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Madness

Rohrer 714

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Our courts are easily manipulated by women pretending to seek protection from abuse because our political climate reinforces the stereotype that men are abusers.

A woman can get a domestic-abuse restraining order for any reason. She fills out the forms and says she is "afraid", and gets a restraining order automatically.

There is no penalty for making false claims.

Thus, they embolden women angry at their partners to use them to gain an advantage in divorce, to get custody of children without a family court hearing, or as a surefire eviction process.

There are no rules of evidence, no burden of proof, not even a requirement to have a story that makes sense.

In December 2005, Colleen Nestler came to Santa Fe County District Court in New Mexico and got a domestic-abuse restraining order against TV host David Letterman.

She stated, under oath, that Letterman had 'abused' her by causing her 'bankruptcy, mental cruelty, and sleep deprivation'.

Nestler also alleged that he sent her "secret signals in code words" through his television program and that he "responded to my thoughts of love" by telepathically expressing his desire to marry her.

Sounds crazy?

Judge Daniel Sanchez immediately issued a restraining order against Letterman.

By doing so, he put Letterman on a national list of domestic abusers, gave him a criminal record, took away several of his constitutionally protected rights, and subjected him to criminal prosecution if he contacted Nestler (directly or indirectly), or possessed a firearm.

David Letterman never even met Colleen Nestler, and this all happened without his knowledge.

Asked to explain why he had issued a restraining order on the basis of such an unusual complaint, Judge Sanchez answered that Nestler had filled out the restraining-order request form correctly.

The really amazing thing is that the judge had no choice. Current federal and state legislation mandates this draconian action whenever any woman alleges domestic abuse - true or not.

The judge finally dismissed the order after much expensive legal wrangling.

Those who don’t have a national TV program and deep pockets are rarely so fortunate.

Falsely issued restraining orders are of great concern because the punishment that is meted out to defendants is a violation of their Constitutional protections.

Feminist political clout trumps the rights of the accused.

Here's what happens:

After the initial (secret) restraining order is issued, the clerk faxes it to the police, who then serve it on the defendant.

Since most orders contain a "no contact" provision, the first thing the police do is remove the man from his home, with little more than the shirt on his back

The man may have no idea that the Pro Se hearing took place, that a restraining order was granted, or what he is supposed to have done.

Most restraining orders require that the defendant may not contact the plaintiff directly or indirectly or get within some distance, usually 100 yards, of the alleged victim.

Often, wives will list their children as 'co-victims' on these orders, so the defendant cannot contact his children either.

No contact means no phone calls, no e-mail, no cards, no letters, or even accidentally running into the person on the street.

No reconciliation is possible once an order is issued because any contact is a crime and subjects the violator to immediate arrest and jail.

Most district attorneys, intimidated by feminist political pressure, have a no-drop policy on prosecuting all domestic restraining orders, no matter what.

This means that even if the woman admits she lied, the order and the charges will stand.

The claimant will not be subjected to any form of punishment, or even censure.

Only a dysfunctional system allows complainants to make false allegations without any accountability whatsoever.
 

George Costanza

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While I agree with your premise by in large (women quote often do abuse the system), I would take issue with several of your points.

First of all, as I read your post here, you are talking about a temporary restraining order, as opposed to a permanent, stay-away order. Yes, temporary restraining orders can be issued. In fact, they are issued all the time. But they are extremely limited time-wise. They are designed to be in force only until the parties can get to court and litigate their problems in front of a judge.

I suppose a temp restraining order could require that the restrained person not possess a firearm - but it would only be for the duration of the temporary order. I seriously doubt that people go on national lists as a consequence of having a temp order issued against them.

You are totally correct, however, when you point out that these orders are often issued for the slimest of reasons and, once issued, they can have draconian and immediate (bad) results for the restrained person.

Here is a definite area where the law needs to take a second look at the situation.
 
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Rohrer 714

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While I agree with your premise by in large (women quote often do abuse the system), I would take issue with several of your points.

First of all, as I read your post here, you are talking about a temporary restraining order, as opposed to a permanent, stay-away order. Yes, temporary restraining orders can be issued. In fact, they are issued all the time. But they are extremely limited time-wise. They are designed to be in force only until the parties can get to court and litigate their problems in front of a judge.

