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July 29, 2008 - 6:14 am

Mike McCormick and Glenn Sacks: a href=”http://glennsacks.com/blog/?page_id=2568″Restraining Orders Can Be Straitjackets On Justice/a:br /br /blockquoteWomen’s advocates and the state Attorney General’s office are criticizing a new court ruling which will make it harder for women to get restraining orders against their male partners. Star-Ledger columnist Fran Wood, in her recent op-ed “Don’t soften protection for women,” called New Jersey’s Domestic Violence Prevention Act “one of the best statutes in the country,” and said the new ruling could “diminish the ability of domestic violence victims to get the protection they need.”br /br /Certainly abused women need protection and support, but there are many troubling aspects of the DVPA’s restraining order provisions that merit judicial and/or legislative redress.br /br /Under the DVPA, it is very easy for a woman to allege domestic violence and get a restraining order (aka “protection order”). New Jersey issues 30,000 restraining orders annually, and men are targeted in 4/5ths of them. The standard is “preponderance of the evidence” (often conceptualized as 51%-49%), and judges almost always side with the accusing plaintiff. br /br /Under the DVPA, the accuser need not even claim actual abuse. Alleged verbal threats of violence are sufficient, even though it’s almost impossible for the accused to provide substantive contradictory evidence.br /br /The restraining order boots the man out of his own home and generally prohibits him from contacting his own children. Men are cut off from their possessions and property, and some end up in homeless shelters. br //blockquotebr /br /Update: Vox Day a href=”http://voxday.blogspot.com/2008/07/equalitarian-equality.html”has more on New Jersey’s lack of regard/a for the Constitution when it comes to men and domestic violence.

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