Restraining orders are a common aspect of divorces and family issues. When used properly, they can provide everyone with time to clear their heads, focus on what they want, and calmly decide what is best. Unfortunately, restraining order abuse is rampant, a depressing fact in family law, and a difficulty that entirely too many undeserving people have to contend with.
Restraining Orders: The Basics
Restraining orders – also called “orders of protection” in New York – are requirements issued by a court that limit what someone can do, where they can be, and who they can deal with. If a restraining order is not complied with – if it requires that someone not go somewhere, but they do, anyway – then they can be arrested and charged for criminal contempt of court orders. Even the lightest penalty, for second degree criminal contempt, is punishable by a $1,000 fine and a year in jail.
Even though restraining orders can severely impair how people can live their lives, they nevertheless are incredibly easy to get. All that someone has to do to get a restraining order against someone else is to go to court and file the correct documents. Most judges immediately issue a temporary restraining order. They even do this ex parte – without hearing from the person against whom the order is being filed.
Restraining Order Abuse
Because of the severity of restraining orders and the ease with which people can get them, abusing the restraining order process has become all too common. Even though restraining orders are meant to provide a way for people to protect themselves from domestic violence or other crimes, they are often used by those filing them to harass, embarrass, manipulate, or inconvenience people that they do not like, or want revenge against.
It is common for people to file for a restraining order simply to get back at someone else, or to gain an advantage over them. It is not unheard of for spouses to file restraining orders against each other in order to paint their counterpart in a bad light, so they can get better custody to their kids. Unfortunately, this kind of abuse is rarely caught because, even though lying on a restraining order application is perjury, this crime is rarely prosecuted.
The Bombardo Law Office Can Help
Having a restraining order filed against you is no small matter. Hiring an attorney to help show that the person filing the order is abusing the system can be the best way to fight for your rights. Call the Bombardo Law Office, or contact us online, for help.