I suppose a temp restraining order could require that the restrained person not possess a firearm - but it would only be for the duration of the temporary order. I seriously doubt that people go on national lists as a consequence of having a temp order issued against them.

You are totally correct, however, when you point out that these orders are often issued for the slimest of reasons and, once issued, they can have draconian and immediate (bad) results for the restrained person.

Here is a definite area where the law needs to take a second look at the situation.

Whenever lawmakers respond to political pressure, a bad law is the usual result. While many persons involved in passing these laws may have been well-meaning, thinking they were going to stop abuse, the unintended consequences have been to rend the fabric of our legal system asunder.

To address your point, please note that the TRO is almost always extended, usually for 1 or 2 years, or it is made permanent.

A week or 10 days after the initial hearing, a return hearing is held, where the accused is usually allowed to present evidence and testimony, but it is often difficult to assemble needed documents and witnesses in that short period, partcularly in light of the fact that such documents may be in his residence, which he is barred from entering. Most temporary orders are automatically extended for at least 1 year at these hearings, regardless of the evidence.

Why? Judges are reluctant to "take the chance" and vacate these orders, lest the accused subsequently commit an act of violence.

For the first time, we now have laws that penalize people before they are proven to be criminals, for something they only "might" do.

Restraining orders also violate Second Amendment rights. Each state’s laws require that a defendant surrender all guns and ammunition, and violation of this provision is not only a state crime, but a federal one, under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994.
 
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Truthmatters

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If you do something to a woman to make her feel she needs a restraining order then you deserve it.

If you had a relationship with someone who is soooo shitty a person they use this protection just to piss you off then quit letting the little one think for the big one.
 
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Rohrer 714

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If you want to make light of this, you should know this.

Although I am a lifelong advocate of meting out stern punishment to abusers of all stripes, I was the victim of just such a tactic.

My wife of 16 years, advised by our eldest daughter, who had just graduated from a law school, went to the courthouse and filled out a statement that she 'feared' me. That is all it took.

I never threatened her (or anyone), no prior record of any domestic dispute exists, and our reputation as a happily married couple was well-established.

At a stroke, I lost my children, my savings, our beloved pets, my home, my car, most of my possessions, and not least my treasured relationship with my best friend, with whom I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life.

My crime?

I was unemployed for 4 months and as a result I told my daughter I could not pay for her wedding and honeymoon as we'd originally planned.

She, and her husband-to-be and our other two children were all living in the home. Only one child (our youngest aged 21) was working. I did not see how we could afford to spend thousands and asked her if we could postpone.

She went ballistic. Although I didn't know it at the time, she began telling her mother that I was acting strangely and drinking heavily when she wasn't around.

It's true that I was depressed, I started sleeping a lot, had no health insurance so could not afford any treatment. I did start drinking, but hardly to excess. My financial state would not allow it even if I had been so inclined.

Long story short, a policeman came to the house and gave me 30 minutes to pack a bag, then took me away in his squad car. I had $12 in my pocket and little more than the clothes on my back.

My wife and I were so close, and I still cannot believe this nightmare happened to me.

Now that it has, and I am so much poorer in so many ways, I want only to make others aware of this miscarriage of justice.

It could happen to anyone.
 
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If you do something to a woman to make her feel she needs a restraining order then you deserve it.

If you had a relationship with someone who is soooo shitty a person they use this protection just to piss you off then quit letting the little one think for the big one.

Do you make an effort to be completely stupid or is it a natural gift?
 
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Rohrer 714

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Restraining orders are now seen as part of the "gamesmanship of divorce," according to a 2005 article in the Illinois Bar Journal.

Elaine Epstein, former president of the Massachusetts Bar Association, says "Everyone knows that restraining orders are granted to virtually all who apply. In many cases, allegations of abuse are now used for tactical advantage."

If you have to fight for your rights in front of a judge, you've already lost. Don't make the mistake of thinking that if the truth is on your side, you'll be OK. The truth may be on your side, but it rarely matters in family court.

Stephen Baskerville, in his book Taken Into Custody, quotes Judge Richard Russell of Ocean City, New Jersey, at a restraining-order training seminar:

"Throw him out on the street, give him the clothes on his back and tell him, 'See ya around.'… The woman needs this protection because the statute granted her that protection…. They have declared domestic violence to be an evil in our society. So we don’t have to worry about the rights. Grant every order. That is the safest thing to do."

