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12/29/2005 Archived Entry: "Latest FOX column"
My latest FOXNews/ifeminists.net column lambasted the ease with which temporary restraining orders can be obtained and how they are misused as harassment or as bargaining chips in e.g. divorce. I reprint some comments from readers....
The problem with TROs is that if someone gets one against me the police will take my rare firearm collection worth more than my house. Anyone who wants to hurt me could do this for strategy -- either another man who is angry at me (I outed a fake-PhD and he is steaming mad) or in a divorce case. I am against restraining orders without a hearing and against whatever laws allow the police to collect all of the guns. After all, the (typically) male victim has not been judged guilty of a crime.
I just read your article on the Fox website and you hit the nail on the head. I'm a police officer and I investigate/serve these types of orders all the time. It makes my blood boil when people abuse this protection tool as some form of legal maneuvering, harassment or way to control someone. My blood pressure rose even higher when the judge stated he actually read the application for the TRO. How could he, in good faith, approve such an order? Madness! Thanks for writing the article; I already forwarded to a few of my co-workers.
One thing not mentioned in the article is the knock-on effects of a restraining order. Speaking from personal experience as a result of a contentious divorce:
1. You are not allowed to own or possess a firearm.
2. You are added to the Border Control system and will be subjected to special treatment in the form of secondary screening every time you come back into the country on a commercial flight.
3. Every time that you are pulled over for speeding with your new wife, she is pulled aside in private by the officer and forced to show her ID.
Note that all of these things are for the duration of the restraining order -- permanent. For the rest of your life. Particularly disturbing is #1 in that a constitutional right can be taken from you without any evidence of wrongdoing.
False or frivolous applications should be viewed in the same manner as are false police reports.
Funny you should say that, California regards false police reports as misdemeanors. It is almost as humorous as sworn testimony?
Someday, I will set fire to the boxes I call the "Ex files".
As a former police officer, I have seen TROs and permanent restraining orders abused on many occasions. One thing you didn't mention, that bears notice, is that a person who is the subject of a restraining order generally loses his/her (usually his) second amendment right. For example, see http://www.womenslaw.org/CA/CA_how_to.htm, which states that although "domestic violence" doesn't have to involve physical assault and can be defined as destroying personal property or disturbing the peace, a judge who issues a DVRO MUST order the subject of the order to give up all firearms and not buy firearms while the order is in effect.
I've seen more than one spouse of a police officer file bogus DV charges against their spouse or boyfriend, effectively destroying his career because he's no longer able to work in law enforcement without the ability to own/carry a gun. It's criminal the power that a person has to so easily do this without any real proof.
As a current law enforcement offer. I see nearly daily the abuse of Emergency Protective Orders, Temporary Restraining Orders, and other court ordered protection. Many of the incidents I investigate are nothing more than wedge or spite devices used by one ex against another. These orders need to be much more difficult to obtain.
Thank you for taking up and commenting on the issue. What happened to David Letterman is par for the course on restraining orders. First, it demonstrates that this particular judge, and I contend most judges, fail to read the petition at all or at least apply any modicum of common sense. It is both unethical and unconscionable for a judge to issue any court order simply on the basis of an unreasonable or unsubstantiated claim. This incident does exemplify the abuse of the legal system by "victim rights" advocacy in trumping individual civil rights under the law. It makes a total mockery of the legal system as an instrument of political correctness.
Now you understand why many men no longer have respect for the civil legal system. Because the legal system has no respect for the civil rights of men as a group. I am not interested in the claims of victimization by feminists as they, like Hilter before them, claimed victim status to justify their double
standards and disgusting hatred (bigotry) of others.