Protection order against domestic violence

Even a casual search of the internet will reveal much about the misuse of temporary restraining orders (TRO) in divorce court. Judges tend to “err on the side of caution” when a claim of domestic violence is made and tend to issue more temporary protection orders than they reject (TPO). Given there are no consequences for making false reports then it should come as no surprise that filing for an order of protection for domestic violence or OPDV (as it is known in Nevada) is a common tactic for female litigants. Maybe she also gains some sort of sick satisfaction knowing that a deputy has served him the notice of a hearing for a protection order at his place of employment.

Why would a woman want an OPDV?

The most common reason is to obtain possession of the marital residence. After all, possession is 9/10ths of the law. If you read my post on temporary support orders  you can see that a judge can order a guy to pay all the bills on a house he does not live in for an indefinite period of time. Disrupting his ability to see his children also means it is more likely that she will be awarded physical custody of the children. There is also a presumption against awarding joint custody if domestic violence is a factor.  

The Law

In Nevada, the relevant law is NRS 33.018:

NRS 33.018  Acts which constitute domestic violence.

      1.  Domestic violence occurs when a person commits one of the following acts against or upon his spouse, former spouse, any other person to whom he is related by blood or marriage, a person with whom he is or was actually residing, a person with whom he has had or is having a dating relationship, a person with whom he has a child in common, the minor child of any of those persons, his minor child or any person who has been appointed the custodian or legal guardian for his minor child:

      (a) A battery.

      (b) An assault.

      (c) Compelling the other by force or threat of force to perform an act from which he has the right to refrain or to refrain from an act which he has the right to perform.

      (d) A sexual assault.

      (e) A knowing, purposeful or reckless course of conduct intended to harass the other. Such conduct may include, but is not limited to:

             (1) Stalking.

             (2) Arson.

             (3) Trespassing.

             (4) Larceny.

             (5) Destruction of private property.

             (6) Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

             (7) Injuring or killing an animal.

      (f) A false imprisonment.

      (g) Unlawful entry of the other’s residence, or forcible entry against the other’s will if there is a reasonably foreseeable risk of harm to the other from the entry.

 Note for the purposes of Item 33.018(e), harassment has been defined in NRS 200.571:

NRS 200.571  Harassment: Definition; penalties.

      1.  A person is guilty of harassment if:

      (a) Without lawful authority, the person knowingly threatens:

             (1) To cause bodily injury in the future to the person threatened or to any other person;

             (2) To cause physical damage to the property of another person;

             (3) To subject the person threatened or any other person to physical confinement or restraint; or

             (4) To do any act which is intended to substantially harm the person threatened or any other person with respect to his physical or mental health or safety; and

      (b) The person by words or conduct places the person receiving the threat in reasonable fear that the threat will be carried out.

 So basically, if you hurt someone or threaten to hurt someone via actions or words (so that they had a reasonable fear of the threat being carried out) then you are guilty of domestic violence.

If you are arrested by the police then the court may issue an emergency protection order without a formal hearing for up to one week. A temporary protection order requires a judge to hear testimony and evidence and can typically last for up to 30 days, while an extended protection order can last for up to 1 year after a full hearing.

In my case, my ex-wife made an application for a temporary protection order because I entered the house to grab some possessions (after the judge granted her sole possession). However, she did not show up to court to argue her case and the application was declined. After I spent a sleepless night preparing a defense (and representing myself without a lawyer)  it was obvious the court could not find in her favor. Why? Because there was no intent to harass when entering the house because harassment is defined as a threat of harm or damage. My intent was to collect property. (Did I mention she attacked me when I entered the house and told my son to get his gun and shoot me in the head? No? Oh, well. The court didn’t want to hear it either).

Naturally, any case will be strengthened if there is more evidence than he said/she said testimony. Medical records, police reports, a criminal record, and witnesses all strengthen a case.

Effect of Order

A temporary order can:

  • Forbid further threats, harassment or injury to you or your minor child either directly or through a third party
  • Order the abuser to stay out of your home
  • Prohibit the abuser from entering your place of employment, school or other specified location
  • Award you temporary legal custody of children
  • Provide other relief the court considers necessary in an emergency situation
  • Force the abuser to turn over all firearms to law enforcement personnel and prevent him from buying firearms

In addition to providing the same protections as a temporary order, an extended order may:

  • Limit or prohibit the abuser’s communications with you and your children
  • Award you custody of your children and force the abuser to pay child support
  • Establish visitation arrangements and require supervision by a third party if necessary
  • Order the abuser to make rental or mortgage payments on the home in which you are living
  • Order the abuser to pay all or part of costs and fees incurred in obtaining the protection order

Final Observations

  • Never physically assault or threaten your ex-spouse. We are opposed to any act of coercion by either sex. A good proportion of domestic violence is real, although the latest research by the Center for Disease Control indicates women are equally or more likely to initiate domestic violence.
  • Although injury rates and police reports, are higher for women, men still sustain about 1/3 of the injuries.
  • It is a fact that some women have been known to injure themselves so they can generate evidence of physical injury and a medical report.
  • Consider digitally recording or making a video of all contact with your ex-spouse
  • Try to only see your ex-spouse in the presence of your lawyer or a police escort or other credible witness (who can write a report or testify what happened)
  • Keep a diary of all contacts with your ex-spouse
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6 Responses to Protection order against domestic violence

  1. […] In my case, I left the house a few months after filing my complaint for divorce because her verbal abuse had become intolerable. Most men end up leaving either voluntarily or involuntarily (via a TRO or temporary restraining order – see this post). […]

  2. Temporary Restraining orders are death to fathes that hope to have any quality time with thier childen. Putting your hands in our pocket when around a former spouse is a great way to keep your expressions from allow it to look like you were aggressive.

