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Jumping Through The Legal Hoops

March 8, 2010

One of the classes that I’m taking this semester is called “Domestic Violence”. What can I say, it fulfills a requirement, allows me to engage in such earth shattering comments as “Wow, I can’t believe someone could hurt another person like this”, and it gives me an interesting window into the mind of a certain member of the human race that I once shared a living space with. 

It was in the context of discussing Orders for Protection that I went back and looked through my old paperwork from last year. I also pulled out the transcript from the sentencing. It was then that I learned that I have been under an improper impression. 

I thought that numb-nuts was legally prevented from contacting us during his ten years of parole. 

I am incorrect. 

He is, in fact, prevented from contacting us while he is incarcerated. Apparently, should we wish to keep him away from us after he gets out, it is incumbent upon us to go through the legal hoops to make this known. 

However there is the fact that, when he tried at the eleventh hour to stop our divorce because he had been touched by Jesus and decided that he looooooooovvvveeeeeddddd me, my lawyer responded to his lawyer with the heart-felt missive that “Should your client attempt to ever contact my client again we will slap you with a restraining order so fast it’ll put your scrotum in a twist” (Of course it was wrapped in legal lingo which is decidedly void of the word “scrotum”). This maneuver still puts the responsibility upon us to make our wishes known. 

Here’s a mind blowing concept: How about making the legal system work for the innocent? How about making it a standard expectation that the criminal would stay away? How about making it incumbent upon the victim to go to the courthouse and GIVE PERMISSION for the criminal to contact the victim should that be their desire? 

What puts my knickers in the biggest twist is that I don’t necessarily plan on being around when he gets out. This would make a trip down to the courthouse somewhat inconvenient. I am of the understanding that should I decide to file a restraining order, it needs to be done in St. Louis County and then I would notify the local law enforcement in the town of “Hooray, I’m not in your vicinity anymore, USA”. This would also mean that it will be incumbent upon my children, who will be over 18 when he gets out, to go through the process for themselves as well. 

Our current Order for Protection expires on my daughter’s 18th birthday. I’m not quite sure if we could go ahead, right at that time, and each have it extended into the future so that it will be in place when he gets out, or if we have to wait until he is ready to get out and then start again. 

I have contemplated simply having a lawyer draft a letter to both him and his parole officer with the three of us signing it. It would be a letter stating that it is the individual wish of each of us that he never contacts us again and should he make the CHOICE of trying to contact any of us, all three of us would file a restraining order against him. 

That would put the ball in his court. That would make him realize that yes, your choices are STILL going to have consequences. That would make our lives easier and we would only have to deal with a restraining order should he decide to continue to be an ass. It would also get a lawyer in the loop so that they could help us do a restraining order long distance if necessary. 

It feels ridiculous to even contemplate such issues at this time. It seems like I should just let it rest and then, at the beginning of 2014, start to weigh my options. But by that time I’ll be wondering what kind of purse to buy that will be both stylish and accommodating of the handgun that I will no doubt start to tote. 

Cuz I’m all for live and let live but if he shows up at my door? It’s on!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Laura permalink
    March 8, 2010 3:13 pm

    If it would ease your mind, you could do the letter. But as you say, your children will be legal adults when he is released. Wouldn’t that change the circumstances and allow him to try contact again, due to that change in status? Perhaps it would be empowering for them to handle this themselves, as adults. Maybe by 2014 he will be in a committed relationship with Big Bubba or the pitiful internet woman. Maybe he will have moved on and not pursue it, especially if you’ve left Duluth. My concern – that letter would make his day – gone, but not forgotten – I’m still living in her head and pulling the emotional strings. Just some things to consider. As one who has often acted rashly in the past, I’ve come to believe it is better to do nothing, than act on speculation or fear. Whatever you decide, know that I’m always out here cheering for the Harkness family.

  2. Tabatha Voros permalink
    March 8, 2010 11:52 pm

    Tina,
    In your circumstances I don’t think a judge would think twice about signing a restraining order NOW! That goes on for 10 years after his release. I have heard of this being done. Contact your lawyer and ask if this is possible, if it is go for it! I had to have a restraining order and it did not take a lawyer to do it. Actually, it was one thing that the courts seemed to make a bit easier. Best of luck, I also, don’t think it wise to wait. I could just see him showing up on your daughters 18th birthday and saying, “Hi, honey. I am out and completely cured, can we start again?” The man is a clod and a pig. Best of luck our prayers are with you. BTW I am really glad you found this out now rather than the first time he shows up on your doorstep several years earlier than expected.

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