- Posted October 8, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Judicial Discretion or Judicial Bullying: You Decide
You see approximately ten years ago during Joe's first marriage, conflict developed between Joe and his wife. Soon afterwards, Joe and his wife divorced. Allegations of domestic violence began to surface, but during the court hearings that followed, there was never a shred of corroborating evidence offered by the wife to substantiate claims of domestic violence. The wife was never struck by Joe, she had no injuries, she never felt the need to flee the state, nor did she ever have to leave her residence to seek safety in a shelter.
Joe was awarded joint custody of the couple’s one child during divorce proceedings, and Joe maintained a strong bond with his child throughout the years. Joe worked as a Police Officer for twelve years prior to retiring as a result of an on the job injury. Both Joe and his ex-wife were army reservists and Joe deployed on a regular basis during his military career serving and defending the nation. It was during some of these deployments while Joe was oversees that the ex-wife decided to use the court system to seek an order of protection against Joe. Upon Joe’s return from being deployed he visited the court to no avail to have the order dismissed as baseless since Joe was overseas at the time the order was issued.
Fast forward ten years, and although there has been virtually no contact between Joe and his ex-wife, the State of New Jersey will not dissolve the order of protection against Joe. The enforcement of this order of protection requires the use of human resources from TSA to physically detain Joe each time he re-enters the country. It also requires the maintenance of electronic records on Joe within the state and federal databases apparently for the rest of Joe’s life all because the State of New Jersey has no interest in reviewing and addressing the rulings of their Judge.
While we can all agree that domestic violence is a horrendous crime which deserves the most serve fines and the stiffest penalties when there is an affirmative finding or conviction; we should also be able to agree false reporting, or the excessive response by the court to unsubstantiated claims made during domestic violence cases can impact the lives of the child and the new family in ways that infringe on their “pursuit of happiness”.
Currently, several states within the country employ and promote the use of permanent protection or restraining orders. The question is: Do these states utilize a progressive review process to ensure judges are utilizing protection orders appropriately rather than as a means of profiling or oppressing the citizenry?
To a person issued a permanent protection order under questionable or false circumstances, the order has an effect similar to the condition of lifetime probation, but without a conviction or apparent justification.
Visit the link below for information on the duration of protection orders for your state: