing that not one single call ever happened, yet I was jail 4 times, would appear completely fraudulent and malicious. I am going to write a book on this. Send my story to lifetime. I want to spin this thing into a positive. The fact that this follows my very unique name and is easily accessed on google makes it even harder. I work with children. I’m going to have to change my name eventually. I was even in jail completing work for my doctoral classes. You suggested getting the press involved. I have no doubt that they will once I file my lawsuit. And the fact that i was put on the news initially for ” stalking a MPD officer” already gives it a unique spin. I can point to that fraudulent arrest and subsequent defamatory news story as further grounds for my lawsuit. I’m just curious to your thoughts. You are really very helpful!

    Reply
    • You’re definitely not alone. I’ve been corresponding with a woman for weeks/months who’s in a bind similar to yours: she has a psychopathic woman with a taste for vengeance after her (who also had her jailed recently—on allegations that haven’t even been shared with her).

      The restraining order against me was issued a week before my birthday and fell on my father’s. If this ordeal is being orchestrated to do you maximal injury, your suspicion is probably right.

      The restraining order process is rife with corruption. Judges and police officers can pretty much abuse it with impunity. (You can, incidentally, file a complaint with your state’s Commission on Judicial Ethics down the road if you want. I think you have a year to do this. I don’t have any faith that this would accomplish anything, but it might give you some satisfaction.)

      What a hellish mess. God. If your attorney supports your eventually suing, you might do well to bide your time if it’s a matter of freeing yourself from further vulnerability to false allegations. You don’t want this derailing the entire arc of your life.

      Your being a woman is very advantageous, and I’d certainly counsel you to take full advantage of it. Though feminist advocacy is largely to blame for the ease with which restraining orders are abused, you could probably get women’s groups to rally around your cause: nailing men who abuse their power to hurt women is what they live for. It makes their teeth sweat—and those teeth are sharp. You may even find offers for free (pro bono) legal representation this way. Your being a Ph.D. student also makes you an attractive prospect. See if you have a local chapter of the National Organization of Women (NOW) where you live, and go talk to somebody. If you can bear it, sure, call a local journalist, too—or a national one. Ellen (the talk show) has forms on its website that you could suggest yourself as a guest on.

      Tying your life in a knot is easy; to unravel this knot is going to require a lawyer who has faith in you and is willing to dedicate some serious time to your case.

      I had intended to write for children, so I understand what all this calamity spells for you professionally as well as personally. You’re right that the best way to clear the air is to call attention to the odor rather than sheepishly pretend it isn’t there.

      If you were put on the local news before, and you can show the network that it misrepresented the matter and injured your reputation, it might feel morally obligated to show your side. I would just caution you to take every step very deliberately and resist impulses that could excite the courts or your ex-boyfriend to screw with you more than they already have. The process prevails by beating people into submission. If the truth is on your side, though, and you can make that clear, it’s unlikely that the system is going to invite further scrutiny. This process doesn’t like a lot of attention, because the perception of legitimacy it depends on is veneer-thin. And judges hate looking shoddy or crooked much worse than they hate being wrong.

      This is the horror of injustice: it gnaws at you and takes over your life. Friends will probably tell you to “move on,” “try to put it behind you,” etc., not really understanding how it’s affected you or why.

      If I were you, I’d take your lawyer’s advice and pursue some non-legal angles and let things settle. Strike in cold blood rather than hot and meanwhile see what there is to see. Obviously I hope you’re able to puncture this abscess and get the poison out, but keep yourself safe until the moment feels right.

      And keep me posted as things evolve.

      Reply
    • http://www.now.org/chapters/tn.html

      Explain you’re being discriminated against and discounted as a hysterical woman and abused by the police and judicial system, which are destroying your life. Use the phrase “good old boys network.” That gets feminists’ dander up.

      Reply

    • Anonymous123: Genecks

      March 29, 2013

      Report it to the FBI. I used to have some telephone phreaking knowledge back in the day. The FBI should step in and take care of it if you are truly not guilty. You better hope you’re not guilty if you report it to the FBI. The FBI says before you make a report that something is to the best of your knowledge.

      Reply
  41. Thanks for the support and ideas on pointing out the inconsistencies in “material” statements visually with arrows to drive home the point of perjury. I am sure you probably have some entry on here about societies response to the victim of restraining order abuse.

    It is incredibly isolating…people are outraged by the petitioners conduct but they subtly turn it around and all of sudden YOU are at fault because you did not see it coming, or why did you not leave the relationship sooner. I am a psychology major and I find it extremely interesting it seems to be an almost universal response. You are victimized all over again and to your point above even pursuing litigation can be seen as additional behavior which could be considered obsessive or harrassment–stalking behavior. A viscious black hole.

