The logistics of getting a restraining order? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 20 Old 09-20-2010, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
root*children's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: the South-East's Worst Kept Secret
Posts: 2,770
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
XH is on and off a complete jerk. Currently he is upset about terms of our divorce agreement (2 years since divorce), and probably upset that I have moved myself and kids in with new partner and am expecting a baby. He knows I have him blocked on my phone, yet insists only to talk with me via phone (will text me multiple times telling me to call him). This is because he yells and cusses at me on the phone, and repeatedly calls (like 15 times in a matter of minutes) back to keep chewing me out when I would hang up on him. Have had his number blocked for a while. Now he is refusing to communicate (note: only when *I* have a question for him). When he is picking up or dropping off boys, he yells or raises his voice at me. He text me multiple times with taunts and insults about his concerns over divorce agreement terms.

The concerns are that he has no say over their education - he neglected to read the divorce agreement before signing it and he's a control freak, so I knew I didn't want him having a say over how I homeschool. Anyhow, this is a legal document, so it's a moot point IMO for him to harrass me about it.

All I can think to do, to get him to stop is to file a restraining order. Is this what y'all would do against someone who is constantly harrassing you? How would he be able to pick up/drop off the kids if I did have one against him? Would it control his communication with me?

Mama of 3 amazingly sweet kids jumpers.gif, living the dream on our urban farm chicken3.gif

root*children is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 20 Old 09-20-2010, 08:25 PM
 
hillymum's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Louisville, Ky
Posts: 3,394
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
I petitioned the court for en Emergency Protective Order (epo) when my husband hit me then tried to take the children using force. I was turned down as I wasn't sufficiently scared. We then applied for a mutual restraining order (sbx went for an epo because when he went to grab the phone from my hand, to prevent me calling 911, he jabbed his wrist on my finger nail) in front of our divorce judge who approved it. At pick up and drop off the children walk from the house/car to the car/house without either myself or my sbx moving.
For us the main benifits are it prevents sbx from entering the house and from calling me. He can call for the kids but I don't talk to him at all. Communication between us is restricted to text and emails. Email is prefered because our judge does not accept text conversations as evidence.
hillymum is offline  
#3 of 20 Old 09-20-2010, 08:46 PM
 
Avani's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,838
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have one, we do drop off/pick up at a police station and an officer comes out to watch. He can't call me period. Any communication has to be between our lawyers only. His lawyer dropped him so he communicates with just my lawyer. If he ever contacts me, and he has, i file a police report and it goes in our file. One text from him and i can file a report, and i have. Several times. I do not have to disclose where i live or my phone number and i have a phone just for the kids to use during visits and for their phone calls with him. It gave me great piece of mind.
Avani is offline  
#4 of 20 Old 09-20-2010, 08:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
root*children's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: the South-East's Worst Kept Secret
Posts: 2,770
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So there has to be violence to get a restraining order? I was hoping just harassment would do it.

Mama of 3 amazingly sweet kids jumpers.gif, living the dream on our urban farm chicken3.gif

root*children is offline  
#5 of 20 Old 09-20-2010, 08:57 PM
 
papayapetunia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: SE Portland, OR
Posts: 5,005
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It depends on your state's laws. In my state, there has to be violence or the threat of violence, toward a person (vandalism and property damage stuff doesn't count).
papayapetunia is offline  
#6 of 20 Old 09-20-2010, 08:57 PM
 
Avani's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,838
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well there is a civil harrassment restraining order. Specifically restraining orders are geared towards intimate type relationships because they can include custody orders. No there doesn't have to be violence but you do need proof of evidence and witnesses are great. So if your phone records will show what you say then you could have a decent case. Also if this isn't granted you can request for a stay away order in your custody/divorce order. It means he has to remain 100 yards away from you and can't call. However if he does call or text or break the 100 yards you can't file police charges. You would have to go through the court and get a contempt charge instead.
Avani is offline  
#7 of 20 Old 09-20-2010, 11:31 PM
 
VocalMinority's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: surrounded by testosterone
Posts: 1,303
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
I assume my response about this won't be popular, but I feel very strongly about it.

Protective/Restraining/No Contact Orders are not nearly as effective as they should be, because some women abuse them.

Logically, if a man is truly abusive and dangerous enough that the mother of his children needs courts and law enforcement to step in and order him to have no contact with her, under penalty of arrest and, potentially, a year in jail... then authorities ought to question whether it's safe or healthy for him to be around his children. Right?

Yet, in most US jurisdictions, the existence of a P.O./R.O./N.C.O. has little or no effect on a man's access to his kids. Somehow, it's "not safe" for him to have any contact with his ex-wife... except when he comes to her house 4-6 times a week, to pick up and drop off their kids! It's "not safe" for him to be within 200 yards of her...but it's safe for their kids to spend the weekend with him?

