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Appealing a domestic violence injunction

Discussion in 'Protective & Restraining Orders' started by Anachronist, Feb 17, 2021.

  1. Anachronist

    Anachronist Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Alright, bear with me. This one is a real doozies. Relevant backstory:

    So I on-and-off dated a girl from Florida, and she came out to visit me here in California, multiple times. It was a pretty awful relationship at its base, as much as it was a thrill ride and intensely emotional...anyway, I eventually ended it, and she went n u t s , as I was afraid she might.

    I left her in September of 2019, and she did that whole cycle of angry screaming and threats, then begging and crying and pleading, then calmly accepting...then rinse repeat, rinse repeat. After a few weeks, she settled entirely into threats and racist epithets from a dozen different numbers and Facebook accounts, and began harassing and threatening my friends. That didn't work, so she then began posing as me online and making threats to people in my social circles who were very much NOT my friends, to begin with.

    At that point, I got a lawyer involved and filed for a restraining order here in California. She hired a lawyer out here to represent her, and at first she wanted to fight it. Both my lawyer and hers pretty much (figuratively) twisted her arm to get her to back off, and in December, we electronically signed a mutual stay-away order, drawn up by her lawyer. Basically, we each agreed to never contact the other, for the rest of our lives, and to not make any defamatory or derogatory statements of the other, to anyone. Also, that if we had any other communication to make, or enforcement of this contract, it would be all through our attorneys.

    The very next day, I went to court to withdraw my restraining order petition, and yet she then went to her own local courthouse in Florida and filed a small claims action against me alleging I had stolen electronics from her, AND a petition for her own restraining order, or as they call it in Florida, a Domestic Violence Injunction.

    The harassing and threatening texts continued, including "IT'S NOT OVER K*KE," and "Merry Christmas! Your gift will arrive soon!" and "I may sink my ship doing this, but you can be damn well sure I'll sink yours, first!" I was served with the small claims action fairly quickly, and assumed that was it. I didn't even find out about the injunction until months later.

    At this point is where she really set herself up. She began telling multiple completely different stories in each courtroom.

    I got permission to appear by phone for the small claims action in January of 2020, and when the judge implied that if the alleged theft had taken place in California, he had no jurisdiction in this case. She quickly said it had been in Florida and that I had been visiting. I asked for the dates, and was able to proof I had been here all along with time cards from work and bank statements showing transactions. The judge threw the case out.

    Then, she flew out here to appear in person to contest my own, second petition for a restraining order. Keep in mind, that none of us - me, my lawyer, the judge out here, or even her own lawyer out here - had any idea that she had also filed for an injunction in Florida, at this point. She told this Judge that I had sent all the threatening messages to myself and was doing this as retribution for her not wanting a relationship with me. She alleged that I had catfished her on Facebook, pretending to be a woman, and that she had only ever met me once, briefly, and as soon as she realized who I "really" am, she skidaddled. She was also very firm that we had never had any sexual relationship whatsoever, physical or cyber.

    As she spoke, I just pulled up some of the best pictures of us making out or otherwise being intimate (in different places, outfits,and hairstyles), or the explicit messages she sent me, all over the course of over a year. She looked like a deer in headlights, and her lawyer was shocked (she never told him the truth about anything throughout this, I don't think), but it was getting late, and the Judge said we were out of time and set a continuance.

    Then...covid happened. We got a bunch more continuances and delays over the coming months. Meanwhile, during that time, I was finally served with her petition for the Injunction in Florida. It alleged a multitude of crap, including that I owned a gun, had psychiatric meds to be taking that I wasn't, had been hospitalized for psychiatric conditions in Florida (pretty hard to do without even BEING in Florida), but also more importantly, that we had lived together as a family, and that I had physically struck her at one point.

    We were able to have this hearing by zoom in July of 2020, and I came armed with the tons of evidence my attorney and I had sorted through together. He couldn't represent me because he isn't licensed in Florida, only California, but he was present with me to testify as an officer of the court that she had been telling different stories in different courtrooms and that she had been the one harassing me from the beginning. I did tell the Florida judge this, but he refused to even call my witness - BUT, he let her call hers - her other guy she's seeing, who she had testify that he had overheard me strike her, over the phone. The judge granted her a five year Injunction against me.m, despite my objection to not having been able to call my witness, or to the fact that this was a domestic violence injunction despite us never having lived together as a family.