    Step back when you speak, lower your voice, and take a deep breath before starting your discussion.

    If accused, do not accept a plea for a reduced sentence. It is the kiss of death. Hire an attorney, and fight for your rights, or they will be lost.

    Joel Johnston
    http://www.WashingtonSharedParenting.com

  3. Laney says:

    I was physically, verbally, emotionally abused by my ex-boyfriend. I called the cops, he was arrested, he lied his ass off in court, naturally, however, I had marks on me and he was drunk in a bar without any marks on him when he was arrested. The family court judge issued a temp (30 day) and it was extended to 1 year TPO. He was convicted and received the standard first time sentence in Las Vegas, NV Justice Court. The judge told him to stay away from me and not harass or abuse me.

    Of course, he hasn’t, so I kept a journal of the times he has appeared in the same public place that I was present at, even when my vehicle which is very recognizable, was parked in front of the business in plain site. The last time he decided to appear, 8 times total so far) he sat down, drank, stayed until I left and he came over to where I was and said something to me and confronted my boyfriend who told him to take his sorry pathetic ass back over to where he was sitting. Then we left.

    I didn’t call the cops on any occasion mainly because up until now there’s only been this one time where he didn’t leave after a few minutes and he’s never actually confronted me or people I was with, he did talk to the bartender and I passed him within inches in a hallway to the restroom one other time but then he left. This last time he brought a woman with him and stayed there right in front of me and my friends. So he knew I was present and this was a bar where I have a weekly social organization meeting and he has never gone there in the 2 years I was with him.

    I want to get your take on what I should do now and how to handle the situation with the judge, courts, etc.

    Even though I don’t like confrontation(I know what he’ll think about me doing something about this), it will be turned around on me and he’s the victim again. I have witnesses to him coming into places, however, they aren’t going to say much other than he appeared except for the last time where my boyfriend can come and testify.

    I have given this some thought and regret now that I didn’t handle it by calling the cops that night because progressively he’s getting more confrontational. What would have happened if my bf hadn’t been there. The TPO is running out in January 2010 and I can’t stay at my boyfriend’s house indefinitely and I don’t want to move in with anyone else for awhile.

    As you may notice, I’m conflicted over this situation and what to do because he’s already been trying to make me pay for having him arrested in ways that are less overt, like getting women who won’t tell me he talked to them to start rumors and destroy my reputation.

    So I asked myself, “Am I just allowing him to continue abusing and intimidating me?” I have the feeling that he’s letting me know there’s an underlying threat and I knowing that he’s stalking me by doing what he is doing. I am intimidated by the thought of him showing up unexpectedly and there’s always the fear when I go out that I might run into him. Plus he is making sure to find out what I’m doing and with who by coming in and checking up on me. It’s as if he’s saying to me, “I know where to find you once the order is lifted” and “I’m watching you.”

    I think he’s just waiting to get me and I have been told of some sketchy information that he’s possibly trying to get some of his women friends that I do not know to confront me instead of him. Which I know that’s all hearsay, however, if true, it does mean that he’s trying to make sure that something happens to me since he’s worried about going to jail but ntt enough to follow rules. He’s broken the rules ever since this happened, talking to me during the civil stand down and whatever else he wanted to do during the time he was kept from the house. He just does thing more sneaky now.

    Thanks,
    Laney

    One more fact, he has a lawyer, the state’s DA tried my case and he’s up to talk to the judge in July, a hearing is scheduled to get his charge reduced down to battery and prove that he’s gone through the counseling and done everything else he should have done. I really hate talking to some of the professionals because they have attitudes that are less than understanding, they only know how much power they have, not how it feels to be powerless in the system and vulnerable if they really want to get you.

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    […]Protection order against domestic violence « Anatomy of a Divorce[…]…

  5. ex boyfriend says:

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    […]Protection order against domestic violence « Anatomy of a Divorce[…]…

  6. Alan says:

    Though I really don’t concur along with you, I locate your shipping and delivery of the feeling one that I’m able to in fact discover pleasant to listen to.My encounters with science and character have undoubtedly been unique.I truly admire your pondering.I must acquire an opposing look at on “vulcanism”, even so. As the very untypical woman, We have been instructed I am really rational and analytical. And, like the standard lady, I’ve triggers that make me cry, but it may possibly cause you to chuckle.I uncover myself most disappointed and pushed into tears by persons behaving illogically. I last but not least had a boyfriend have a look at me and say, “That’s just it. People really don’t make sense generally. You will need to prevent expecting them to, after which you will end up a lot less annoyed much less normally.”Just imagined you would possibly have a giggle from me.

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