Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Restraining Orders for Abusive Grandmas?

I got this in an email from the Krights mail group. I thought it could bear repeating again here.



Carey Roberts
August 10, 2005


The women's shelter activists have devised a nuclear first-strike weapon in their jihad to stop domestic violence. Insiders call it the TRO — the "temporary restraining order."

Here's how the ploy works. A woman who feels in the slightest way abused goes to a judge to request a restraining order (called an Order of Protection in some states). This is usually done at an "ex- parte" hearing, meaning the hearing is done in secret and the judge does not bother to invite testimony from the alleged abuser. The judge seldom demands any hard evidence to back up the woman's testimony.

Because abuse is defined broadly in most states, the woman's request is given a rubber-stamp approval.

Ten days later the woman goes back and requests that the temporary restraining order be made permanent. That decision has a devastating impact on the family: the father is permanently vacated from his house, the mother is awarded full custody of the children, and he is ordered to begin child support payments.

Obviously this Kafkaesque system is ripe for abuse. And that's exactly what Arlene Soucie of Illinois, proud grandmother of two, recently found out.

In November 2002 Mrs. Soucie's daughter-in-law decided to leave the family home, and opted to take along her nine-month-old grandson for good measure. "With the slow process of the court system, my grandson was concealed for 3 months. We missed his first Thanksgiving, first Christmas, first New Years, and his first birthday," Mrs. Soucie sadly writes.

Finally the father, who works in law enforcement, was granted formal visitation rights. That's when the nightmare began.

Somehow the mother got irate because dad and grandma wanted to see junior from time to time. And someone told her that under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act, causing a woman to feel even "emotional distress" is considered a form of abuse.

"In October 2003, my son and myself were placed under an Order of Protection. We did nothing to break the law, we did not harass, stalk, intimidate, or try to annoy. Our only purpose was to pick up the child and deliver him back at the appointed time."

Apparently the mother told the judge she found dad and grandma picking up the child to be "distressing."

"The mother has learned the system and uses it to her advantage," laments the disillusioned grandmother.

The abuse of restraining orders has now become widespread.

In Massachusetts, 30,000 restraining orders are issued each year. Half of those do not involve even an allegation of physical violence.

Elaine Epstein, former president of the Massachusetts Women's Bar Association, notes that "allegations of abuse are now used for tactical advantage" in divorce hearings. "Everyone knows that restraining orders and orders to vacate are granted to virtually all who apply," she admits.

The June 2005 issue of the Journal of Family Violence features an analysis of all of the requests for restraining orders that came to the Massachusetts Gardner District Court in 1997. Author Steve Basile found that only 10% of requests from women were deferred or turned down. In contrast, 34% of requests from abused men were deferred or denied — a three-fold sex bias.

In Washington state, attorney Lisa Scott writes, "Originated to immediately protect victims of severe abuse, protection orders have become 'weapons of mass destruction' in family courts. Whenever a woman claims to be a victim, she is automatically believed. No proof of abuse is required."

In Colorado, Dr. Charles Corry explains how one judicial district employs a so-called Fast Track system in which "men are not allowed to consult a defense attorney before being pressured and cajoled to enter a guilty plea."

Some judges seem to delight in turning family breadwinners into homeless vagrants: "Your job is not to become concerned about all the constitutional rights of the man that you're violating as you grant a restraining order. Throw him out on the street, give him the clothes on his back, and tell him, 'See ya around,'" boasts judge Richard Russell of New Jersey.

Early next month lawmakers return to Washington from their August recess. One of their first orders of business will be to take up the Violence Against Women Act. VAWA is the controversial bill that fuels the ever-expanding use of restraining orders around the country.

And as they ponder their votes, let's hope our elected officials don't forget about all the grandmas and grandpas out there who are looking forward to birthday cake and ice cream with their grandkids this coming year.


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Carey Roberts is an analyst and commentator on political correctness.
His best-known work was an exposé on Marxism and radical feminism.

