What Is Perjury?

Perjury is lying to the judiciary about a fact material to a case, whether on a sworn document—such as a restraining order application or affidavit—or in a courtroom after looking a judge in the eye and swearing an oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but.

A material fact is one that’s likely to influence a judge’s ruling. A plaintiff who falsely testifies during a restraining order hearing, for example, that s/he was sexually harassed, threatened, or assaulted is a perjurer. Even a false allegation of fear, which may be the only basis for a restraining order, is a perjured allegation.

Though statutes designating perjury a crime are seldom enforced—and then only in publicly prominent prosecutions (such as those of professional athletes accused of doping)—perjury is a felony whose sentence prescribes a fine and/or term or incarceration.

Perjury is deemed a grave offense, because its practice not only exhibits contempt of the court’s authority but usurps that authority, besides, leading to miscarriages of justice.

Rarely, though, is perjury treated as a grave offense.

The courts, in fact, are notoriously tolerant of lying by restraining order petitioners, often cynically regarding it as part and parcel of the process.

Indeed so offhand has the awarding of restraining orders become that judges may even induce petitioners to lie to them, which act is itself a felony crime: subornation of perjury.

One woman just wanted her ex-boyfriend to stop calling and bugging her. I thought, no way is she getting [a restraining order]. The judge asked her, “Are you afraid he will hurt you?” She answered, “No.” The judge said, “I cannot issue one if you have no fear of him.” She said, “I don’t think he will hurt me…I don’t want him to bug me,” and fumbled for what else to say. The judge again leaned in, stuck her head forward and said, “I am going to ask you one more time: Do you fear him?” She said, “Yes.” Bingo! You just won a restraining order.

This blog is reached by people every week whose lives have been damaged, derailed, devastated, or destroyed by restraining orders grounded on perjury.

Copyright © 2013 RestrainingOrderAbuse.com

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29 Responses “What Is Perjury?” →

  1. Warrior Lady in Florida

    March 21, 2016

    Hello Co- Warriors-
    I too am a victim, then became a whistle blower,informant exposing my perps, then re-victimized, again w/ six false stalking petitions filed in Pinellas County, FL. Three were granted and all were dismissed including one where we made case law! In my case, the criminal brother/sister tag team were using these as weapons from blocking me (and others),
    from working w/ L E/State etc to bring more charges against them… Well, it is not working… Yes, one-sided and unfair to say the least— Perjury? Please- let’s just hang a neon sign flashing that says “All liars welcome!” We do not prosecute”!l
    We are working now to expose all of this w/ the help of other victims and a GREAT investigative reporter…
    As the drama unfolds- the loopholes are everywhere and crime does pay— We are trying to fill in those holes but it is a long, frustrating process and expensive both mentally,physically, and spiritually. Do not let it get u down! Stand strong!
    Expose them and write/call everyone including the Chief Judges, AG, Gov, City Council, State Prosecutors, L E, City Clerks Office and on & on… It is your STORY and your Truth!
    You light enough hairs on fire, you do get them talking… We can make a difference!

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    • I came across this earlier, randomly, and I’m curious how you respond to it:

      http://www.bustle.com/articles/126672-why-the-love-actually-note-card-scene-is-actually-very-creepy

      It disgusts me. Writing like this actually influences people and policy. I’m guessing, for instance, that you didn’t boil any bunny rabbits or try to slide down someone’s chimney. But it’s okay to call you a “stalker.”

      A social scientist at Michigan U did a study whose “research conclusions” suggest the movie Love Actually has conditioned women to be more tolerant of “stalkers.”

      A couple I know, who are in their 70s, ritually watch this movie every Christmas.

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  2. Anonymous

    March 2, 2016

    I can’t understand our court system I have truly believed it to be just right and held to a standard of competency until now it is who you know and how much money you have those scales represent justice for a reason both sides get to show up w counsel and present their case to the court

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  3. Anonymous

    March 2, 2016

    What is il state statues in regads to eops if a police officer showed up in uniform for a civil court case which he had no record of and willing testified before the court with no police report no documentation the court was petitioned state’s away and under a domestic violence statue doesn’t at least one incidence of violence have to be mentioned

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    • Not per se, no. This is how Illinois defines “domestic violence”:

      (750 ILCS 60/103) (from Ch. 40, par. 2311-3)
      Sec. 103. Definitions. For the purposes of this Act, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
      (1) “Abuse” means physical abuse, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, interference with personal liberty or willful deprivation but does not include reasonable direction of a minor child by a parent or person in loco parentis.

