“I Reckon”: The Standard of Proof Applied by Judges to Restraining Order Cases

September 30, 2016

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As the story goes, civil restraining orders are awarded to plaintiffs who demonstrate by a “preponderance of the evidence” that they need one. According to this story, a judge determines by actuarial science that there’s a 51% or greater probability that the petitioner’s need is valid, that is, that s/he’s representing some facts and his […]

Murdered Dogs: Among the Consequences of False Reports to the Police

September 25, 2016

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I signed a petition recently in support of Brandee Buschmann, a 43-year-old mother of two, whose dog, Sierra, was shot by the Kansas City police when she ran out to see who was in her yard at 11:30 at night. When Sierra was fired upon, she tried to run back inside to the safety of […]

If Restraining Order Cases Are Only about Narrative, How Do You Beat a Liar in Court?

September 16, 2016

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The last post stressed the importance of narrative in restraining order cases. Stories complainants tell pursuant to obtaining a restraining order don’t particularly matter. “I’m afraid” may suffice. In contrast, defendants’ narratives are critical. Strategic defense is not about “telling the truth.” It’s about telling the better story. Competing narratives are universally regarded as “he-said/she-said” […]

Restraining Order Cases Are about One Thing: NARRATIVE

September 15, 2016

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The universal conviction is that the court involves itself in a citizen’s life because the citizen did something wrong. Even judges are inclined to believe this. It’s wrong, and they’re wrong—and it’s very wrong of them to be wrong about something so important. The court involves itself in a citizen’s life because someone (automatically designated […]

Why Judicial Process Is Corrupt: The “Customer” Is Always Right

September 2, 2016

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Everyone angered by procedural abuse has a different grievance: false allegations of domestic violence, civil rights violations, wrongful claims of child abuse, exploitation of process to silence critics, and even lying about rape, to name a few. Typically, it’s what sort of procedural abuse a person has experienced—or someone close to that person has experienced—that […]

“There’s No Justice System; There’s Just a System”: A California Paralegal’s Advice on Defending Yourself against a Restraining Order Based on Fraud

September 29, 2015

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The commentary and advice that follow are from a “paralegal at a top-tier criminal defense firm in Southern California.” I will go on record saying we have some clients that were slapped with permanent restraining orders and some were also on probation for prior convictions while the restraining order injunction was issued. A number of […]

Courthouse Violations and PTSD: What Is “Legal Abuse Syndrome”?

April 6, 2015

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This is the first post on this blog to introduce Legal Abuse Syndrome (LAS), a condition proposed by marriage and family therapist Karin P. Huffer, whose books on the subject of posttraumatic stress stemming from court-mediated violations are Overcoming the Devastation of Legal Abuse Syndrome (1995) and Legal Abuse Syndrome: 8 Steps for Avoiding the […]