Mr. Roberts' work has been cited on the Rush Limbaugh show. Besides serving as a regular contributor to RenewAmerica.us, he has published in The Washington Times, LewRockwell.com, ifeminists.net, Men's News Daily, eco.freedom.org, The Federal Observer, Opinion Editorials, and The Right Report.

Previously, he served on active duty in the Army, was a professor of psychology, and was a citizen-lobbyist in the US Congress. In his spare time he admires Norman Rockwell paintings, collects antiques, and is an avid soccer fan. He now works as an independent researcher and consultant.

© Copyright 2005 by Carey Roberts
http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/roberts/050810

3 Comments:

Blogger The Geezer said...

The Geez used to house share with a tugboatman. Guy was gone half the time, so worked for him to have someone around when he was gone, and worked for me because I had a house, and garden, for the price of an apartment.

One day prior to his leaving, although money was not yet due (I just deposited in his account on the due date when he was gone) he got all huffy, demanded the money in advance, started clenching his fists, and so, The Geezer being a smart fellow, wrote him a check.

Not wanting to live in that situation any more, and unsure when he would return, I got a RO against him on that basis. Never had to see the judge, and got the DV diva at the courthouse to do the paperwork, and do my bidding.

Bottom line, while I thought it prudent to do this until I could move out, if he had come home sooner, he would have been tossed from his own home, which he is the sole owner, by a renter for at least two weeks, and more if I would have gone to the permanent hearing.

Not only is this a bad law in the traditional sense, but it is totally stupid, when guys, without a romantic relationship, but just house sharing, can be thrown out of a house they own, and rent one room, on an accusation only, without proof.

Not that I feel proud, but thought it prudent to do it, and wanted to test the system to see if it is really that easy.

It is.

The Geezer

8/11/2005 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger One man said...

Believe me, I know. I posted this because it hit so close to home. TPO, Ex Parte, the works, to the letter. I have been there. No proof is required. TPO based on hearsay with no evidence are about as un-American as it can get. Oh wait, that was a different America. We don't live there anymore. Some are still blindly patriotic because they believe this bullshit doesn’t really happen. Or that we are hiding or lying about some important detail. More will learn, more will fall. What used to be America is long gone and what is left of our freedom is systematically being torn away. What does that leave us? Think about it. The freedom you believe you enjoy is an illusion, a memory at best. But you know that Geez, you've had your turn in the barrel.

8/12/2005 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger One man said...

The trick to beating the TPO is to not wait those ten days. Many guys make this mistake. They have faith in the American system of government and think that someone will be there to save them. That is the first mistake. No one cares about you. In fact, if you are a man, there are many in the system that have fore drawn conclusions about the behavior of men. You are hated. You are the one to blame no matter how it started and god help you if you show any indignation over your mistreatment, however righteous that indignation might be. That will just prove their point.

It’s not the rules that need changing as much as the people that enforce them. Some hate men, some are getting rich by screwing men and know they can get away with it. Some don’t care either way, they are there to feed their own families and to hell with right and wrong as long as they can keep their well paying and easy job. I ask you this, what kinds of people are motivated to find work in the family court? Certainly not the well adjusted ones. It’s the ones with a bone to pick. The ones that feel they have been wronged and want to do something about it. However noble this may sound, we are talking about bitter, jaded, spiteful people that want to get back at men. How many attractive women work for or around the family court? How about attractive men? If you said zero, you would be correct. This may seem a bit off topic but I want you to see what kind of people are running the show here. It’s not the happy, content people that get these jobs. It’s the ugly, bitter spinsters (and I mean real ugly). It’s the ones with a drum to beat or money to make. They are not there to help you. They are there to satisfy themselves. When these people are held accountable for their actions, only then, will the system will change. Until then we are accomplishing nothing.

So, back to the point, you must immediately challenge the TPO in Ex Parte. That is the only chance you have and even then it's hit and miss depending on the commissioner you get and how well you present your case. Don’t wait for them to come to you. Stand up for yourself NOW. Or be passive and lose.

8/12/2005 12:07:00 PM  

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