Chicken Sh*t from Rotten Eggs: Rosemary’s Story of Restraining Order Abuse

Posted on November 28, 2014

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The account below, by Rosemary Anderson of Australia, was submitted to the e-petition End Restraining Order Abuses (since terminated by its host) and is highlighted here to show (1) that restraining orders are abused not only by intimates but by neighbors and strangers, (2) that the ease with which they’re applied for entices vexatious litigants (especially once their appetite has been whetted), and (3) that restraining orders are abused in countries other than the United States.

Assuredly due to language barriers, most visitors to this blog are from predominately English-speaking countries (England, Canada, and Australia, in particular, among nations abroad), and for whatever reason, over 90% of visitors are American.

Foreign complainants of restraining order abuse, however, shouldn’t hesitate to report their stories and share their criticisms on blogs like this one or on petitions like the one Rosemary used, because the value of those stories and criticisms, ultimately, is to expose injustice. The civil restraining order is common to countries across the globe, as are its abuses.

Rosemary’s story (with minor editorial tweaks):

We have had several restraining order summons served upon us by our neighbours, and on one occasion a worker whom I had reported to police for exposing himself to me (evidenced in photos) tried to take a VRO out against my husband (VRO = violence restraining order). To date they haven’t gone the distance thanks to our lawyer, but we know they will never stop trying.

The allegations are false, though we admit to giving them the finger from time to time in retaliation for being abused or watched.

The matter began when we opposed the expansion of their egg farm. We did so through the appropriate channels and in the appropriate manner. They have a CCW on their property and for reasons unknown were allowed to build the egg farm far too close to our boundary and house.

Their settlement to buy their property went through in January (2011). Ours was delayed and went through in February. They keep telling people they were there and had already built and were running their egg farm before we bought our property. The egg farm did not end up how it was supposed to and has been poorly managed, creating unpleasant issues for us. To expand any farther, they need our property and have indicated they would like to purchase but are not willing to pay what it is worth.

Every time they are overstocked or doing something wrong, they will make some sort of false allegation against us, cost us thousands of dollars, and generally make our lives unpleasant. On one occasion, we had the police come out and accuse us of stealing their dog after we had to catch it to stop it from chasing our horses. On another occasion, they rang the ranger and accused us of shooting their dog after it had gone missing. It turned up two days later alive and well in the dog pound.

The woman is about the same age as me, in her 50s and supposedly religious. She married a disabled man, and she uses these things to gain sympathy. She will lie and first turn on the tears, and if that doesn’t work she will become aggressive and threaten, and get others to threaten.

She once threatened my employer to get me sacked. I had luckily recorded several previous incidents that proved to my boss the lies they tell. They once took us to court over the boundary fence even though we had evidence in the form of letters and photos. Miraculously they won as they brought the non-professional fencing person with them as a witness. We weren’t given the appropriate notice by the court of their witness and could have selected several witnesses of our own to prove the fencing contractor assisted our neighbours to make a false insurance claim. The summons for this also came 18 months after we had given them what we had considered an appropriate payment. They had cashed the cheque and never contacted us in between to dispute it.

I found the behaviour of the local magistrate and the local court registrar very suspicious, and seriously wonder if they are members of their church. I wish I had more time to explain. I have had people ring us on our silent phone number and abuse us as well as had threatening letters sent to our PO box and which also contained our pet names.

Rosemary’s accuser fits the profile of many others characterized by visitors who’ve left comments on this blog and is prototypical of the serial-accuser-cum-neighbor. Almost without exception, people like this are triggered by some petty grievance.

Restraining orders, because they’re issued on one party’s word alone, are addictive gateway drugs for vexatious litigants, who are induced to abuse process continuously once they see how conveniently it’s accomplished. There are no consequences for filing false or frivolous complaints. Not only do the courts never motivate serial accusers to stop; they often reward sniping and treachery.

It’s good for business.

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