Articles Posted in Domestic Violence

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San Jose Divorce Lawyer discusses Chris Brown and Rihanna: When to File for a Restraining Order

By now we all know that Rihanna and her boyfriend Chris Brown were in a physical altercation last week. Perhaps the question on everyone’s mind (besides why did he do it), is should Rihanna be seeking a restraining order against him? Or did she get one from the police?

In California, there are two main types of restraining orders available to victims of domestic violence: domestic violence restraining orders, and criminal protective orders. Criminal protective orders are issued in cases where criminal charges are pressed. A domestic violence restraining order is issued by the family law courts, and requires no pending criminal charges. These domestic violence restraining orders are issued on an ex parte basis, and set for a hearing in a short period of time. At the hearing, courts can issue longer restraining orders, anywhere from 1 to 5 years.

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Sacramento Family Lawyer Discusses Domestic Violence Against Men and Restraining Orders:

Very little is known about the actual number of men who are in domestic relationships in which they are abused or treated violently by women. In 100 domestic violence situations, approximately 40 cases involve violence by women against men. There are many reasons why we don’t know more about domestic abuse and violence against men. One main reason is that the incidence of domestic violence reported by men appears to be so low that it is hard to get reliable estimates.

Help for men who are victims of domestic violence is not as prevalent as it is for women, as there are virtually no shelters, programs or advocacy groups for men. The best route for a man who is suffering from domestic violence is to file a request with a local court for a restraining order

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Salinas Divorce Attorney Discusses Spousal Support and Domestic Violence

Most men who earn more than their wives are aware that in the event of a divorce they may owe some level of spousal support, formerly called alimony, to their wives. They may not know the amount or the duration but they are aware of the risk. During a recent consultation with a client I went over the details of how spousal support is calculated and ran the support numbers for him. We discussed the factors that go into calculating spousal support and the likelihood of how long the amount would be owed. It was not until the very end of the conversation that he brought up the fact that his wife had been convicted of domestic violence against him.

This case illustrates the classic example that a man who is a high earner, as in this case, is somewhat resigned to the idea of paying spousal support and does not necessarily considered his wife’s domestic violence as an important issue to bring up immediately. Women who are the victims of domestic violence will be much more likely to bring it up immediately, most likely because they want a restraining order. Men may feel like they can protect themselves so they do not feel they need a restraining order.

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Salinas Family Law Attorney Discusses Restraining Orders

Unfortunately during the time of separation from a spouse or significant other while emotions are raw there can be a serious risk of domestic violence. This was demonstrated on September 7, 2008 in Chico in the very tragic murder of Elizabeth Henningsen who was shot by her estranged husband Mark in front of their children. According to reports the couple had engaged in violent arguments but Elizabeth did not consider her husband a threat. Her divorce attorney told the media that she had advised Elizabeth to request a restraining order but Elizabeth said no. According to reports Mark had moved to Sacramento but was often seen in Chico.

A restraining order is certainly not appropriate in every divorce case but it is something that should be considered very seriously if your estranged partner has shown any tendencies of domestic violence. A restraining order prevents the restrained party from any contact with the protected party and any violations of the restraining order are a criminal matter. Exceptions can be made if needed for the peaceful exchange of children for visitation. A request for a restraining order can also include a request for child custody and visitation orders. If needed orders can include supervised visitation for the restrained party to visit with the children.

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San Jose Family Law Attorney Discusses Family Law Restraining Orders

For obvious reasons claims of domestic violence are taken very seriously in the family court. Unfortunately some people choose not to fight a restraining order without understanding that doing so will prejudice their custody rights and potentially have a negative impact on their immigration status or job prospects. A restraining order is usually generated in one of two ways. In the more serious of the two circumstances there is some argument between the spouses that leads to either someone in the household or in the neighborhood calling the police. When the police arrive the alleged victim will tell the police that he or she is afraid for his or her safety or if there is some visible injury such statements will not even be necessary. The police can then offer the alleged victim an immediate emergency protective order which is obtained by calling an on call judge and relaying the circumstances. This type of criminal protective order lasts for five days in order to give the alleged victim time to file a request for a civil restraining order. The police at their discretion will decide whether or not to arrest the alleged abuser. If an arrest is made then a police report and request for charges will be sent to the District Attorney’s Office and at their discretion charges will issue. If charges do issue then another criminal protective order of a longer duration may also issue in criminal court.

A request for a restraining order can also be requested if there has never been any police involvement. This occurs by filing the request for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). This request is made in writing and submitted to the Court where it will go to a Judge who will make a determination as to whether or not it will be granted. At this time notice will not be given to the opposing party so the Judge will make the determination on the alleged victim’s writing alone. If it is granted the TRO will last only until a hearing can be held on the request for a restraining order which typically happens in about 14 days. The alleged abuser must be served with the initial request for the TRO and is given an opportunity to respond in advance of the court hearing.

