Restraining Orders: Fact and Fantasy

John J. Nazarian
May 5, 2008

Threatening ExBulletin: a “Restraining Order” will not protect you, and in some cases it may well cause the earth beneath your feet to become singed! First, a little background on cops and domestic disputes. As a former police officer, I can attest that every cop knows to watch out when responding to the infamous family knock-down. Why, you ask? Well, at the time, the little missus hates this cockroach that she is married to — or with whom she just fornicates! However, when the boys and women in blue show up and smack lover-boy over the coffee table, and he grabs his nose and whimpers like the bitch that he is, that is when “Hotcakes” falls back in love with him, and now we are having to deal with her lard ass, too! A little rough but true, and many police officers have lost their lives dealing with “domestic issues” — again, in plain words, just people who gave more thought to the purchase of a parakeet than to whom they would be bumping uglies with!

Well, now we come to the reality of the “Restraining Order.” Oh, if you believe some of these nitwit “security experts” that they can protect you — or another incompetent who wrote a book after taking care of a very famous and very old starlets panties and bras — then good! But for the rest of us, having this piece of paper is useless most of the time. Its greatest utility may be to the type of person who gets a restraining order for revenge, to show how much of an annoyance she can be to the poor Ex. Or to almost ruin someone’s life, as these orders are reported and kept on permanent record — the “restrainee’s” actual guilt is not important, so this is too often used as a dirty trick! Which has the unfortunate side effect of cops not taking Restraining Orders as seriously as they might.

A Restraining Order is most effective against people who want to obey the law and not put themselves in potential further trouble. You know, the generally reasonable type who would obey an order, or even the rules of the road! But for what I call “Gods 3%” it has no impact; they don’t care about rules and will violate a restraining order as fast as the issue hits their ears! If someone really wants to harm you, a piece of paper isn’t going to stop them. Now if you have the ability to have someone watch over you that is fine; however, even presidents and heads of state with the best security teams in the world are hit, and if the threat is that serious, they will also kill whoever you have watching you. Example, the poor armored car courier, he is walking with a bag of money, do most attackers have a physical confrontation? No, they just shoot them and take the money! The guard is just an obstacle to what the goal is and that is the taking of the money. And likewise, if you have someone who is acting as a barrier and the threat is real…remember the barrier in the OJ case? Was it possible for this kid Ron Goldman to protect Nicole? of course not!

Oh sure, a firm like mine can provide advice and some direction for you to be safer and make yourself a smaller target. But you must also keep in mind that you are your own safety net in the end, and it might come down to just that: you, your wits and the attacker! And for the knucklehead, he or she will care less about a piece of paper and will still drive by or do things to make you feel unsafe. And you know what, the cops will often be unable to enforce it! In the big city you might just as well make thousands of “soft copies” as it will make a great toilet tissue!

The police in our major cities can hardly deal with day to day crimes, never mind you and your bad decision-making abilities when it comes to mates (hmmm, maybe you would have been better off visiting a local sex shop and picking up batteries on the way home!). Not only are they too busy, but they can be jaded because of their experiences with domestic disputes and “revenge” restraining orders as I mentioned above. This is not so much the case in small towns, having had experience in both small and large police departments. Your smaller departments take things a little more seriously and have the time to deal with them.

Sometimes not getting a restraining order, even when it is justified, can be the better way to go. It’s a question of psychological gamesmanship, and you need to think it through. Are you dealing with the kind of nutjob who will see it as even more of a provocation to come after you and those around you, just to prove that he can no matter what you do? Unfortunately, we read about the final outcome of this tale way too often.

The point I am making is that many times restraining orders DO NOT WORK! It is a piece of paper, not a bulletproof shield. But when you have a real problem, I have found that the police will be more likely to take action when the information you give them is real and accurate. Don’t wait to report threats and threatening activity, do it immediately and keep a good record of each event and when it occurs. Women who are going through this tend (understandably!) to come across as emotional and maybe even hysterical and exaggerating. Having an advocate — ideally someone with some credibility in the eyes of the law — who can calmly and clearly back up your claims will also help get your situation taken with the seriousness it deserves.

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