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  1. #1
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Text Messages Deemed Insufficient to Support a Restraining Order

    My question involves restraining orders in the State of: North Carolina
    A woman with 2 children finds out her husband of 10 years has impregnated another woman. They seperate. 8 months later she is considering getting involved with another man, but is only considering, nothing sexual, letters back and forth and some phone calls. Her husband begins sending her texts accusing her of imaginary indiscretions. The accusations become increasingly bizzare and state that the children are being influenced by her new "lover". No "lover" exists, it is a long distance friendship, nothing more. The texts continue. 30/day. The woman calls the police and is told to file a complaint at the magistrates office. She goes the next day, fills out the forms but is informed "it's his word against yours" and the clerk refuses to file the complaint even though the texts are still on her phone and are tracable back to her husband. She is told to leave as she has no basis for a complaint. My question is: What does she do now?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Default Re: What Now

    Change her phone number?

    See if her provider can block his number?
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  3. #3
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: What Now

    I guess I should have considered my question more. Is this considered harrassment? The police and the clerk at the magistrates office obviously did not take it seriously even when presented with the previous restraining order. A joint custody agreement is already in place and changing her number would solve nothing. She has to be available, for obvious reasons, when the children are in his care. The content of his texts, while not threatening, was so bizzare and accusatory that she is concerned about his mental stability. He also sent more than 30 one day with no content at all. I'm curious why the magistrate's clerk would not even accept a complaint even if only to add to the existing file.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What Now

    I'm a little curious about something.

    She IS engaging in a long-distance relationship - albeit allegedly platonic at this point - and she's surprised that her HUSBAND is accusing her of cheating? I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest.

    She can file in family court to have Dad restricted from communicating unless it's directly involving the children. In practice that is difficult to enforce, but at least if it gets ordered and he ignores the restriction, she'll have recourse in family court.

    Who are you in this, incidentally? The friend?
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  5. #5
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: What Now

    Pretty obvious I guess. Yes. I'm the friend. Her husband has taken up residence with the "baby mama" who is due any day, he's lost his job and is paying no support but he has noted her change in attitude and interpretted it as a "lover". Our relationship has been nothing but supportive and friendly. North Carolina's laws seem rather antiquated, to say the least. Can it be interpretted as cheating if they've been seperated for almost 9 months and our communication has been nothing more than emails and phone calls and when you factor in his infidelity? And again, why is his behavior not considered harassment? She has cell phone evidence and is genuinely fearful, based on his past behavior.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2009
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    Default Re: What Now

    Legally speaking, at least one is committing adultery. He really can't criticize Mom too much, y'know?

    30 texts per day IS harassing, in my opinion - if it's happening regularly. A one off though, won't be considered serious. I'm not finding any forms covering harassment itself, but if I were her - if this was constant and/or regular - I'd print off the text messages, and file again anyway. The clerk really shouldn't be making the decision...but, I will say that NC might not actually consider it severe enough to warrant a restraining order.

    Again, she can use the family court system too.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    OH10
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    13,407

    Default Re: What Now

    Stay out of it. She is so afraid she married the guy and had kids with him. Only after he started playing on the side was she suddenly so fearful. Don't be her patsy.
    With enough thrust, pigs fly just fine.
    You may believe that you understood what you think I said. I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: What Now

    It sounds like we're talking about a petition for an ex parte domestic violence protective order:
    Quote Quoting North Carolina Ex Parte Temporary Protective Orders
    An ex parte/temporary protective order is a court order designed to provide you and your family members with immediate protection from your abuser. A judge may issue an ex parte order on the same day you file your complaint for a domestic violence protective order if s/he believes that there is a serious and immediate danger to you or your child. If the judge does not issue the ex parte order on the same day, the court must hear the request for an ex parte order within 72 hours or by the end of the next day on which the court is in session in the county of the filing, whichever occurs first. An ex parte/temporary protective order is usually issued without your abuser present ("ex parte").
    It sounds like the fundamental issue was that the petitioner couldn't meet that threshold.

  9. #9

    Default Re: What Now

    I'm not one to advocate bringing the police and courts into family matters because it usually does not help the FAMILY. however, reg63 says the womans request for assistance was dismissed by a clerk but mr. Knowitall's blurb above does state that the Judge must hear her request for assistance (it can be rediculous but the judge decides that). The best course of action would be to alert her husband of contact that she feels harassing so that if he continues, she will be on better ground in court to proove that he understood what he was doing is harassing. Courts will find that husband and wife need to communicate and sometimes it isn't fun between them when there are tough issues. And saying I don't want to talk about it, you are harassing me is not fair. They could then divorce but then with joint custody, that still is not fair (but the courts have trouble administering fairness so be careful).

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