    Next month, however, things went better. We had a zoom hearing to finish up with my own petition out here, and when we told the Judge aniut her own injunction, and when she had filed for it, he was blown away. To add to that, she now came back and said that we had had sex, and it had all been against her will...despite having said before this same Judge, on the idea of us having been intimate, "absolutely NOT, and the suggestion makes me feel very uncomfortable."

    My lawyer cross examined her and pointed out that she had testified that she hardly knew me and barely met me once, yet that she had checked the box for us living together as a family in the Florida case. She tried to dodge the question several times, including objecting herself, "on grounds of relevance." Once the judge, court reporter, my lawyer, and I all finished laughing, the judge overruled the objection, and she admitted that she had filled out the document falsely to get a better chance of winning her case.

    The judge outlined his "grave concerns" about her "extraordinary lack of candor, as it has been relevant to these proceedings," citing her adamantly denying any sexual intimacy until the photos came out and then saying it was against her will, her alleging she barely knew and met me while having applied for a domestic violence injunction alleging she had stayed at my house and been hit, and her having signed a mutual agreement to leave each other alone, only to go file TWO separate litigations against me the very next day. He made an Adverse Credibility ruling against her, and then granted my five year order against her.

    Since then, she's been completely quiet. My guess is that her lawyer, finally getting just what she had been up to, told her to knock it the hell off before she makes it even worse for herself.

    In the meantime...I've been trying to get her injunction overturned, now that I have court transcripts of her admitting she perjured herself, and the adverse credibility ruling against her. Again, my lawyer can't represent me out there, he can only give me some advice, so I'm doing this in pro per.

    So here's where I'm at:

    I filed for an appeal, and at the same time also submitted a motion for a subsequent hearing to the Florida judge, asking that he grant a hearing at which I could produce new evidence that she had been lying about the attack, as well as just about everything else, and thus that there was no need for the injunction. He denied the motion, refusing for the SECOND TIME to allow me to introduce my evidence to the court.

    I tried to amend my appeal to include that new order, but it created a second appellate case, altogether, which needless to say has been time consuming and expensive. I've finally submitted the initial briefs for both appeals and it's all a waiting game now. In the meantime, she has not responded to a single thing in either appeal, or the motion for a subsequent hearing. She's been served with each and every bit of it, all throughout, she's just...completely silent. Which is probably good for me, but anyway.

    The first appeal argues that the Florida judge made two errors in granting the injunction: not allowing me to call my witness, and ignoring the fact that as we did not live together as a family, that by law means there is no basis for a domestic violence injunction. Relevant cases have been cited.

    The second appeal argues that the court erred in failing to grant a subsequent hearing, based in new evidence. Relative cases have also been cited, including one that specifically states that any motion to dissolve a DV injunction MUST be given a hearing, if the circumstances are argued to have changed. It also has a section outlining the lack if credibility of the appellee, and outlines the evidence to that including the transcripts of her different testimonies, and the ruling of adverse credibility.

    OKAY.
    If you're still with me here, then thank you so freaking much for reading this disaster novel. At long last, HERE is my question:

    Does anyone think it might be worth it to file a motion to consolidate the two appeals, given that they are both about the underlying Injunction? Or at this point should I leave it alone, and wait?

    Thank you in advance, to anyone who answers. As you can imagine this has been an absolute nightmare cluster.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    What is the meaning of the proverb let sleeping dogs lie?

    A proverb is a short, common saying or phrase that gives advice or shares universal truths.

    "Let sleeping dogs lie" means leave well enough alone, don't stir up more trouble, don't interfere in a situation, and risk making more trouble.

    It is often best to IGNORE a problem because addressing it could cause even more difficulties for a person. "He thought about bringing up his concerns but decided instead to let sleeping dogs lie."
     
  3. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    My main question for you is if the Florida order is causing you some kind of trouble. Perhaps something employment related or the ability to obtain firearms?
    If not, why bother? Let it run its course. You aren't going to contact her an anyway, so what harm is in the order?
    If it is just about the principle of it then you seem to be handling things well. I wouldn't bother with new filings and consolidation. Stop stressing over this and just let it play out.
     
  4. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Lastly - it might be wise to consult with a Florida-licensed attorney.
     
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  5. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    The Florida Bar
     
  6. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Or, as I suggested on the other site where you told your long sad story, ask your CA lawyer about representing you in Florida "pro hac vice" (pro hock veechay) for just the one case. As long as he doesn't have to travel, it might be better than hiring a new lawyer.
     
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