My husband was kept awake by a neighbors dog. he went to the house to leave a note asking the neighbor to quiet the dog. He did not intend to engage with her or speak to her, just leave a note rather than involve police. She opened her door and saw him on his way home. She called police on him, they cited him for disturbing the peace. She then filed a restraining order against him filled with false accusations. She claimed he called her the n word and threatened violence and other accusations which he did not do. Should he hire an attorney or just show up in court and give his statement about the events? Can she be penalized for making these false statements if harm comes to us as a result (such as being evicted, etc.)? He has not had so much as parking ticket in his entire life and is deeply disturbed by the lies she told which make him seem like a violent racist, something that could not be further from his character. Thanks
4 Answers from Attorneys
The answer depends on if the outcome matters to your husband. After 20 years of doing restraining orders and defending people charged with criminal offenses, I have learned that people who care about the outcome of their matter, usually retain professionals. But that is uop to you and your husband. I wish you well. David Wallin
Your husband should get a lawyer if he can. It sounds like he deserves to win the case, but that doesn't mean he will. Having a lawyer will greatly improve his chances -- especially if the neighbor hires one. Restraining orders can cause serious problems down the road, so it is important that your husband defend himself properly.
I would like to point out that you have posted this in the criminal law category, but a restraining order itself is not a criminal matter. It is a civil matter that is handled with reference to principles of some law and equity.
No, she can't be 'penalized' for false statements since you can't prove they were false. You didn't have a video recording of the exchange, did you?? It is her word versus his. The court's normal policy is to issue a restraining order in order to keep the peace, unless the court is firmly convinced the allegations are false and/or there is no 'need' for a restraining order. When in doubt, they will issue one.
He needs to understand that if a permanent restraining order is placed on him, it will be somewhat similar to a criminal conviction, showing on his permanent record, and probably resulting in a lifetime loss of his firearms rights.
If he is serious about hiring counsel to try to avoid all this, feel free to contact me for legal help.
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