Re: Perjury and Restraining Orders
You don't need to know the name of the charges in order to pursue them. If your family member lied in the petition for a restraining order, yes he or she can be criminally prosecuted. Whether the technical charge is perjury, or fraud, or whatever, lying to a court under oath is a crime.
1) Can the family member be criminally prosecuted for perjury?
2) Is there another criminal charge that can be pursued if you can prove the person lied or used the courts/restraining order to harass?
What you need to do is report your evidence to the police. They will contact the prosecutor, who in turn will make a decision whether or not to prosecute. You don't get to decide if he or she is prosecuted, but it's possible you can influence the prosecutor's decision.
I'm curious, though, as to what proof you have that the family member lied in the petition. Remember, to prove a lie you have to prove a knowing deception. It isn't enough that your evidence is more persuasive than the petitioner's, or your version of events more plausible. You need to prove their version is false, and you need to prove s/he knew it when s/he filed the restraining order.
It's surely happened before, but I don't know of any specific instances.
3) has anyone successfully had a person charged criminally for such a thing?
Unfortunately, that kind of game playing isn't illegal. People who win restraining orders do it with distressing frequency. In my opinion it is annoying, and shows a likely motive to harass. What it doesn't do, by itself, is prove that the facts underlying the restraining order are false.
OHHHH!! And I forgot to add that AFTER we were served with a TRO detailing how we threatened the family member and the family member feared for their life....the family member had a letter delivered to our home, asking us to contact them regarding how the family drama matter could be resolved.
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