    I would be happy to write to the organization NOW, however, I will have to do some additional research as to what legislation if any is currently in place or what I should urge for action in reform.

    Also, being pro se, your website is awesome and kudos to you for taking a stand. Just reading the various entries is therapeutic to realize you are not alone.
    I respect what you are doing…and I know it is not easy. You are helping a lot of people just by having this blog…so thanks.

    Reply
    • Yeah, don’t let me mislead you with the material/immaterial business. Defamation requires that the defendant lied about you in a damaging way but not necessarily that he perjured himself. Pointing out perjuries, though, should make the judge pay more attention. Or not.

      People’s responses, including attorneys’ and judges’, are cruelly schizo. For example, the same person who knows you and tells you to “try to put it behind you” will turn around and talk about someone else’s having been issued a restraining order in a way that obviously suggests people who are issued restraining orders are real monsters. An attorney will tell you everyone knows people lie their asses off on restraining orders, but if that attorney were across the aisle from you in a courtroom matter you can bet your ass that he’d use that restraining order to make you look as nasty as he could. All of these people will tell you, oh, it’s no big deal. And all of them damn well know these instruments are extremely prejudicial. Like you were talking about, sure, the allegations are civil, but, dude, if someone says you were creeping around his or her home or spying on his or her kids or exposing yourself or whatever, that allegation is out there on a public document. The judge may not even consider some side allegation like this as relevant to his decision, but he’s not going to strike it or deny the injunction because of it. Just the phrase restraining order implies creepy.

      I’ll think about writing a post about this. You know who most fails to grasp the psychological effects of false allegations like these? Women. In particular ones who identify themselves as feminists. Part of this may just have to do with averting their eyes from what feminism has wrought. Part of it has to do with believing physical violations are the worst ones and psycho-emotional ones are comparatively no biggie.

      I’m really glad if I’ve helped. Truly I hope you get free of this, CH. Keep me posted.

      Reply
  42. I am representing myself pro se after a sociopath tried to file an ex-parte CSPO against me. Fortunately it was denied by the magistrate for insufficient evidence. Before it went to the hearing he withdrew his complaint. (essentially he was cheating on me with several other women, he abused the system to make a point to his “new” girlfriend it was over between the two of us.) He has had 4 DVCPO issued against him so he knows how easy it is to just file, pay no money and subsequently withdrawal with no legal recourse unless I pursued civil litigation.
    I am in the pharmaceutical industry and subject to background checks. What he did was just plain wrong, malacious, etc. etc.
    From what I have learned a malacious prosecution case would be tough because of the elements of damage.

    Perhaps you can charge him with something under the professional code of conduct rules to make a complaint via that route as well as civil action.

    I am attempting to pursue criminial charges for perjury as well as a signed affadavit in two documents show inconsistencies. I am amazed at the reluctance of police or the courts to pursue charges for a crime of perjury. I recognize it probably seems trivial but our entire system is based on telling the truth. If it is not enforced what is the whole point….

    I filed for frivilious conduct, abuse of process, intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation and false light.

    The frivilous conduct was dismissed due to a 12b motion and because I did not file as a motion, instead of in the complaint ,and it was past the 30 day time limitation.
    I refiled this claim under the original case and instead filed a motion 11 (which is not time barred, and possesses many of the elements of a frivilous claim). I had first hearing and unbelievably it has been continued. I think I am holding my own, but pro se and never in court before against an attorney is a bit intimidating.
    However, after hearing the evidence thus far the magistrate on her own initiative set up a motion to seal the CPO, (in a separate hearing,) against me as it was voluntarily withdrawn by the defendent.
    If your case was never granted you should be able to seal it however in regards to it being sealed and not really sealed in terms of viewing of police etc. I am concerned with as well.

    This whole concept of ex-parte, as a woman, I completely appreciate the opportunity for someone who is truly being abused to be offered a safe haven and a relatively easy way to provide some protection for themselves and family memebers. But the way the system is set up it is riduculously easy to lie and manipulate the court without any real evidence due to the preponderence of evidence standard and you are now presented in a situation where you are presumed guilty and not innocent.
    Even though he withdrew it I feel i have to purse the law suit out of principle if I do not he basically gets away with this controlling abuse behaviour. Hopefully the court will grant you something if you are able to prove it was done with malice and there is no reason for you to suffer long term consequences for your career.

