State Enabled Entrapment – Protective Orders
Bill Ronan, LICSW
Sept. 26, 2012
Your wife or girlfriend has decided she is done with you. But she wants the house, kids, car, and citizenship, whatever. So she gets an order for protection (OFP) that kicks you out of the house and you no longer have access to these things. But she feels you might want them and that you think there must be a misunderstanding of things because no domestic violence occurred that you could identify except perhaps for her hitting you, or the abuse of filing false allegations so that the police would do all of the abuse against you. So you think it must be a misunderstanding and that eventually she will come to her senses.
It’s Christmas, she calls you explaining that the kid’s miss you and that she wants you to share in the Christmas activities and that she will not report you to the police. This is done for the family. You have not seen your kids in 4 months. She sounds rational and is admitting to you that she did wrong in kicking you out of the house. So out of love for your kids and hoping for love from her you go.
But this is a trap. She may have even called the police previously saying she thinks you are planning to come over and violate the OFP. You are supposed to know this is wrong, no matter how much she pleads with you to come. Even if you recorded the conversation it would be of no hope for you. You could be facing 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. You were notified when you were served the orders for protection and you had 15 minutes to gather everything from the house that you would need and find new residence on the street. It is in this timeframe you are expected to read and comprehend everything on the orders for protection served against you. You are overwhelmed by the injustice you are experiencing. Yet you “should have known better”.
You are not given classes in this by the Domestic Violence industry like your wife has likely received. Those classes were meant to empower her. This is the kind of thing that empowers her. You don’t know how much the deck is stacked against you. You never expected this because the allegations are not even closely true. You think this is something between you and your spouse. The following is the law in Minnesota and therefore what is in reality used against you. You have never read this before, at least in a calm state of mind, because you think this scenario could never happen to you, because you are the least violent person you know of. And this only happens to others. Right? Consider this:
518B.01 DOMESTIC ABUSE ACT. Subd. 18.Notices. (a)
Each order for protection granted under this chapter must contain a conspicuous notice to the respondent or person to be restrained that
(1) violation of an order for protection is either (i) a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to 90 days or a fine of up to $1,000, or both, (ii) a gross misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of up to one year or a fine of up to $3,000, or both, or (iii) a felony punishable by imprisonment of up to five years or a fine of up to $10,000, or both; (2) the respondent is forbidden to enter or stay at the petitioner’s residence, even if invited to do so by the petitioner or any other person; in no event is the order for protection voided; (3) a peace officer must arrest without warrant and take into custody a person whom the peace officer has probable cause (probable cause simply means she says a person has done something for the officer) to believe (a person) has violated an order for protection. (In other words, no proof at all).
So one person is given a perfect scenario to entrap another by our legal system. That person is not held accountable for anything. That person along with a chorus of others will claim they have been discriminated against and lack power in our society. You thought the laws would resemble something like justice. You are in for an extremely painful learning experience. According to Attorney Tom James:
“Guys have been prosecuted, sometimes at the felony level, for such seemingly innocuous conduct as: Sending an email message agreeing to get together in response to an emailed invitation to attempt a reconciliation; sending a birthday card to one’s child after receiving a letter from the child asking why dad doesn’t love him enough to even send him a birthday card anymore; or even for sending a simple ‘thank you’ card to a child in response to a gift the child sent her father in the mail.
It is foolish to think that police and prosecutors will not concern themselves with trivial, minor or well-intentioned violations of OFP’s. They do.”