Comments for: Do plaintiffs in protection from abuse cases have an unfair advantage over defendants?

Posted Dec. 02, 2012, at 2:07 p.m.

Joshua Valley spent 49 days in jail last summer for violating an order protecting his estranged wife from abuse. Valley had sent a text message to his daughter’s iPod. His estranged wife, who had taken the daughter’s iPod, intercepted the message and called police. Valley, who knew his wife had …

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  • Anonymous

    There should be some burden of proof in order for even a temporary order to be granted. Most, not all but most are bogus and used to gain an advantage in a custody battle/divorce. I would like to see an advocacy group for men.

    • Anonymous

      As I mentioned to another poster, I know women that have been kept from their children when the father has filed bogus PFA complaints as well. A woman working with the domestic violence advocates in my area explained to me that temporary PFAs are almost always granted, especially in light of shootings that have happened recently in our state. The courts do a poor job at distinguishing the difference between real and made-up affdavits; and in the end it is the children that are not allowed to see one of their parents that suffer the most.

  • Anonymous

    They sure do, far more than the defendant has. They do not even have to tell the proof. Most Judges by far go with the plantiffs. It can be unbelievable. SOme men have no say or protection whatsoever. On bogus claims by the time it really gets to the judge, it can be too late. Judges go with what the plaintiffs so too easily at times.

    • Anonymous

      Unfortunately, I know women that have been the victim of plaintiff’s lies in these circumstances as well.

      • Passadumkeagah

        Sure you do. However, the vast majority of victims of this inequity are non-violent males.

  • Anonymous

    Nooooo stop being so silly…..Protection from abuse orders pick on males unfairly just ask Amy Lake (you know Steven Lake’s x-wife) or Steven Lake’s daughter Monica or son Coty ….oh wait..oops you can’t because he MURDERED them all even WITH a PFA order. I would rather err on the side of caution than assume that a PFA is not needed and then have a tragic outcome such as the Lake’s.

    • Anonymous

      Exactly… that case was tragic, and the PFA may have been what sent this man over the edge. PFA’s only hurt the innocent

      • Anonymous

        Yeah it was the piece of paper that did it- nothing to due with Steven Lake’s ILLEGAL behavior of threats or stalking…..it was the PAPER that did it. Steven Lake is far from innocent. Try again.

        • Anonymous

          I never said he was… that whole situation was horrible. But sadly, it proves the point that these “pieces of paper” are pointless, and do not deter truly dangerous people, like he clearly was?

      • Anonymous

        yeah right how dare she get a protection order and send him over the edge.. looks like he’d already been “over the edge” for quite a while. why can’t men take no for an answer? if a woman doesn’t want you around take the hint. Why would any man WANT to be with a woman who no longer wants him? False PFA or NOT?

        • Anonymous

          I think we’re veering off from the point of the article quite a little, to which I think the survey results speak for themselves. As far as women who no longer “want” the man… I cannot speak at all about this case you are referring to in particular, but I know of at least three other cases whereas PFA’s were issued, and within 24 hrs, the women showed up on the man’s doorstep wanting to “get back together”, stating they obtained the PFA just to get the man’s undivided attention, and prove that they controlled the relationship. My point is that PFA’s are powerless against truly dangerous individuals, and are abused more often than not.

          • Anonymous

            you are hanging out with the wrong type of people. That is MY point..It is all about the relationship. If you make bad choices in a mate then why do you think it will turn out well.? The choice of a mate is where the problem starts..

            People shouldn’t be choosing women who WOULD falsely accuse them. And from all the ‘claims’ of false accusations here, there are a lot of people making bad decisions. Good women don’t make false accusations.

            I don’t doubt some women are gaming the system and i also don’t doubt that some men do too, and claim “they have never touched that women ” when they in fact have. Some people LIE No surprise there .IF you have a bad general reputation,(past abuse orders, criminal histiory) it’s easier to falsely accuse you… and less likely to get any sympathy.. There are crumbbums all around — male and female.

            The point of the article seem to be SOME men cannot afford a lawyer to defend themselves. and SOME women make false claims .These emergency orders are time limited.— 30 days maybe?

