How “Preponderance of the Evidence” Rewards Restraining Order Fraud and Why Bigger Lies Work Better than Smaller Ones

TALKING BACK to restraining orders

Recent posts to this blog have discussed American evidentiary standards and stressed that the standard applied to civil restraining orders, “preponderance of the evidence,” has nothing to do with proof. According to this standard, a judge should find in favor of a restraining order plaintiff if s/he figures there’s a greater probability that the plaintiff’s claims are true than that they’re totally false.

The word to bear in mind here is probability.

I’ll give you a for-instance. Let’s say Person A applies for a protection order and claims Person B threatened to rape her and then kill her with a butcher knife.

Along with the allegation of the rape/death threat, Person A tells Judge A that she and Person B dated for six months, that she dumped Person B, that he refuses to leave her alone and insists that she’s the love of his life and that…

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