RESTRAINING ORDERS

The motives for this law are legion. First, it makes the state a bunch of money, by allowing it to leverage massive Federal grants. It makes feminist victim groups a lot of money by providing millions in state and federal grants to stop 'domestic violence.' It makes a lawyers and court personnel a lot money as they administer the Godzilla-sized system they have built to deal with these orders.

The worst feature of the restraining order law is that it allows a person to go to court and get an order, without the other person present.

Unfortunately, restraining orders are often issued when they shouldn't be, but courts believe it is better to provide more protection than is necessary than to deny someone the protection they need.

If there was ever a time to get a lawyer, this is it. At any cost. Get one who will fight like your entire future depends on it, because it does. If you lose, you may never see your children again as long as you live.

You must comply with the restraining order at all times. Usually a temporary restraining order is called an "ex parte" order which has been granted in your absence - the judge will rule in favor of its enforcement but also set a date for a second hearing at which you appear to defend your case.

You need to be fighting a restraining order for yourself AND your kids.
You think that sounds obvious? I'm always surprised at the number of guys who think they're only fighting a restraining order for their children's sake. They forget some of the other elements that should be the driving force behind their crusade.

For one: in most states, the order becomes part of your criminal history and is searchable by employers. So if you attend any interviews whilst fighting a restraining order, any background checks will reveal this black mark on your record – and they won't know the details of why it's a phony allegation. It's highly likely that employers will be put off by finding this against your name, and there is the very real possibility that you won't get offered positions you'd have otherwise been hired for.

It is also flagged as a warning to customs officials. Imagine having to explain and defend yourself yet again on a business trip or whenever you get a firearms license check. Think about the amount of time and frustration you may have to go through when extra baggage checks are needed, and searches of your person are conducted – all because of that phony restraining order.

The first step you must take to defend yourself against this deadly restraining order is to get a secret application and affidavit that the plaintiff filed at the ex parte hearing. The court will not tell you that these documents exist, so you must go to the clerk in the court where your order was issued, and ask for two things: the "application" for the restraining order and the "affidavit" that the complainant filled out.

The application will have statements on it as to why the person wanted the order. An 'affidavit' is a statement in writing, made under oath, of the facts supporting the application. Usually, they are both full of perjury, exaggeration, and down right lies.

When you go to the court to get them, give the clerk the "docket number", which is the case number on your order, and ask for the two documents. The clerk at the court may give you grief, but you are entitled to those documents. They are a public record, and even if they were not, you are a party to the case, so you should get them on that ground. You will have to pay a stinking 50 cent fee per page, but it will be well worth it.

The first critical strategy to use in every case, without exception, is to see if there are indeed lies in the papers which you got from the court. Even if not, you have the other strategies set forth below. However, this is just about the best one, because it exposes the tendency of the complaining witness to not tell the truth under oath. That bothers judges a great deal.
Neighbors, friends, co-workers can be brought in as witnesses, to state that you were in a place far away, not abusing. Or, if the neighbor was standing there, witnessing the complainant beating you up, while you stood silently and didn't lift a hand, that can also turn it around.

Show How the Affidavit Fails to Meet the Legal Standard
The argument about the legal standard is rarely even made by lawyers, even though it is absolutely critical. The judge has be shown that you did not place the plaintiff in fear of imminent, serious, physical harm. The plaintiff has to prove each of these requirements - imminent, serious, and physical - and you should try to disprove each, even though the burden of proof is on the plaintiff.

Be Prepared for Some New Lies
The most important strategies to use in opposing an order are the ones described above. At the return hearing, you will be allowed to cross examine the plaintiff about all these things. However, there is another critical strategy or tool for you to use to undermine the credibility of the plaintiff. That is to show the judge that there is a plausible motive, other than fear of harm, that has motivated the person to seek an order.
This is a list of possible ulterior motives for which the 'victim' may have sought a restraining order against you:

1. To gain an advantage in a divorce; (Some divorce lawyers routinely advise getting one.)
2. To quickly get custody of your children without a hearing;
3. To keep you from your children;
4. To stop you from modifying custody after your child expresses a desire to live with you.
5. To quickly put you out of the house without an eviction or a Probate Court hearing;
6. To allow the complainant to get a new boy/girlfriend into the picture, and you out;
7. To get vengeance;
8. To control or manipulate you, or get leverage in some way;
9. The 'victim' got sucked in by a victim-witness advocate who preyed on weakness;
10. To put you in jail;
11. To enjoy watching you suffer.
12. To get $$$$$$ and help from DSS or a victim group.



The classic one used by thousands is Number 1, to get an order to gain an advantage in a divorce. What can you do? You file the divorce. You be the plaintiff. Then, when the person tries to get an order, you can at least point out that it may be in retaliation. If you have not filed first, there is almost no hope.
In order to successfully pursue this strategy, You must figure out which of these motives are behind the push for a restraining order against you. Then you must be able to bring some document or witness that will prove pretty strongly that the motive you allege is the REAL reason why the person is seeking the order.
Comply with all conditions of the temporary restraining order. This may mean that you will need to surrender any rifles, shotguns or handguns to the police until the matter has been resolved.

Fight the restraining order by filing an answer to the TRO. This is your opportunity to tell your side of the story, and to object to the reasons the order was originally issued. Have an attorney review your answer before you file it to determine whether your statement is in your best interests.

Tell your side of the story at the mandatory hearing, where the temporary restraining order will be reviewed by the court and a decision will be made whether to grant a PRO. Remember to remain calm

Resist the temptation to discuss the restraining order with the issuing party outside of the court. The order was issued for a purpose and any attempt to ignore or circumvent a TRO or PRO may result in additional criminal charges, such as contempt of court.

I want to say THANK YOU to Ron Lasorsa and Gregory A. Hession,JD