      Abuse basically means whatever it needs to.

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  4. Anonymous

    December 13, 2015

    If there were any consequences many would be afraid to lie but without a penalty why not

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  5. I have been the victim of RO abuse now three times-2008, 2013, and now again in 2015. I’m almost numb to it. My sister is severely mentally ill. She suffers from paranoia and delusions. Every time she doesn’t get something she wants she goes down to the county attorney’s office and tries to get a RO put on me saying I committed some act of violence against her. The last two times just resulted in “warning letters.” She is lying and those dimwits cooperate with her to get her out of their office. She is pissed this time around because I’m executor of my mother’s estate and she isn’t. It’s such a shame my mother left each of her four surviving children money and an income producing property. Who couldn’t be happy about that-only the lunatic. My only concern is that I know she is seriously mentally ill. I have no idea what she might do now that my Mom is not around to keep her in check. I’d get a RO on her but I depise the people in that office and not sure I could stomach going down there. So if she kills me in some delusional rampage at least I said,”I told you so!” somewhere lol.

    Laughing because it’s all you can do when liars are manipulating the system.

    Norma Cavazos May

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    • You have my condolences, Norma. Have the false accusations taken any form other than filings with the court (claims to other people, for example, or social media comments?)? If they have, I think you could get a judge to shut this down.

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  6. I hope you’re able to reunite.

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  7. people can be heartless that’s for sure.

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  8. Thank you. I appreciate your help.

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    • You’re welcome. I hope you can write again with good news.

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      • craig

        May 21, 2015

        I am writing back with good news! On the appeal, the judge read through the entire text message record between my wife and found no evidence of threatening or abusive behavior. My charges were dismissed!

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  9. She had taunted me repeatedly over a week and had made several threats against me. I was at a point of severe depression and hopelessness. My exact text messages were “Fuck it”, ” Fuck you”, and “Fuck it all”.

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    • I’m not an attorney, but my thought would be to contextualize these remarks as responses to abuse (that was intended to make you “slip up”).

      Courthouses administer dummy justice. A judge (some guy who may have barely graduated high school) isn’t going to think about context or suspect a woman who got a protection order. The judge is just going to say bad words are abusive.

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  10. The terms were that I was allowed non-threatening, non-abusive, daytime phone contact. The judge decided that the use of profanity was abusive.

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    • That’s a subjective interpretation, clearly, but it may not be a ruling another judge would question. I guess you could argue context. Were you baited or taunted?

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    • If you want to get picky (and this is what lawyers are for), there’s a big difference between “Fuck you!” or “Go fuck yourself!” and “fuck.” You could argue it’s not “abusive” to say, for example, “I don’t give a fuck” or “What the fuck?”

      The word fuck is in the dictionary.

      Judges’ latitude is broad. That’s the problem. Are you in Mississippi or another red state?

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  11. I was recently imprisoned for 48 days awaiting trial for my wife’s accusations that I violated a protective order twice. I was found not guilty on her first charge but guilty on the second because I had used the F-word in a text message. During court, she lied multiple times while on the stand. We filed for an appeal. I can show that she also used profanity and that she lied about our interactions. I can also show that despite her ‘fear’ of me that she repeatedly requested that I meet her face-to-face and call her during hours that her restraining order clearly stated I could not speak with her. What should I do to help me win my appeal?

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    • Get an attorney’s help, ideally.

      I’m confused about the order’s prohibitions. The order said communication was fine during certain hours?

      You can be cited for violating a restraining order if the order says you can’t contact the plaintiff and you do anyway. But you can’t (properly) be cited for violating a restraining order because you used a four-letter word. Does the order prohibit profanity? That would probably be a violation of your First Amendment rights.

      The judge said texting was okay but texting the f-word wasn’t?

      The kind of enticement (keep that word in mind) you’re talking about is common, and I think you’re right that it plainly shows she wasn’t afraid.

      Are you saying you were imprisoned for using the f-word?

      Definitely talk to a lawyer. My impression is you’d want to argue that your wife attempted to bait you into a violation and then lied to have you charged when that didn’t work.