The reason for this craziness is that such orders are notoriously easy to get. (So, I guess that's a good answer to your title question. The logistics of getting an order are really no big deal!) Usually, rulings require only "a preponderance of the evidence", or the judge's discretion, NOT PROOF of criminal wrongdoing. Courts tend to err on the side of going ahead and issuing orders when women request them. Here's the basic thinking: We don't want to deny a P.O. to a woman who really needs one, just because she can't prove it; and if her request is frivolous, what's the harm? The man isn't being convicted of anything. And if he's really not a threat to her, then he won't violate the P.O. and it will expire in 2 years... no harm, no foul!

But the threshold for denying a man contact with his children is supposed to be higher. He's not supposed to be denied that, unless it's proven that he's dangerous. And the fact that their mother got a P.O. does not prove he did anything to deserve it. Courts are well aware that not every woman who requests a P.O. has been abused or is in danger. Some women request them in hopes of gaining an advantage in a custody dispute; or embarassing their STBX; or convincing all their mutual friends that their divorce was his fault and she was an innocent victim; or because they feel entitled to use any means at their disposal, to insulate themselves from the fallout and unpleasantness of a break-up, like an ex saying angry things to them or behaving childishly.

So, a good judge will want more than a mere P.O., to show him a man should be restricted to supervised visitation or kept away from his kids.

Which leaves some mothers in the frustrating position of successfully getting a P.O. against a truly abusive and threatening ex-husband...only to watch the family court give him full access to their little kids, as though he's NOT abusive and dangerous!

I'm not suggesting I have the cure for this. (Although some day I hope to have that epiphany.) I would not want P.O.s to become so hard to get that women who need them are turned away. But one way to chip away at the problem is for women not to request P.O.s when they don't really need them.

I haven't read all the responses to this, only your original post. But I did not hear you say that this man has ever been physically abusive to you or your kids, or that you fear he's going to hurt you or your kids, or break into your house, or have you killed or anything. I hear you saying that he's reacting to your break-up - and his loss of control over his family - in a petulant, adolescent way, mostly with repeated phone calls that you are able to block. And he reacted to you blocking his calls with characteristic petulance and immaturity, refusing to communicate with you at all. He did NOT respond by showing up at your office and screaming at you in front of your co-workers; or stalking you when you're out with friends and threatening, "If you won't talk to me or take my calls, I'll make sure you regret it!" And, although it's irritating that he will only talk with you when he has something to discuss, it sounds like you enjoy custody and the legal right to make decisions about the children (such as home-schooling) without him. So there are limits to how much you can be harmed by the lack of communication.

I hear you saying he is verbally rude and inappropriate to you, during the few times you have face-to-face contact with him (when unfortunately your kids are present). I'm certainly not defending his behavior! But it's by no means unheard-of, when people divorce. It may be "verbally abusive", but unless he's threatening to hurt you, I just don't think it's the kind of thing you need cops, lawyers and judges to "protect" you from. Avoid him as much as possible; be glad you're no longer married to someone who acts like that; maybe get your kids into counseling; and - if there seems to be a serious problem with him bad-mouthing you in front of the kids and pressuring them to turn against you - you might want to get a custody evaluation and ask for supervised visits, down the road.

A P.O. will not force him to communicate with you like an adult. It will not force him to hold his tongue about you, around your kids. It would keep him from calling you...but you seem to have accomplished that on your own. It would also give him the perfect excuse never to communicate with you in any other way, either. He wouldn't be allowed to e-mail you. You'd have to pay an attorney every time you wanted him to know that Johnny's music lesson was changed to Wednesday or that Susie's best friend's birthday party falls during his weekend. Or you'd have to burden a relative or friend with exchanging all that information for you. If you really pushed the envelope, a P.O. might force him to meet you at a police station, to exchange the kids, so you wouldn't have to see each other...but that's pretty traumatic for kids, in its own right. Wouldn't it be better to see if your mom or a friend could take your kids to meet him, for visits, until he adjusts to the changes and can be civil to you?

I would like to see women reserve P.O.s for our sisters who are truly in danger and who truly need outside "protection", so that P.O.s will be fewer and taken more seriously.

One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:    or... twin sons:(HS seniors) ... step-son:  (a sophomore) ... our little man:   (a first grader) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  our
VocalMinority is online now  
#8 of 20 Old 09-20-2010, 11:49 PM
 
VocalMinority's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: surrounded by testosterone
Posts: 1,303
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by root*children View Post
So there has to be violence to get a restraining order? I was hoping just harassment would do it.
You need to read the laws, where you are. Here, a woman can get a P.O. by checking a box that reads something like, "He has caused me to fear for my safety,". Clearly, this is very subjective.

