Restraining Order Case Studies


Woman Obtains Final Restraining Order Against Man Making Unwanted Sexual Advances

A single businesswoman in her forties retained us to help her obtain and continue a restraining order against a business consultant whom she had briefly dated and with whom she had a brief consensual sexual relationship. Our client related that she had quickly discerned that the consultant's intentions were dishonorable and focused on her income and assets rather than her relationship. Yet the consultant had persisted in his unwanted sexual advances, including parking outside her home late at night to observe her home from his vehicle, leaving multiple inappropriate messages on her phone and by text, and other stalking and harassing behavior. When the consultant met our client outside her business one day and attempted to force her to hug and kiss him, our client retained us to pursue the restraining order. We quickly obtained a temporary restraining order. The consultant demanded a hearing to contest the order. We prepared our client to testify and prepared voluminous exhibits constituting the texts and transcripts of the phone messages. We appeared with our client for the hearing with that evidence. The consultant also appeared but left the courtroom shortly after we began our methodical presentation of that voluminous evidence through our client's direct examination. The judge noted the consultant's departure, confirmed by the bailiff, whom the consultant had told he would not be back and wanted nothing to do with the matter. The judge granted the final restraining order.

College Student Avoids Restraining Order on Proof of Mistaken Identity

A college senior preparing to enter medical school retained us to defend an action in which another student whom our client had briefly dated obtained a temporary restraining order against him. The student's RO complaint alleged that our client had sexually assaulted her at a party at the student's sorority. The temporary restraining order threatened to interfere with our client's ability to complete his undergraduate program to enter medical school. It also threatened a related college disciplinary action for Title IX misconduct and school dismissal or suspension, together with a campus ban. Our client related that he had attended a party at the student's sorority, where the student had drunk alcohol and used drugs heavily. Our client was no longer dating the student at the time. Our client related that the student had made sexual advances toward him that evening that he had refused. Our client had observed the student making sexual advances toward others and suspected that one or more of those others had accepted the advances. Our client further maintained that the student either had it in for him or had mistaken her assailant's identity. We helped our client identify other students attending the party who would serve as corroborating witnesses. We presented that testimony at the court's hearing on the final restraining order. We also cross-examined the complaining student, showing her inability to reliably relate details of the alleged assault. The judge accordingly dismissed the action. Our client retained the ability to complete his education and pursue medical school. The key to our success was our ability to present corroborating witnesses through careful preparation for the hearing.

Real Estate Agent Preserves RO Order at Final Hearing

A real estate agent retained us to represent her at the final hearing on her restraining order. Our client obtained the restraining order on her own after another agent with whom she previously had an intimate relationship had sexually assaulted her when meeting her at a residence for a private showing. Our client related that the other agent had taken advantage of her at the residence, apparently on the belief that their prior intimate relationship would discourage her from doing anything about the forced sexual assault. She had instead promptly obtained the temporary restraining order on the advice and with the support of a domestic-violence agency. Our client retained us when the other agent disputed the temporary restraining order and confirmed his intention to appear at the scheduled final hearing to contest the order. We prepared our client to admit truthfully to the prior relationship but testify nonetheless to the details and circumstances of the assault. We also obtained the testimony of the agency workers to whom our client had promptly reported the assault and who were aware that our client had previously terminated the intimate relationship. We also prepared a thorough cross-examination of the other agent to prove the unreliability of his false testimony. At the conclusion of the contested hearing, the judge continued the restraining order as a final order. The order caused such professional embarrassment and disruption that the other agent promptly left the locale. The keys to our success were to prepare our client's case as thoroughly as possible while also undermining the credibility of the other side's case. He said/she said disputes of this kind require greater planning and preparation for the judge to be able to resolve sharply conflicting testimony, especially with a prior consensual relationship. We also had to closely and carefully support our client through the preparation and proceeding to reduce stress and focus her efforts on achieving her protective goal.

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