Picture this: A request for a domestic violence restraining order case where Respondent frequently violates the active restraining order by calling you. Respondent calls from a known phone number that during the relationship was used frequently, but in reality, it is not their number, maybe a work phone or a relative’s phone number.
At the beginning of the restraining order when Client was filing for the temporary and making a request of the Court, you decide it’s in your best interest and in the interest of your safety you block Respondent’s cell phone number from being able to call or text your phone; you block their access to all your social media accounts; and cut off ties all together – now feeling safe that you will not be bothered or harassed. During your Court Hearing, you or your lawyer are now trying to prove that Respondent has repeatedly contacted you, in turn violating the temporary restraining order illustrating that you really need this order of protection because even the temporary order is not being followed or respected.
But here is the crux of the case, you blocked alleged abuser from contacting you, so how do we prove that the order has been violated? We don’t have phone records or text messages, or even messages on social media to prove that there has been unwanted contact or even harassment while you are protected from them via a temporary restraining order. Your attorney is working hard to make your case in Court and provide the Judge evidence to further your argument for a permanent restraining order, but we just don’t have that winning piece of evidence to show the order is violated. The case now turns into a he said-she said court case and could go either way on how the Judge will order. We cannot prove what we do not have.
The moral of this whole scenario and if you really think about it, quite an odd request – do not block your abuser from contacting you. Often every bone in your body and all the gut feelings combined will tell you this is wrong, but if you want a strong case in your hearing and think it might be a possibility that your abuser will continue to contact you, then do not block them! Let your abuser dig themselves into a deeper hole, providing you with stronger evidence to prove that you need a permanent restraining order. Because in reality, as a lawyer, I can do many things, but what I can’t do is prove something occurred or exists when I have zero evidence to back up my claims.
Of course, there are exceptions to this request, if you feel your safety is highly at risk by not blocking them, then by all means, block them. You and your attorney can work together to provide other evidence to the Court to make your case, but if you feel safe, leave them unblocked so we can provide that evidence to the Court and win your case. You never know, this smallest detail may become your strongest argument and what pushes you through to being victorious in your restraining order request.
It may be a strange request, but don’t block your abuser from contacting you.