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  12. steven sarafian

    January 14, 2015

    State of Florida, Pinellas County

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  13. steven sarafian

    January 13, 2015

    My life was absolutely ruined…devastated by my brother, who apparently has some form of vendetta against me, by making a false and completely perjured affidavit on a domestic-violence restraining order. Thus he kept me from going to my own home, stating it was his home. It is not, he has his home few miles away. He stated I was violent and all sorts of complete off the wall statements under oath, each one a completely delusional. I was completely shocked and never could imagine the things he had sworn to. None had ever occurred and he formulated a picture of me as homeless, “living under a bridge or at the county jail”, I had escaped from a mental home and was on crack. I am a M.D., J.D. I have many properties and was quite successful. They never reached nor took the time to seek any truth. I went to my home to get my wallet and car so I could see my mother and ask what was with him. I was arrested for burglary, grand theft, violation of a restraining order…etc, etc. I would never have believed that could happen as I only obtained my own items and realized my Porsche was gone and he was in my bed. I was given no bail for 53 days, until I spent 15000.00 for legal help and got a 100,000.00 bail of which I immediately posted and could not go home and was given further orders I could not speak to my parents. My parents went to court and to the police to tell them this was a fabrication by my brother due to jealousy and they would not believe them. On Christmas my father was in the hospital and my mother wanted me to be with her We shared that holy night together until my brother found out and had me arrested, again no bond. Trial would take another 6 to 9 months so I gave them a guilty plea to get out. I am on a 3 year probation with felony convictions that have taken my ability to make a living. I can not practice law, med nor teach, of which I also did at college. It is shocking, but true, that I became a victim of someone who was previously arrested two times for domestic violence on his wife and another person. I have never been the least bit violent nor evil in any way and a little research would prove that but it was plead guilty and out of the jail or be innocent and sit there for 6 months at least. I figured the truth would be apparent and someone would intervene. I am waiting for some form of justice as I am now terminally ill from a broken heart. I can prove and willing to prove even take lie detector tests for truth to be unmasked but a conviction, taken from a totally innocent, as well as a very good person, was all they worked at getting. It causes me so much heartache as I was part of society and now I am a convicted burglar/ thief etc. There are so many discrepancies and I have no idea where all this hatred towards me has come from. I need some form of direction. I want to sue, get a reprieve and a complete investigation into the matter from some higher authority such as the feds. His house is full of my belongings and has quit claimed properties to himself forging my name. I am a victim everyday because of him and the judge who believed in his lies…HELP!!! I am on my last breath and dying without justice is a complete tragedy for my soul. Judah kissed Christ and was forever deemed evil. My brother made false affidavits promoted false witnessing, destroyed my life and has yet to be questioned. I can see they are now divided in the system that the truth is now apparent. I have another year to go so I am afraid to start legal proceedings and live like a hamster. I beg for justice!!!

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    • Jesus, Steven, AND you have a law degree AND an M.D. AND a Porsche AND could post a $100,000 bond?! That may be the most counterintuitive story I’ve heard yet—and I’ve heard some doozies, like vegetarian single moms and crippled seniors being falsely represented as “violent threats.” (A man’s doing this to a man—never mind his own brother—also makes your case exceptional.) What about getting an abler attorney? My reflex answer is usually to say that money can cure about any procedural abuse, but you’ve completely discredited that one. Have you considered an appeal and/or a motion for retrial to attack the original allegations? There may be grounds for a lawsuit, assuredly. You can’t sue for lying (perjury and false reporting), per se, but you’ve certainly endured injuries that would justify “intentional infliction of emotional distress” (like false imprisonment and loss of income and employability). Other torts that might apply are “fraud,” “false light,” and “abuse of process/malicious prosecution”—possibly “defamation,” too, if your brother misrepresented you outside of court besides inside it. If no legal recourse avails you—and you could bear the scrutiny—you could take your case to the papers. Alternatively, I’d be glad to post something here (send some more details and background). In my experience, though, liars, no matter how much heat they’re subjected to, don’t recant. The best hope of justice is through the courts—the source of the injustice. It’s totally maddening.

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    • What state are you in, Steven?