For example, I know for a fact that one woman here eventually explained in court that what her ex had done to make her "fear for her safety" was to send her a legal document through the mail (while she was not represented by an atty.) and the stamp on the envelope (part of the USPS "Creatures of the Deep" series) was upside-down. "Obviously" her ex intended this to be a "threatening stamp", representing a "dead fish"! No, she was not laughed out of court. The P.O. was granted. But the court refused to include her young child as a protected party.

Imagine. What she accused her ex of was not taken seriously enough by the court for it to protect her little kid. But her accusation was still enough to get her an order that could theoretically land her ex in jail if he so much as answered a phone call from her.

I am not saying your complaints are as frivolous as the "threatening stamp". I'm saying that you shouldn't assume there's a high threshold, to get a protective order against your ex. But I hope you give some serious thought to whether there should be.

One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:    or... twin sons:(HS seniors) ... step-son:  (a sophomore) ... our little man:   (a first grader) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  our
VocalMinority is online now  
#9 of 20 Old 09-23-2010, 05:08 AM
 
EarthRootsStarSoul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 891
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
I don't think you can get a restraining order, but talk to the police. Local laws are all different, but around here there is a law about harrassment over the phone. You can't call someone more than eight times an hour, or it breaks a law. Also threatening or abusive texts are illegal. You could have your ex ticketed at least, and it would probably make him stop.

bellyhair.giftreehugger.gif     coolshine.gif      greenthumb.gif     read.gif
EarthRootsStarSoul is online now  
#10 of 20 Old 09-23-2010, 08:58 AM
 
Goodmom2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 720
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You may not be able to get a restraining order just for harassment. When my ex and I split, I had a TRO because he assaulted me. It was supposed to be heard within 10 days. It took 3 weeks. In the meantime, the kids were included in the TRO. So the judge allowed 4 hour visits on Saturdays, I got to choose where the pick up and drop off was. I picked a mall.

How old are the kids? If they are old enough, you can do curbside pick up and drop off. Your ex wouldn't come to the door, but the kids come to him and when they get dropped off, the kids come to the door while the other parent remains in the car. If they aren't old enough for that, then a public place with lots of people around (your ex may behave better this way) or the police station (the cops are right there should he start threatening you).

You may have to go back to court to get this. Given what you have posted, you have a better chance of getting this. And then if he continually violates the court order, you would have an easier time getting the restraining order.
Goodmom2008 is offline  
#11 of 20 Old 09-23-2010, 12:02 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Cover letter he!!
Posts: 6,387
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post
I assume my response about this won't be popular, but I feel very strongly about it.

Protective/Restraining/No Contact Orders are not nearly as effective as they should be, because some women abuse them.

Logically, if a man is truly abusive and dangerous enough that the mother of his children needs courts and law enforcement to step in and order him to have no contact with her, under penalty of arrest and, potentially, a year in jail... then authorities ought to question whether it's safe or healthy for him to be around his children. Right?

Yet, in most US jurisdictions, the existence of a P.O./R.O./N.C.O. has little or no effect on a man's access to his kids. Somehow, it's "not safe" for him to have any contact with his ex-wife... except when he comes to her house 4-6 times a week, to pick up and drop off their kids! It's "not safe" for him to be within 200 yards of her...but it's safe for their kids to spend the weekend with him?

The reason for this craziness is that such orders are notoriously easy to get. (So, I guess that's a good answer to your title question. The logistics of getting an order are really no big deal!) Usually, rulings require only "a preponderance of the evidence", or the judge's discretion, NOT PROOF of criminal wrongdoing. Courts tend to err on the side of going ahead and issuing orders when women request them. Here's the basic thinking: We don't want to deny a P.O. to a woman who really needs one, just because she can't prove it; and if her request is frivolous, what's the harm? The man isn't being convicted of anything. And if he's really not a threat to her, then he won't violate the P.O. and it will expire in 2 years... no harm, no foul!

But the threshold for denying a man contact with his children is supposed to be higher. He's not supposed to be denied that, unless it's proven that he's dangerous. And the fact that their mother got a P.O. does not prove he did anything to deserve it. Courts are well aware that not every woman who requests a P.O. has been abused or is in danger. Some women request them in hopes of gaining an advantage in a custody dispute; or embarassing their STBX; or convincing all their mutual friends that their divorce was his fault and she was an innocent victim; or because they feel entitled to use any means at their disposal, to insulate themselves from the fallout and unpleasantness of a break-up, like an ex saying angry things to them or behaving childishly.

So, a good judge will want more than a mere P.O., to show him a man should be restricted to supervised visitation or kept away from his kids.

Which leaves some mothers in the frustrating position of successfully getting a P.O. against a truly abusive and threatening ex-husband...only to watch the family court give him full access to their little kids, as though he's NOT abusive and dangerous!

I'm not suggesting I have the cure for this. (Although some day I hope to have that epiphany.) I would not want P.O.s to become so hard to get that women who need them are turned away. But one way to chip away at the problem is for women not to request P.O.s when they don't really need them.