If you are not convinced that this is a real epidemic, read your state's DV law and see what is considered 'domestic violence'.
 

George Costanza

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Just a passing comment - this is an EXCELLENT thread. The topic is one that should be discussed because it is a vital and important issue.

I deal with these types of restraining orders literally on a daily basis, as a large part of the cases I handle involve domestic violence.

The OP makes some valid and very accurate points. Further, his own, personal story is, sad to say, not as uncommon as you might think.
 

Father Time

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If you do something to a woman to make her feel she needs a restraining order then you deserve it.

Because it's impossible for women to be paranoid or delusional or suffer anxiety or just have bad judgment right?:cuckoo:
 

MaggieMae

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If you want to make light of this, you should know this.

Although I am a lifelong advocate of meting out stern punishment to abusers of all stripes, I was the victim of just such a tactic.

My wife of 16 years, advised by our eldest daughter, who had just graduated from a law school, went to the courthouse and filled out a statement that she 'feared' me. That is all it took.

I never threatened her (or anyone), no prior record of any domestic dispute exists, and our reputation as a happily married couple was well-established.

At a stroke, I lost my children, my savings, our beloved pets, my home, my car, most of my possessions, and not least my treasured relationship with my best friend, with whom I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life.

My crime?

I was unemployed for 4 months and as a result I told my daughter I could not pay for her wedding and honeymoon as we'd originally planned.

She, and her husband-to-be and our other two children were all living in the home. Only one child (our youngest aged 21) was working. I did not see how we could afford to spend thousands and asked her if we could postpone.

She went ballistic. Although I didn't know it at the time, she began telling her mother that I was acting strangely and drinking heavily when she wasn't around.

It's true that I was depressed, I started sleeping a lot, had no health insurance so could not afford any treatment. I did start drinking, but hardly to excess. My financial state would not allow it even if I had been so inclined.

Long story short, a policeman came to the house and gave me 30 minutes to pack a bag, then took me away in his squad car. I had $12 in my pocket and little more than the clothes on my back.

My wife and I were so close, and I still cannot believe this nightmare happened to me.

Now that it has, and I am so much poorer in so many ways, I want only to make others aware of this miscarriage of justice.

It could happen to anyone.

Looks to me like you should have pursued this much further, hired a good lawyer, threaten to take her to court for malicious misrepresentation of facts, and gotten some press coverage out of it. Maybe it's not too late? She would then need to prove that you're the scumbag she claims you are. I think you ALLOWED HER to gain the upper hand. Even a family court proceeding would hear your side of the argument without a lawyer!
 
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Rohrer 714

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Looks to me like you should have pursued this much further, hired a good lawyer, threaten to take her to court for malicious misrepresentation of facts, and gotten some press coverage out of it. Maybe it's not too late? She would then need to prove that you're the scumbag she claims you are. I think you ALLOWED HER to gain the upper hand. Even a family court proceeding would hear your side of the argument without a lawyer!

That was not an option; even had it been possible, I had - and have - no desire to see her punished or harmed in any way.

One of most significant criticisms of the legal system that addresses domestic abuse, includes the facility and regularity in which false allegations of abuse are made and believed by courts, with the primary intent to seek an advantage in divorce and custody proceedings.

One of the major catalysts for this abuse of the system is the broad definition that exists for domestic abuse.

Under most statutory schemes, domestic abuse means the intentional and unlawful infliction of physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the intentional and unlawful infliction of the fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, or assault between family or household members, or a criminal sexual act, committed against a family or household member by another family or household member.

"Fear of harm" is an extraordinarily subjective standard and one that may be very difficult to combat.

A raised voice or indeed anything that is interpreted by the "victim" as threatening can be used to claim that domestic abuse has occurred.

This problem is compounded for men, who are often larger than women and perceived as more aggressive or stronger based on broad societal generalizations.

Courts routinely issue restraining orders with no corroborating evidence in order to err on the side of caution.

After all, no judge wants media reports trumpeting their failure to protect an abused person who is later assaulted, when it is safer to grant every order and deny every motion to vacate.

Civil domestic abuse hearings are conducted with little time to prepare for the accused, as well as being set in an accelerated fashion to accommodate crowded dockets.

Whereas a woman alleging domestic abuse may plan their case ahead of time, manufacturing evidence to support their claims, the accused is required to prepare an affirmative response to the allegations in one or two weeks - or less.

