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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    Washington state
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    Default Can You Legally Return to Your Own House After a Restraining Order Expires

    My question involves restraining orders in the State of: Washington. Washington state is a community property state, so the husband and wife both own half the property.

    Here's the situation. Our neighbor put a restraining order out on her husband which is going to be up in January. He held the family at gun point and was threatening to kill them and himself. During her husbands absence she has started an adulterous relationship with another neighbor (she is still married - neighbor is not). This is a complication but I'm not sure if it has anything to do with the legality between the husband and wife.

    The question is that since her husband is still half owner of the house, when his restraining order is up, does that mean he can move back in? What are the rights of both the husband and the wife? Can she legally keep him out of his own home just because she doesn't want him there anymore? Or does he have the legal right to move back in?

    I also don't know if she can extend the restraining order when it expires or before it expires. Does he have to do something wrong for her to put another restraining order on him? The husband sort of terrorizes our neighborhood - so non of us want him back. We are wondering what his rights are and what are the rights of his family. This conversation has also spurred discussion about the rights of a spouse who is thrown out of their own house.
    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
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    Default Re: Legal Entry to Your Own House After Restraining Order Expires

    He might own it, but that doesn't mean he has a right to move back in. If he is not a resident, he can be arrested for trespassing or unlawful entry if he tries to make entry. Though, as an owner, he may have some rights in WA to make entry with proper notice, etc.

    Your neighbor might want to speak with an attorney ASAP to determine what her legal options are in regards to keeping him out of the home.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: Legal Entry to Your Own House After Restraining Order Expires

    I disagree slightly with cdwjava on this. The general rule is that each co-owner of property has the right to possession and use of the property. Thus, absent some court order preventing him from access to the property or some circumstance in which he has given up his right to possession (e.g. renting out his interest in the property, thus giving the tenant the right to possession) he presumably may move back in once the restraining order expires. If she doesn’t want to risk that, she needs to see her lawyer about putting a permanent restraining order in place.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: Legal Entry to Your Own House After Restraining Order Expires

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    I disagree slightly with cdwjava on this. The general rule is that each co-owner of property has the right to possession and use of the property. Thus, absent some court order preventing him from access to the property or some circumstance in which he has given up his right to possession (e.g. renting out his interest in the property, thus giving the tenant the right to possession) he presumably may move back in once the restraining order expires. If she doesn’t want to risk that, she needs to see her lawyer about putting a permanent restraining order in place.

    I agree with this, assuming that the house actually IS community property. Not all homes are. If she owned the home prior to marriage it might not be community property. There could be a community interest but it might not be community property.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2005
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    California
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    Default Re: Legal Entry to Your Own House After Restraining Order Expires

    I also agree, but, it also depends on whether or not the restrained party has taken up residence elsewhere. If this order was dropped at the initial court date (say, two or three weeks after it was issued) I'd say it's more likely that he could claim residency still. But, if this order was dropped after a few years, I'd think that residency would clearly be an issue and thus his entry might well be governed under landlord or other law rather than the rights of a resident. We deal with this out here a lot and a lot will depend on the length of the order and whether the restrained party has actually established himself elsewhere on a permanent basis. If he has - or arguably so - we will often tend to enforce the occupant's prohibition against entry and if the formerly restrained party forces entry and she is willing to sign a citizen's arrest, he will generally go to jail.

    But, it all depends on the totality of the circumstances.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
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    17,019

    Default Re: Legal Entry to Your Own House After Restraining Order Expires

    I'm sure the judge will factor in her reason for wanting a permanent order to keep him out of his own home is so she can shack up in his bed with the neighbor. Perhaps she should just move in with her bed buddy.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Washington state
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    Default Re: Legal Entry to Your Own House After Restraining Order Expires

    Thanks everyone. Wow, this certainly isn't cut and dried. The couple bought the property well after they were married, so it's definitely joint property. It's interesting about being a resident, because that's what our neighborhood was wondering. Since he hasn't been living there and she kicked him out, he isn't living there anymore, so he's not allowed back.

    But the other argument also makes sense, that it's his home too. I can't talk to the neighbor because they have been thieving from the rest of the neighborhood and we don't talk to them anymore. We hear what's going on through the kids at school. So I don't know if she is talking to a lawyer. We'd love for the whole family to just move away, but as it goes with neighbors, they just keep hanging around. We are worried what will happen when his restraining order expires. We are really hoping that she is going to try to get a permanent order.

    To make things even worse, he is living on disability, so the rumor is she won't divorce him because if she does, then she won't get the money per kid anymore. It's a real mess.
    Thanks again everyone!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: Legal Entry to Your Own House After Restraining Order Expires

    Quote Quoting mooseheart
    View Post
    Thanks everyone. Wow, this certainly isn't cut and dried. The couple bought the property well after they were married, so it's definitely joint property. It's interesting about being a resident, because that's what our neighborhood was wondering. Since he hasn't been living there and she kicked him out, he isn't living there anymore, so he's not allowed back.

    But the other argument also makes sense, that it's his home too. I can't talk to the neighbor because they have been thieving from the rest of the neighborhood and we don't talk to them anymore. We hear what's going on through the kids at school. So I don't know if she is talking to a lawyer. We'd love for the whole family to just move away, but as it goes with neighbors, they just keep hanging around. We are worried what will happen when his restraining order expires. We are really hoping that she is going to try to get a permanent order.

    To make things even worse, he is living on disability, so the rumor is she won't divorce him because if she does, then she won't get the money per kid anymore. It's a real mess.
    Thanks again everyone!
    Well, its completely untrue that the disability payments for the children will stop if she divorces him. That will not happen.

  9. #9
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    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: Legal Entry to Your Own House After Restraining Order Expires

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
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    I also agree, but, it also depends on whether or not the restrained party has taken up residence elsewhere.
    Whether or not he’s taken up residence elsewhere does not matter, at least not in any state I’m familiar with. The rights of an owner to the property do not depend on whether or not he or she resides on the property. Let’s suppose Fred and George co-own Blackacre and George has not lived on Blackacre for the last 10 years. But he now wants to live there. As a co-owner of the property, he has a right of possession and has the right to move in and live there, even if Fred doesn’t want him there. The exception would be, of course, if Fred had a court order barring George from the property.

  10. #10
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    Nov 2014
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    Washington state
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    Default Re: Legal Entry to Your Own House After Restraining Order Expires

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    Well, its completely untrue that the disability payments for the children will stop if she divorces him. That will not happen.
    I know the children will still receive their checks, but I'm thinking they will no longer arrive at the wifes address, they will be changed to the husbands address when they are divorced. I think that's what the wife is worried about because she doesn't work - she was always dependent on his money.

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