I haven't read all the responses to this, only your original post. But I did not hear you say that this man has ever been physically abusive to you or your kids, or that you fear he's going to hurt you or your kids, or break into your house, or have you killed or anything. I hear you saying that he's reacting to your break-up - and his loss of control over his family - in a petulant, adolescent way, mostly with repeated phone calls that you are able to block. And he reacted to you blocking his calls with characteristic petulance and immaturity, refusing to communicate with you at all. He did NOT respond by showing up at your office and screaming at you in front of your co-workers; or stalking you when you're out with friends and threatening, "If you won't talk to me or take my calls, I'll make sure you regret it!" And, although it's irritating that he will only talk with you when he has something to discuss, it sounds like you enjoy custody and the legal right to make decisions about the children (such as home-schooling) without him. So there are limits to how much you can be harmed by the lack of communication.

I hear you saying he is verbally rude and inappropriate to you, during the few times you have face-to-face contact with him (when unfortunately your kids are present). I'm certainly not defending his behavior! But it's by no means unheard-of, when people divorce. It may be "verbally abusive", but unless he's threatening to hurt you, I just don't think it's the kind of thing you need cops, lawyers and judges to "protect" you from. Avoid him as much as possible; be glad you're no longer married to someone who acts like that; maybe get your kids into counseling; and - if there seems to be a serious problem with him bad-mouthing you in front of the kids and pressuring them to turn against you - you might want to get a custody evaluation and ask for supervised visits, down the road.

A P.O. will not force him to communicate with you like an adult. It will not force him to hold his tongue about you, around your kids. It would keep him from calling you...but you seem to have accomplished that on your own. It would also give him the perfect excuse never to communicate with you in any other way, either. He wouldn't be allowed to e-mail you. You'd have to pay an attorney every time you wanted him to know that Johnny's music lesson was changed to Wednesday or that Susie's best friend's birthday party falls during his weekend. Or you'd have to burden a relative or friend with exchanging all that information for you. If you really pushed the envelope, a P.O. might force him to meet you at a police station, to exchange the kids, so you wouldn't have to see each other...but that's pretty traumatic for kids, in its own right. Wouldn't it be better to see if your mom or a friend could take your kids to meet him, for visits, until he adjusts to the changes and can be civil to you?

I would like to see women reserve P.O.s for our sisters who are truly in danger and who truly need outside "protection", so that P.O.s will be fewer and taken more seriously.
Since you feel so strongly about it, you REALLY need to educate yourself about how P.O.'s work. You are wrong about MANY of these things.

First, (I had one for the duration of our custody battle - it made my life SO MUCH EASIER) they are almost always temporary orders. A judge cannot issue a final order without a hearing. And yes, the standard is a preponderance of the evidence, which is much lower than for criminal liability - but there are REASONS for that! Proving beyond a reasonable doubt is very difficult, and domestic abuse can almost NEVER be proven beyond a reasonable doubt – in very large part due to a cultural bias against women who are abused, and which you demonstrate very clearly with your stance that they are only for women who “really are abused”. Additionally abuse of these is very very very very very rare - and for you to imply that a woman who is being harassed almost daily should save them for people who need them is insulting. Truly insulting.

Second, P.O.’s do their job 90% of the time. They exist because they work. Because yes they DO force people to communicate in a civil way. What they don’t do is require people to be nice and agreeable – but there are ways to be mean and disagreeable in a civil manner. And, with the risk of having the police called and a mandatory arrest (since if there is a PO in place and the police are called it is generally mandated that the officer arrest the person with the PO against them) hanging over their head, they generally find a way to be decent. No, it doesn’t control how they act when they aren’t around you, but it is very likely to make exchanges MUCH BETTER.

Third, depending on the type of PO, it may NOT prevent him from calling. Mine was a “Limited Order of Protection” and it prevented my ex from assaulting, harassing, stalking, threatening, menacing, intimidating, …..(I can’t remember all of them), or acting criminally towards me. It did NOT limit our contact, but it did place some very strict boundaries there – and if I had needed to I could have called and gotten him arrested. I never needed to, but it was there. (and before you go off about me not really needing one, yes he was physically violent towards me twice – which was enough for me – and very emotionally abusive, and he threatened on many occasions to take my son away from me so that I could never see him again. I NEEDED that PO.)

Fourth, Abuse comes in MANY forms. There are NO forms of abuse that are “better” or “worse” than others. This I truly believe, and I also truly believe that women who are suffering ANY form of abuse have the RIGHT to live free of that abuse. PO’s are the legal way of ensuring women (or men) live free of abuse.