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October is designated as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and San Francisco Bay Area family attorneys are aware of several notable events occurring in Santa Clara County that address this serious issue. Among these events is the Walk to End Domestic Violence, which will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at San Jose City Hall, and culminate with a free community lunch and informational fair at Cesar Chavez Plaza. Additionally, individuals who wish to seek resources related to domestic violence may do so at an information fair at Palo Alto high school on October 30 between 6 and 8:30 p.m.
As indicated by the recent tragic case of 6-year old Oscar Jimenez Jr., the San Jose boy who was allegedly beaten to death by his mother’s boyfriend, it is vital that people in the Bay Area and across America educate themselves on this issue. According to court documents that have surfaced in the Jimenez case, Samuel Corona had a long history of domestic violence charges that eventually culminated in the murder charges he is currently facing. In fact, police records on Corona indicate that his years of imprisonment were the only years he did not face criminal charges for some type of violent incident. After meeting his first girlfriend, Stephanie Love, at the age of 13, Corona embarked on a path of continual run-ins with the law that evolved into episodes of domestic violence once Love became pregnant with his child. After fleeing Arizona with a warrant out for his arrest, he eventually landed in San Jose, California, where his pattern of violence continued with his new girlfriend, Kathryn Jimenez-the mother of Oscar Jimenez.
Perpetrators of domestic violence generally have a history of engaging in violent episodes. If you or someone you know is affected by domestic violence, our Bay Area family lawyers advise you to seek legal help immediately. The case of Oscar Jimenez should serve as a sad lesson to anyone involved in a violent relationship –the cost of failing to seek the appropriate help could be inestimable.

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Recent Updates from one of our San Jose Divorce Lawyers reports that Pentecostal evangelist Juanita Bynum has filed for divorce from her husband and business partner, Bishop Thomas Weeks III, following a brutal domestic violence incident that has inspired Bynum to focus her fame and energy on advocating for victims of domestic violence. In a press conference on Tuesday, September 6, 2007, Bynum addressed the August 21 incident, and reassured her fans and colleagues that she viewed her emerging role as the self-proclaimed “face of domestic violence” as a “social contribution.” Shortly thereafter, Bynum appeared on an international Christian talk show to reclaim her position in the national spotlight, and news began to trickle through the airwaves that she had served Weeks with a divorce petition. Weeks, who blames the devil for Bynum’s domestic violence accusations, is currently facing multiple charges related to the August 21st beating, including felony aggravated assault, felony terroristic threats, and two misdemeanor counts of simple battery. If convicted, he may serve a maximum prison sentence of 27 years. Although Weeks maintains that he hopes to work things out with Bynum, a future reconciliation does not seem very likely. Bynum’s divorce petition cites “cruel treatment” as a main argument for ending their marriage, and states that the union has been “irretrievably broken.”
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The Procedure Task Force and the Judicial Council’s Domestic Violence Practice will sponsor two statewide public hearings this month to obtain feedback on proposed practices and draft guidelines intended to improve the handling of domestic violence allegations by California Courts.

During both hearings, testimony will be heard from different speakers, such as family law attorneys, judges, prosecutors, advocacy, groups, criminal defense attorneys, public defenders, batterer intervention program providers, probation officers, other experts, and the public.

The purpose is to improve usage of Domestic Violence Prevention Act restraining orders, court leadership, entering the orders into California’s database, criminal law procedures, and firearms relinquishment.
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Mike Robinson, a lobbyist in California, says he has multiple Republican sponsors who are willing to draft legislation to amend California’s domestic violence laws so that they refer to “victims” of domestic violence and not just women. This language, he says, has been approved by the Legislative Counsel. He is also looking for a Democratic sponsor.

Also, earlier this year, a group of man who claim they were threatened and battered by their wives appeared in court. In Woods v. California, the four plaintiffs said that they did not receive their constitutionally mandated equal protection when they sought out police safeguards and shelter service as victims of domestic violence.The plaintiffs in the case did not seek any damages. Instead, they intended to force gender-neutral law enforcement services related to the state’s health, penal, and government codes.

Robinson and the plaintiffs in Woods say they are not trying to reduce the services available to battered women, they are merely asking for services for men.
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Sportscaster Jim Lampley has been ordered to complete a 52-week long domestic violence counseling course and serve three years probation. He is also mandated to do 40 hours of volunteer service and pay $674. The announcer pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charge that he violated a restraining order to stay away from his ex-girlfriend whom he is accused of attacking on New Year’s Eve. In criminal law, pleading “no contest” in a criminal court has an effect equal to pleading guilty.

The judge also issued a protective order, which forbids Lampley from coming within 100 yards of Candice Sanders, his ex-girlfriend, for three years. The order can only be changed if Sanders consents to it.

Sanders, a former Miss California USA, had a temporary order against Lampley. He violated the order and was arrested when he showed up at her house. He was released, posting a $35,000 bail.
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