Evidence of Perjury Cannot Be Used to Appeal a Fraudulently Obtained Restraining Order

TALKING BACK to restraining orders

Someone once told me that the only value of a lock is to keep an honest man honest.

The value of perjury statutes is exactly the same: They make an honest person extra careful about what s/he tells the court.

To a liar (the person they’re supposed to thwart), they’re just “blah-blah-blah.” Perjury (often recognized as a felony crime) isn’t prosecuted—and for that reason, judges seldom even use the word. If a plaintiff is caught lying, and the lying is significant enough to urge dismissal of the case, s/he may get a stern talking to post-trial. That’s about it.

Restraining order judges make a liberal determination about whether sufficient merit exists in a plaintiff’s claims to warrant upholding a temporary order. Lies irrelevant to that determination may be ignored even if a judge detects them.

Judicial disposition is to credit plaintiffs and suspect defendants, and that’s a high hurdle for…

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