The last post stressed the importance of narrative in restraining order cases.
Stories complainants tell pursuant to obtaining a restraining order don’t particularly matter. “I’m afraid” may suffice.
In contrast, defendants’ narratives are critical.
Strategic defense is not about “telling the truth.” It’s about telling the better story. Competing narratives are universally regarded as “he-said/she-said” (so to speak: Restraining orders are not strictly procured by women against men). The only thing that counts is whose story a judge favors when the end-of-the-round bell dings. (Significantly, there’s only one round, and it’s often only a few minutes long.)
Fraudulent claims in restraining order affidavits are commonplace—and what restraining orders do, especially ones whose grounds include false allegations, is inspire those who’ve been accused to register betrayal, indignation, and outrage. Since opportunities to defend may come and go in a few days’ time, those emotions aren’t likely to…
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