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  14. kirkronald1

    September 14, 2014

    i absolutely agree with you on every point. i have had the exact same experience that you have gone through. this handing out restraining orders are like handing out candy bars. i am in the same situation as you as i speak now, but those without money have no voice. i have been on notice two times now since her restraining has been in effect, while i am at home doing nothing. it just amazes me to know how easy it is for someone to come into court and be sworn in to say the truth and nothing but and the first answer to the first question that came out of the mouth of the party that has a restraining order against me is a lie and there is no way on this earth that the question could be twisted to suite the restrainer would be the truth. my order does not say i cannot talk to my pastor about this matter yet the police called me and said i cannot talk to my friend the pastor or i will be in violation of restraining order. this is just downright crazy.
    The person that has a restraining order against me obtained the order as a ploy to stop me from asking her to pay me money i loaned to her. So now i cannot pursue her in any way in order to get my money back from her which is approximately $5805.00.
    So now the legal system is protecting thieves instead of law abiding citizens. i won a case from her for unlawful detainer and was awarded $2305.00 and about one month before i was evicted from her house i loaned her $3500.00. which puts the whole amount she owes me is $5805.00 and the court says i cannot contact her in any way and almost goes so far as to not even think about her and the money she owes me.
    this person is the perfect example of a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”.
    this person sins like there is no tomorrow.

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  15. Natasha Arielle

    December 22, 2013

    Thank you for printing this.I myself was the victim of just such abuse of the system.I had a problem with an ex-boyfriend harassing me and so I filed for a restraining order.During the 2 weeks where there had been a tempoary order issued against him,he violated the order 5 times.Then,the day before the hearing to have an actual Restraining Order put into place,he filed for one against me(despite having violated the temporary order only minutes before filing!).His mother came into court as a witness and spewed several lies on the witness stand.Several times I pointed out ways that I could,if given another hearing,prove that she had lied numerous times.Instead,the judge chose to ignor me on every point,and even made a few lame attempts to debunk my dad’s testimony when I called him as a witness for my case.I was treated as the prosecution and thus all burden of evidence was put on me,while he had to prove absolutly nothing,despite the fact that he was filing against me as well.
    There was a scene in the courtroom during the hearing that was frighteningly similar to the one depicted here:My ex was askes 6 times if he was afraid of me(note that he is 6ft.2in tall and weighs 220 lbs. of nearly pure muscle,whereas I am 5ft.2in. tall and weigh 100 lbs. and have absolutly no history of violent or threatening behavior)finally,after being informed that he would not be granted a restraining order unless he said that he was afraid of me,he suddenly realized that he was indeed dreadfully in fear for his safety and that of his mother as well.
    A few months after this joke of a legal hearing,he stopped me on the street and asked me to take him back,swearing that he would have the order removed.He lied twice about having taken care of it,and both times I was arressted for violating the restraining order,even though on both occassions he admitted to police that he had lied to me about having the order removed.His mother admitted in a taped conversation while I was in jail that the real reason the order had ever been filed was to get revenge because I had turned her in once as she was guilty of gross disability fraud.Non of this mattered when I brought it to the court’s attention.The bottom line was that he had been granted a restaining order and I had violated it by being with him.The fact that he clearly lied about being afraid of me was noted by the district attorney.Apparently pergery is quite the acceptable thing.So is telling someone that the order has been removed,and then inviting them into your home/car etc… and thus setting the person up to be arrested(which would be Entrapment if it were to be done by any sort of law enforcment agent).
    As angry as I may be toward him for the lies,and myself for being stupid enough to have trusted him twice,the real problem here is the court system amd law enforcment.They are the ones who not only allow,but encourage and asssist those who commit the crime of pergery.They have given this guy the power to continue to abuse me through slander and even imprisionment with absolutly no threat of consiquence whatsoever.

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    • What amazes me is that more people who are subjected to these abuses don’t lose it. I know you’ve probably represented yourself as more reconciled to all this than you really are. I don’t even know what to say when someone tells me something like this. I’m sorry doesn’t really cut it. This is your LIFE that the state has played yo-yo with. What you’re saying would be OBVIOUSLY TRUE in any forum but a courtroom and before any audience but a judge. What amazes me, too, is that no one cares. Even the ACLU plays dumb.

      Here’s the question people who mindlessly perpetuate and defend these laws need to consider: What was the point of any of your suffering? Clearly the state has been put to some thousands of dollars in expenses. Your name and sanity have been assaulted. You feel distrust and disgust toward your own government. And what was any of this for? Was someone “protected”? No. Some people got paid for pulling at the seams of your life. That’s it. Now you have these obscenities pasted on your public record forever, have to repeatedly tell this story, and have to ignore what you’ve been put through and go on with your life in spite of it. What’s the court’s answer to that? Take up yoga? Get electroconvulsive therapy?

      I’ve listened to NPR reporters talk about judicial charades in Russia not knowing the same things happen here. Right out in the open. Thousands of times a day.

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