I used to think that civil restraining and harassment orders were generally harmless legal instruments issued in domestic and family disputes. However, I have since learned that civil restraining and harassment orders are issued by local courts and judges far more frequently than most people realize. And they create much more harm than most people realize.
Civil restraining and harassment orders are generally considered civil matters but, in reality, they fall into the quasi-criminal category because of its law enforcement component and how they are often reported to state registry databases in a manner to similar to how people convicted of sex crimes are reported to sex offender registries. This act of being reported to a state registry database and being in public court records can have a devastating effect on people of certain occupations.
Accusers tend to have a disproportionate amount of power over the accused. Part of this is that temporary restraining orders and harassment orders can be obtained from a local court without notifying the accused at all! And woe to the person who cannot afford a good lawyer to defend against these quasi-criminal accusations.
Local judges and local courts have very little oversight and consequently, bad legal rulings occur. Local politics is often part of the fabric of the local justice system. Over time, I have come to realize that while civil restraining and harassment order process has its place and benefits for true victims, it also has many dangerous pitfalls for the uninformed and the accused.
If one can afford a qualified lawyer, the accused has a good chance at a fair hearing. But if the accused cannot, they will likely be victimized by the process and their legal ignorance. Justice is not served in these situations and there are bad unintended consequences.
Of late, I have seen, read, and heard too much of the plight of the ill-prepared, uninformed, and “unlawyered”. I decided to do something about it. I am not a lawyer but I know how to gather, find, and research information. I also know how to contact and interact with knowledgeable legal professionals. And most importantly, I know how to build up a database of good information resources to help and assist those that cannot afford a good lawyer.
Discuss defense strategies and tactics of how to fight and win against civil restraining orders, harassment orders, protective orders, and speech restraint orders in the Restraining Order Defense Discussion Forum!