As a corollary to the 'no contact' provisions of a restraining order, the accused is also excluded from the family residence - including any property within that residence - regardless of whether the residence is jointly or solely owned by the parties.

My ex-wife blocked my access to our joint accounts, took my car, and cancelled my mobile phone and e-mail accounts within minutes of my being served.

I therefore had no money, no means of transportation or communication, and was in a state of shock. Try retaining an attorney under those circumstances.

It's no joke.

Fortunately (or unfortunately), I learned quickly that attorneys who work in family law are all too familiar with this mechanism, so at least I wasn't subjected to a prejudicial attitude when I finally was able to obtain counsel - with 2 days to spare before my hearing.
 
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Father Time

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Perhaps you can try civil court. Although this truly is a disgrace of the legal system.

Also as per internet rules I'm required to post this due to your topic title

[youtube]eZeYVIWz99I[/youtube]
 
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Rohrer 714

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Perhaps you can try civil court. Although this truly is a disgrace of the legal system.

Also as per internet rules I'm required to post this due to your topic title

[youtube]eZeYVIWz99I[/youtube]

Even if I wanted to I doubt I could.

There is no silver bullet to prevent any man from being a victim of false allegations of domestic abuse.

This insidious threat will continue to exist as long as the present definition of abuse and lax legal standards of proof remain in place.

Meanwhile, any who doubt my tale should view this clip: http://www.drphil.com/videos/?Url=/house/flv/8041_1.flv&background=header_drphil_video.jpg
 

George Costanza

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Perhaps you can try civil court. Although this truly is a disgrace of the legal system.

Also as per internet rules I'm required to post this due to your topic title

[youtube]eZeYVIWz99I[/youtube]

Even if I wanted to I doubt I could.

There is no silver bullet to prevent any man from being a victim of false allegations of domestic abuse.

This insidious threat will continue to exist as long as the present definition of abuse and lax legal standards of proof remain in place.

Meanwhile, any who doubt my tale should view this clip: http://www.drphil.com/videos/?Url=/house/flv/8041_1.flv&background=header_drphil_video.jpg

See, that's the thing. The woman (generally it is the woman - sorry ladies) feels justified in getting him in as much trouble as she can and, if this includes tossing in a little "extra," then so be it.

This plays out in non-violent divorces in a slightly different way. Let's say one spouse cheats on the other and that is the cause of the divorce. All too often, when that happens, all of the rules of fair play go out the window and the wronged spouse grabs for as much as he/she can get, with no regard for an equal division of the property. They don't want all the property - they just want to make sure the cheating spouse gets nothing.

I had a good friend who went through a divorce - he got caught cheating on his wife. Her lawyer announced to him, that she wanted the house (which had an equity in it of almost a million), she did not feel she had to compensate him for his half of the equity and she wanted spousal support in an amount that totally ignored the fact that she would also be getting the house. Her justification for all this? "You cheated on me."
 
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Rohrer 714

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Too true. My attorney (a woman) said this type of false accusation is becoming standard practice. My ex-wife actually sent me an email asking for the house + alimony + a lump sum to "drop" the DV case.

Judge didn't care.

I had to hire a mediator and she got everything she wanted PLUS I had to pay all the costs in exchange for a Consent Order.
 

Father Time

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So is there any formal movement to try to change these laws that you know of?
 

George Costanza

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So is there any formal movement to try to change these laws that you know of?

Elected officials (judges, legislators, etc.) are not about to do anything to change these laws. They don't want to run the risk of being considered "soft on domestic violence" and having someone run against them in the next election.

On their face, they are good laws. Who can defend domestic violence? The laws don't need to be changed - their administration does.

Also, prosecutors should prosecute people who file false police reports.
 

Father Time

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Also no offense but your tales and videos don't exactly show how common this is. It'd still be a problem even if it only was 5 a year but still.
 

xotoxi

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A woman can get a domestic-abuse restraining order for any reason. She fills out the forms and says she is "afraid", and gets a restraining order automatically.

...on a national list of domestic abusers, gave him a criminal record, took away several of his constitutionally protected rights, and subjected him to criminal prosecution if he contacted Nestler (directly or indirectly), or possessed a firearm.

This gives me an idea.

Ravi...
 

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