If Restraining Orders CAN Be Abused, then the PROCESS Is Abusive—and Should Be Repealed

Posted on April 16, 2018

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This post addresses a block its writer has noted even in the commentaries of those profoundly injured by unjust or false accusations. That block typically runs something like this: “I’m totally for restraining orders when they protect the violently abused, but….” This perspective is blind, and this post will explain why.

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

—Proverb

“You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common: They don’t alter their views to fit the facts; they alter the facts to fit the views. Which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.”

Dr. Who

I was accused of a number of unsavory things in the spring of 2006 by a disturbed and very married woman who had hung around outside of my house in the dark for a few months the previous fall. She filed multiple police reports then complained to a judge in my presence that my request for “an explanation of sorts” had caused her grave upset and interfered with her work. (Also, she was concerned she might be “attacked”…and her husband might be…and her friends might be…and her mother might be…and….)

Michael Honeycutt profile

This man, Dr. Michael Honeycutt, Ph.D., who today chairs the EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB), testified to the Superior Court of Arizona in 2013 (by phone) that the government department he heads (in another state) had instituted special security measures to protect a woman from me whom I hadn’t seen or contacted in seven years. When I found this self-styled damsel in distress standing outside of my residence in 2005, I was a practicing children’s humorist who fed birds and had a pup who wore a pink collar. The same woman who would accuse me of stalking and violent intentions had come to my door one night seeking a defender against men she feared were stalking her and had violent intentions. This established a relationship that included her plying me with conversation about her breasts and underwear and trying to follow me into my house after midnight (minus her wedding ring).

That was 12 years ago, and this woman has dramatically and broadly misrepresented me ever since. She’s also induced others to join her in her hoax.

I tried to find you in our system,” I was told in my initial police interview many years ago (when I still had plans and dreams of my own), “but there was nothing. At all. That’s really rare.

Over the four years I’ve maintained this blog, begun five years after my interviews with the cop, I’ve heard repeatedly from others who allege they were falsely accused and who report they had had no prior acquaintance with police precincts or courthouses, either.

Consider how this jibes with the assertion that restraining orders protect victims of violent abusers. It plainly doesn’t, and only “the very powerful and the very stupid” would say otherwise.

Public sentiment has been coerced by “the very powerful and the very stupid” to the extent that even those who know the procedure is a travesty feel compelled to allow that there are cases when restraining orders are necessary.

Changing the minds of “the very powerful and the very stupid” has to start with changing the minds of people who are neither powerful nor stupid, and who know better. There is no justification for bad law. It should be repealed.

What victims of that bad law mean when they say “there are cases when restraining orders are necessary” is that they acknowledge there are people in abusive relationships or imminent danger who need relief. They should appreciate, though, that it isn’t restraining orders that are necessary; something is. Rejecting bad law doesn’t obligate its critic to propose what that something should be. Clearly, however, what that something should be should never have innocent casualties. A law that’s supposed to protect the innocent but may destroy them is both wildly flawed and dangerous.

These are facts: Restraining orders deny defendants their constitutional right to due process; justice rendered in drive-thru procedures that may deprive defendants of employment, security, home, and family can only ever be dubious at best; and being misrepresented in a court of law, scourged by a biased judge, and gibbeted on grounds that may be trumped up or cunningly fraudulent is hurtful and possibly ruinous, and shouldn’t be possible…ever.

If you acknowledge these facts, then you must be against restraining orders, and you must be against them categorically—no ifs, ands, or buts. They’re not the answer. They were a stopgap that has become an institution. That doesn’t mean their engineering was ever sound.

Sure, it may be correct to say that you’re certain not all petitioners lie and that some desperately need protection and deserve it. It’s politically correct to say so, certainly, and it’s sympathetic to say so, too. And, sure, it may be correct to say that sometimes justice does prevail.

But if you own that rulings can be manipulated and that pitfalls are built into the process itself, then you cannot be for restraining orders under any circumstances, because the very same procedure that sometimes assuredly works good also assuredly works evil (and more easily).

Lives are at stake. A process that’s inherently corrupt is inherently wrong, regardless of whether its intentions are good and regardless of whether rulings may be righteous.

Put simply, you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken shit.

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