    If I was not filing pro se I do not know how someone could afford this…I have sent discovery requests, interrogatorries, admissions, been to court three times thus far, I can not even begin to imagine what my costs would be if I had hired an attorney. Which I think is another reason the abuse is rampant not enough people push back to make the court take a harder look at motivation of the petitioner. It is easier to walk away then just sue the a***hole.
    Any legal advice or a case which would be helpful to me is very much welcome as well…..

    Good luck, I definately feel for you….

    Reply
    • Wow, for someone who’s just winging this, you sound like an old hand! Good for you. A guy I grew up with works for a defense contractor, and he’s also subject to routine checks, and they’re extremely rigorous. He doesn’t even have text messaging on his cell. He has to be that vigilant about paper trails.

      You’re absolutely right about how disgracefully easy it is for unscrupulous people to abuse this process and upend others’ lives, and the motive you ascribe to this guy—trying to prove to his latest lady love that he only has eyes for her—is one I’ve heard repeatedly from people in the past 15 months. One woman, a friend I corresponded with for months, went through an almost identical ordeal, because she renewed a friendship with a guy with a very jealous wife. There’s wasn’t even a physical relationship. Texts, some calls and emails, and a hug—that’s it. And he falsely accused her of battery to get his wife off his back. Another woman, a young attorney, was served with an emergency restraining order, because the older guy she was dating (also an attorney) had a wife he didn’t tell her about before taking her to bed.

      It sounds like you’ve got a judge who’s at least sensitive to your complaint and recognizes its merits. Explain to her that you need this expunged from your public record, both for your sanity’s sake and because it threatens your employment. Everyone knows people routinely lie in restraining orders, but no one wants to concede this, because these instruments are a political lightning rod. I’d love it if you wrote to the president of the National Organization of Women (NOW) and asked her to please use her influence to move for restraining order reform. See what she says!

      Thanks for your sympathy, too. I didn’t realize when I was first going through this that I could represent myself in a lawsuit. Few people do. I’m glad you’re one of them. Proving motive, perjury, etc. is very difficult in these cases, because what passes for evidence in the first instance can be way beyond vague. Anything you’ve written can be falsely represented. A birthday present can be turned into something sinister. And the guy can just say he was scared or that you wouldn’t take no for an answer or whatever. If you’ve got actual contradictions in his testimony to the court that you can point to, this will help (actually get little red, adhesive arrows and stick them on your exhibits). To establish perjury, these contradictions will have to meet the standard of “material,” that is, the falsehoods would have to be of a nature that would tend to influence a judge. You won’t get this guy prosecuted for perjury, but this should substantiate your allegation of defamation. For proving injury, consider getting close friends/associates/family members to provide you with affidavits describing the effects they’ve noted this having on your health, mood, behavior, etc., and if you don’t mind doing it, submit a letter from your doctor. Bear in mind if you do this, though, that your complaint itself is a public document. If you allege psychological trauma, for example, make sure discovery of these claims by your employer won’t end up threatening your employment status (ring-around-the-rosy…we all fall down).

      There’s no impressing upon someone who hasn’t been victimized by this process that all of this hell you’ve gone through and have in store originates with some louse popping into a courthouse for half an hour and scribbling some calculated nastiness on a form.

      Good luck to you, CH. I hope you bankrupt the bum.

      Reply
  43. To the anonymous “someone” who represented him- or herself as an attorney and yesterday contacted this blog: if you’re on the level and there’s something you could do for or suggest to this young lawyer who wrote in a couple of months ago, please let me know. I’ll pass along the information. Her story:

    “I am a 26 year old female attorney who was served with an ex parte emergency order of protection by a 33 year old male attorney I dated after I emailed and texted him telling him that he was a creep for having sex with me while married (his conduct constituted adultery and fornication in our state, a class a and class b misdemeanor respectively). He committed perjury in the ex parte emergency hearing claiming that my office is on the same street as his office when it isn’t (material because it gave support to the emergency in that I could just show up at his office during work hours. I work in another city?!) . The plenary order was denied. I have filed a complaint with my State Bar’s disciplinary board for adultery, fornication, perjury, use of the laws procedures for the illegitimate purposes of harassment and intimidation and disrespect for the legal system. I don’t necessarily want to pursue a malicious prosecution and abuse of power civil suit ( mostly because they are extremely difficukt burdens) but I need the expired ex parte order ordered out of the law enforcement agencies database systems because, as the petitioner knew and probably was motivated by, my career aspirations include applying to the FBI. Please help.”

    Reply
  44. Will do!

    Reply
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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