Fifth, I never got a final order. I didn’t need to. Once I had sole custody, I decided that I didn’t need to pursue it any further. My ex had temp orders for almost a year – they were just extended until we finished our custody dispute. What does that mean? It means it GOES AWAY. Into oblivion. It’s not on his record, he was never arrested (because he wants to be admitted to the bar association he behaved himself), and it just goes away. If I had gotten a final order? He wouldn’t be allowed to work with kids for 21 years, he would never be able to become a police officer, federal agent, join the military, etc. But a temp order? It just goes away, into thin air, and never gets spoken of again.

Oh yeah, and about the red portion of your post, about abusive men getting full access to their children - that has NOTHING to do with the PO. That has to do with the fact that our family court system is not set up to properly catch abusive parents and prevent their access to their children. This is changing slowly, and I think that PO's are HELPING this process b/c it is shedding light on it. And, again, my ex has full access to our son - and I support that. Why? B/c he is my son's father - and b/c he was abusive to ME, and never to our son. If that changes, I will be back in court to fight his visitation rights. BUT - so far, he and our son have a great relationship. Me having had a PO against him didn't change his relationship with our CHILD - it simply placed some good solid boundaries on the relationship he has with ME.

Last few things. The reason they are so easy to get (at first, to make them permanent is much more difficult), is that they don't limit a person from doing legal things. What they prevent people from doing is things they already shouldn't be doing b/c they are illegal. Abusing someone, harassing someone, its ILLEGAL - so they don't put a huge limit on a person's freedom.

And you argument that judges give them liberally is laughable. They do, but only TEMPORARY ones. They DO NOT err on the side of granting PERMANENT ones. There is still a HUGE bias towards victims of domestic abuse, and even though the evidentiary requirement is only "a preponderance of the evidence", judges are much more likely to side with the man who is really good at playing up a good sob story (which abusive men ARE MASTER'S at manipulation - and they manipulate judges, custody evaluators, court experts, ALL THE TIME.

The part of your post that I bolded is the reason they are so hard to make permanent - b/c these are MYTHS that MOST people (including judges) BELIEVE. Do not be fooled, these are MYTHS. Women DO NOT abuse PO's - HARDLY EVER. It's much more likely for a woman to make up being RAPED than it is for a woman to make up being ABUSED. And if you know what the false reporting statistics are for rape, thats impressive. And it's b/c when women get one of these PO's they are usually cutting off their support systems entirely - and yes, an abuser is a support system, especially when they have economic control of a family. I highly recommend you start educating yourself about these things (FOR REAL, not based on what you hear from everyone and their mom about how women are just making stuff up - people don't make this stuff up) before spouting off about how they aren't necessary unless someone is "truly in danger" - and yes, thats a subjective standard for a REASON - in danger can mean MANY different things.

And, when you fill out a petition for a PO you have WRITE down WHY you need one - and you have to cite SPECIFIC examples. If they don't rise to level required, you don't even get a temp order. Have you ever looked at the petition form? Thats a great place to start learning how these work.
enjoythesilence likes this.
Super~Single~Mama is offline  
#12 of 20 Old 09-23-2010, 12:12 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Cover letter he!!
Posts: 6,387
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Now to respond to the OP.

If your exh decides to go to court b/c he wants to know whats going on with his child's education, well, a judge is going to tell you to include him in that. Doesn't matter what the older court order says - judges will give your ex a say in their education. You may still make the final decision, but you don't get to keep info from him. Judges can and do flip custody over things like that. Tread carefully.

About the Restraining order, there are many different types, and you need to google and see what types are available in your state.

You can file in family court for an order of protection, or you can go to civil court and get (I think someone up-thread mentioned this) a restraining order. Depending on what you want to accomplish, you'll want a different type. Since you share children with this man though, you'll need to have some damn good reasons to have a no contact order - since you are expected to communicate about your children. Judges generally won't order No Contact between people who are co-parents - there will be carve-outs for contact regarding the children. And his concerns about their education is about them - so you can't refuse to talk to him about that.

good luck
Super~Single~Mama is offline  
#13 of 20 Old 09-23-2010, 12:24 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Cover letter he!!
Posts: 6,387
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by root*children View Post
So there has to be violence to get a restraining order? I was hoping just harassment would do it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by papayapetunia View Post
It depends on your state's laws. In my state, there has to be violence or the threat of violence, toward a person (vandalism and property damage stuff doesn't count).
papayapetunia is right, but only (I think) in regards to an order of protection issued by a family court. I believe you can get them in a civil court of sorts for just harassment. A lawyer would be a great place to start.
Super~Single~Mama is offline  
#14 of 20 Old 09-23-2010, 03:41 PM
 
VocalMinority's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: surrounded by testosterone
Posts: 1,303
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by thyra View Post
...And yes, the standard is a preponderance of the evidence, which is much lower than for criminal liability - but there are REASONS for that! Proving beyond a reasonable doubt is very difficult, and domestic abuse can almost NEVER be proven beyond a reasonable doubt...
As I said, that problem with the P.O. system can't be feasibly corrected, because no one wants to put women who need protective orders in the position of being unable to get them, without irrefutable proof. I certainly don't!

The only partial correction I can see is for women themselves to exercise the restraint of not requesting P.O.s, if blocking their ex's irritating calls largely solves the problem. If P.O.s are not so routine, they will be taken more seriously. And they are routine. Courts throughout the U.S. are so crowded with P.O. requests that hearings are often just a few minutes long; in larger cities, special courts are dedicated for this purpose only and may have some type of appointed magistrate making rulings, rather than an actual judge; and the P.O. request forms are often rubber-stamped into Temporary Restraining Orders which may be in place for 6 weeks or longer, before there's time for the court to actually hear the arguments...even though the accusations made in P.O. requests are often of an emergency nature.

I stand by the idea that to equate petulant phone calls that can be blocked - and that do not include threats of violence or threats of any other type of criminal conduct; and which are not accompanied by stalking, violence, etc. - with abuse that requires police protection is to downplay and trivialize abuse.

And one factor in the failure of family courts to identify and protect children against abusive parents is that a family court judge cannot reasonably assume that just because a criminal court saw fit to grant the ex-wife a protective order, that the ex-husband has actually done anything to warrant limiting his access to their kids.

Lastly, I could nearly recite from memory the Protective Order Request forms in 3 states and have perused those in other states, out of curiosity. I have unfortunately had occasion to attend Protective Order court, in two states. I've worked in family law. I have a family full of attorneys. And I have only ever witnessed or heard of one case where the court did not grant the 2-year protective order that was requested. (So you're right, it's not a Permanent order. But it's not a Temporary order, in the same sense as a Temporary Restraining Order, which is automatically nullified by a scheduled court hearing a month or two down the road.)

FTR, the one time I'm aware of a judge denying a P.O. request, it was only because the requestor had been specifically ordered by another court not to request the P.O. in the first place, since all the provisions she requested violated custodial orders previously issued in another court. (I.e., it was a pretty blatant attempt to get one state's P.O. court to overrule another state's family court and the latter state had undeniable jurisdiction.) But under normal circumstances, regardless whether the accusations in P.O. requests seemed questionable - regardless whether the accuser had obvious hostilities toward the accused, such as a custody dispute - and no matter what the accused said in his own defense - I've never heard of a P.O. request being refused. What percentage of the time do you see that happen?

And you're right. Even on our state's form, the bulk of which consists of boxes to check, there is a 3-line space where you're asked to give specifics. But if you skipped the boxes about physical abuse, sexual abuse, threats of violence and other threats - because none of those things were done to you - and you only check the box stating the accused made you fear for your safety, you are still entitled to request a protective order. And if the court will accept, for specifics, that a wrongly-placed stamp made one woman fear for her safety (and it did accept that), how can the court tell other women that their examples don't rise to the level of making them fear for their safety? Again, it's up to the judge's discretion - and it differs by state - but I think it is, indeed, easy for a U.S. woman to get a P.O. against a U.S. man with whom she's been intimate.

I never said you, Thyra, should not have requested a P.O. I knew nothing about your case and certainly, women have to decide for themselves whether they need protection. This particular poster was clear that she has suffered no violence, fear of violence, or stalking; that she has been able to block the unwanted calls from her ex; and that he did not react to that by redoubling his efforts to make unwanted contact in other ways - in fact, he pouted and now communicates with her even less than she wants. And she asked what others thought of her trying to get a protective order. Surely, "Go for it!" is not the only acceptable response! I asked her to consider what I've observed, which is that it doesn't seem beneficial to our society as a whole, when people request protective orders based on the criteria she presented.

I also pointed out to her - as you did - that getting a P.O. would result in all her communication with her ex having to go through attorneys. Certainly, some people find that to be a relief. But at $100/hour or more, some people find that burdensome.

We certainly don't see eye-to-eye, Thyra, but I admire your idealism and conviction. I'm sure you'll make a terrific attorney!

One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:    or... twin sons:(HS seniors) ... step-son:  (a sophomore) ... our little man:   (a first grader) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  our
VocalMinority is online now  
#15 of 20 Old 09-23-2010, 04:26 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Cover letter he!!
Posts: 6,387
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by root*children View Post
XH is on and off a complete jerk. Currently he is upset about terms of our divorce agreement (2 years since divorce), and probably upset that I have moved myself and kids in with new partner and am expecting a baby. He knows I have him blocked on my phone, yet insists only to talk with me via phone (will text me multiple times telling me to call him). This is because he yells and cusses at me on the phone, and repeatedly calls (like 15 times in a matter of minutes) back to keep chewing me out when I would hang up on him. Have had his number blocked for a while. Now he is refusing to communicate (note: only when *I* have a question for him). When he is picking up or dropping off boys, he yells or raises his voice at me. He text me multiple times with taunts and insults about his concerns over divorce agreement terms.



All I can think to do, to get him to stop is to file a restraining order. Is this what y'all would do against someone who is constantly harrassing you? How would he be able to pick up/drop off the kids if I did have one against him? Would it control his communication with me?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post
As I said, that problem with the P.O. system can't be feasibly corrected, because no one wants to put women who need protective orders in the position of being unable to get them, without irrefutable proof. I certainly don't!

The only partial correction I can see is for women themselves to exercise the restraint of not requesting P.O.s, if blocking their ex's irritating calls largely solves the problem. If P.O.s are not so routine, they will be taken more seriously. And they are routine. Courts throughout the U.S. are so crowded with P.O. requests that hearings are often just a few minutes long; in larger cities, special courts are dedicated for this purpose only and may have some type of appointed magistrate making rulings, rather than an actual judge; and the P.O. request forms are often rubber-stamped into Temporary Restraining Orders which may be in place for 6 weeks or longer, before there's time for the court to actually hear the arguments...even though the accusations made in P.O. requests are often of an emergency nature.

I stand by the idea that to equate petulant phone calls that can be blocked - and that do not include threats of violence or threats of any other type of criminal conduct; and which are not accompanied by stalking, violence, etc. - with abuse that requires police protection is to downplay and trivialize abuse.

And one factor in the failure of family courts to identify and protect children against abusive parents is that a family court judge cannot reasonably assume that just because a criminal court saw fit to grant the ex-wife a protective order, that the ex-husband has actually done anything to warrant limiting his access to their kids.

Lastly, I could nearly recite from memory the Protective Order Request forms in 3 states and have perused those in other states, out of curiosity. I have unfortunately had occasion to attend Protective Order court, in two states. I've worked in family law, have a family full of attorneys and my father, in particular, practices family law. And I have only ever witnessed or heard of one case where the court did not grant the 2-year protective order that was requested. (So you're right, it's not a Permanent order. But it's not a Temporary order, in the same sense as a Temporary Restraining Order, which is automatically nullified by a scheduled court hearing a month or two down the road.)

FTR, the one time I'm aware of a judge denying a P.O. request, it was only because the requestor had been specifically ordered by another court not to request the P.O. in the first place, since all the provisions she requested violated custodial orders previously issued in another court. (I.e., it was a pretty blatant attempt to get one state's P.O. court to overrule another state's family court and the latter state had undeniable jurisdiction.) But under normal circumstances, regardless whether the accusations in P.O. requests seemed questionable - regardless whether the accuser had obvious hostilities toward the accused, such as a custody dispute - and no matter what the accused said in own defense - I've never heard of a P.O. request not being granted. What percentage of the time do you see that happen?

And you're right. Even on our state's form, the bulk of which consists of boxes to check, there is a 3-line space where you're asked to give specifics. But if you skipped the boxes about physical abuse, sexual abuse, threats of violence and other threats - because none of those things were done to you - and you only check the box stating the accused made you fear for your safety, you are still entitled to request a protective order. And if the court will accept, for specifics, that a wrongly-placed stamp made one woman fear for her safety (and it did accept that), how can the court tell other women that their examples don't rise to the level of making them fear for their safety? Again, it's up to the judge's discretion - and it differs by state - but I think it is, indeed, easy for a U.S. woman to get a P.O. against a U.S. man with whom she's been intimate.

I never said you, Thyra, should not have requested a P.O. I knew nothing about your case and certainly, women have to decide for themselves whether they need protection. This particular poster was clear that she has suffered no violence, fear of violence, or stalking; that she has been able to block the unwanted calls from her ex; and that he did not react to that by redoubling his efforts to make unwanted contact in other ways - in fact, he pouted and now communicates with her even less than she wants. And she asked what others thought of her trying to get a protective order. Surely, "Go for it!" is not the only acceptable response. I asked her to consider what I've observed, which is that it doesn't seem beneficial to our society as a whole, when people request protective orders based on the criteria she presented.

I also pointed out to her - as you did - that getting a P.O. would result in all her communication with her ex having to go through attorneys. Certainly, some people find that to be a relief. But at $100/hour or more, she might find it burdensome.

We certainly don't see eye-to-eye, Thyra, but I admire your idealism and conviction. I'm sure you'll make a terrific attorney!
Ok, re-read the OP with the parts I have bolded. She says that he refuses to communicate when SHE has a question – but that when HE has a problem his solution is to harass her. That’s HARASSMENT and she has the RIGHT to live free from harassment. Period. End of story. That ENTITLES her to a restraining order, if not an order of protection WHICH ARE 2 DIFFERENT THINGS. Neither of which is criminal.

And those hearings that you’re talking about – are those appearances or hearings???? Because an appearance is only a few minutes, and results in a temp order until the next court date – there is no evidence heard, only short arguments made by each party, usually one supporting the order and one opposing. Sometimes very little evidence is presented by the defendant to show that there is no harassment/abuse going on in an effort to get it dismissed. However, a hearing is usually at least several hours long, sometimes several days.

The OP didn’t even ask about an Order of Protection – which is usually gotten through the family court and is used in instances of domestic abuse. She asked about a restraining order which is DIFFERENT than a PO, but can still be used to protect someone against harassment – just in a slightly different manner.

And you are wrong about me pointing out that all communication would have to go through attorneys – I had one, and almost NONE of my communication between my ex and I has gone through attorneys. We talk all the time – there CAN be carve-outs in an RO/OP that allows for civil communication between the parties – and it encourages civil communication by hanging a mandatory arrest over the defendants head. They WORK – its why they are used.

And, you having lots of family that’s lawyers, having worked in a law office, knowing lawyers knowing what the petition says, does NOT make you a lawyer. It doesn’t even give you credibility among lawyers, because well, I’m not a dr. but my uncle is and that doesn’t mean I know anything.

As for your experience I kindly ask you to re-evaluate your views on “how much abuse is enough” since you’re views really perpetuate the cultural acceptance of violence against women and domestic abuse – which includes harassment of a woman by her partner or ex-partner
Super~Single~Mama is offline  
#16 of 20 Old 09-23-2010, 04:58 PM
 
Avani's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,838
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Jeannine, getting a temporary restraining order is a piece of cake. Anyone can pretty much get one. So for maybe a few days to a week, depending on the court, someone has an order of protection against someone. But then there is a hearing. Where evidence is submitted and witnesses show and give their viewpoints. Where both parties give their side of the story. Getting a long term restraining order is very difficult and requires strong evidence. My ex told our judge that he threw me off a bed by my legs with a baby in my arms, he told a judge he physically restrained me with a 2 month old baby in my arms from leaving out a door. Leaving bruises all over my arms.He told a judge that yes he put his hands around my neck, leaving red marks, but he didn't squeeze hard. He told a judge he threatened to bury me in our backyard in front of our kids, but it was just a joke. He told a judge all of this and I was still denied the restrained order. He told our mediator all of these things and the mediator wrote a letter to the judge telling him not to give my ex any custody and the judge dismissed it. It took my ex showing up at my home, holding our children down telling him they were going to take them away from mommy, have mommy thrown in jail for being a kidnapper, and then yelled at every neighbor who gathered outside and even a postal worker that i had them all fooled letting them think he was an abuser to get a restraining order. But the judge wouldn't include the kids in the order because the kids have the right to a dad. I wouldn't even go into what my kids have to go through on their visits with their dad. It's awful.

Getting an actual long term order will take a lot of proof and evidence. So educate yourself a bit more Jeannine before letting us all know how many women abuse the system.
Avani is offline  
#17 of 20 Old 09-23-2010, 07:44 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Cover letter he!!
Posts: 6,387
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for the back-up Avani. I continue to be amazed by your resilience and determination.
Super~Single~Mama is offline  
#18 of 20 Old 09-25-2010, 11:03 PM
 
provocativa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,778
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
avani, really you should start an anonymous blog about the worst. judge. ever. really the conclusion is, gather the documentation, and file a police report. then another one if / when necessary, so that you are ready should the situation escalate into threats. my x certainly knows how to threaten in a menacing voice with neutral-ish words, and how to only call back and harass me a few times, not the 8 or whatever an hour necessary to get an ro. he is a master at verbal abuse. sigh. i really need to follow this advice myself.
provocativa is offline  
#19 of 20 Old 03-05-2011, 09:28 AM
 
rebma1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

HI Ladies. What about if it is turned around? I am single mom of 3 kids. My ex bf and I bought a house together a yr ago. Long story short we have a 19month old together. He has physically abused me and I was stupid and didnt turn him in. He cheated, lied and has another whole family in mexico that new nothing of our  baby. I finally decided enough was enough and went for a dinner date with a friends friend. A few days later I invited this guy and another of my mutual friend over for tacos and glee. My ex found out and the next day we got into it over a usb adapter. I paid for it so I took it , he tried taking from me. we scuffled. Next day I arrive home from work only to be home 5 mins before sherrif shows up to escort me and kids off property of which I do own half. of.. I have no family. I had a friend with me and am at her place. I filed for a hearing. took my kids and have not had contact. I dont know what to do from here......

rebma1980 is offline  
#20 of 20 Old 03-05-2011, 09:08 PM
 
Subhuti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Jeta Grove
Posts: 1,467
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My first stop would be the local police to explain the situation and your options.  My second stop would be a decent lawyer who is on your side.

 

Personally, that kind of thing in my state would get you an order of protection.  But it really depends on your jurisdiction and the political winds.  They tend to err on the side of protecting women up where I live.

 

I feel for ya.


Kids. I got two of 'em.
Subhuti is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off