            It appears that SOME woman ( not ALL) may have the chance for a 5 minute sit down with a lawyer before going before a judge and SOME men are crying “foul and unfair.”and “i did no such thing “. By all mean let them have a 5 minute sit down too. BUT are they ( we) willing to pay for it??. There’s the rub.Is it unfair? .YUP.is it inequitable? . Possibly. at this first phase Some may be are falsely accused.. Some may be using the “no lawyer thing” as an excuse to “play the victim’ . Should some proof be required YUP.
            The guy ,just that morning, threatened to kill her .How does one “prove” that?? The proof should come 30 days later when the order become permanent So who is representing the women , then anyone?? Do EITHER of them have a lawyer at that time ? I’m guessing they are BOTH equitable unrepresented at that time, if they are ‘poor’ . By all mean fund Pinetree etc more so they can have “equity” . Are the taxpayers willing to do that?? No those fund have been eliminated !!! So who should pay for it?

    • Bill Cat

      Your PhD tell ya that, did it? LOL

      • Anonymous

        Let me guess you’re a proud elementary school graduate…go sixth grade!!!

        • Bill Cat

          Can’t have a battle of wits with an unarmed person, I’ll pass. Now do your homework. LOL

  • Anonymous

    The abuse of these PFA’s has become an epidemic. Women, typically in the middle of a pending divorce with child custody lying in the balance (and therefore child support) have learned, usually from men hating, tax paid advocates, provided absolutely free of charge, that by making allegations of domestic violence, even if the man has never so much as even raised his voice, they can obtain immediate custody and therefore tremendous leverage in divorce court, just by filing for a PFA… even if under false pretenses (they couldn’t care less).

    Of course the defendant should be provided with free legal counsel during the PFA (and the divorce, if the plaintiff is). And children should not automatically be added to these PFA’s without first being interviewed by an independent individual from child protective services, or the judge, and a hearing should always take place on any PFA request that involves children before being granted. These children, already experiencing the hurt and helplessness of divorce, are all too often then tortured by being ripped from their other parent, as well as their grandparents and other family members on that side, as there are no visitation rights for grandparents, cousins, or aunts and uncles currently in Maine. Most times the defendants in these cases are nothing more than loving and devoted fathers. The misuse of these actions need to stop, and the perjury laws need to be enforced against dishonest women. If a man truly is dangerous, a PFA will not stop him (and in fact could prove dangerously counterproductive). They’re just a dirty divorce/ custody tool at this point.

    • Bill Cat

      Dude, I get the sentiment, but the word “typically” takes it into the bitter ex realm. For real, partner, seems a wee bit too much like angry rant against women. But then I may be wrong.

      Gotta agree with the point that the kids take the worst of it all. Mommy says Daddy is a rackafrack and Daddy says Mommy is a loopdeedoo, and it can quickly turn into pick a side to try to justify adults nasty feelings toward each other. Yet folks shake heads in wonder why some kids turn into psychos. Ain’t no such thing a ‘fair for the kids’ when a couple of xxx years decides to drop-kick each other.

    • Anonymous

      This can be reversed and a man can do it to a woman too.

      I also think there should be punishment for this use of a dirty divorce custody tool.

    • Anonymous

      yup and that is what you buddies on the bar stool next to you will tell you.

      • Anonymous

        I was a subpoenaed witness in one of these, and attended all 8 hearing dates… it’s not drunken gossip, it’s reality.

  • Anonymous

    PFA orders area joke. Any attorney will tell you that. It’s the first thing they tell a woman to get if they want a divorce.

    • Anonymous

      I had a good friend who went through that with his disgruntled ex-wife. She played it up for all it was worth. She’s call him time and again on his telephone, but if he was to call her, she’d have him put in jail. He complained to the police but it did no good. She kept trying to get him in trouble with her bogus PFA order. She even went to his mothers funeral in an attempt to get him in trouble -legally, he had to leave the funeral because she was there. I stood between them before she could start any trouble (she knows I don’t tolerate any of her BS). The crazy lady could not leave him alone and would not let anything rest.

  • Bill Cat

    There’s his side, her side and somewhere in the middle there’s reality. There are no perfect laws to fit every situation and definitely no perfect people to follow them. Every domestic situation is unique. “If a tree falls is the forest and nobody hears, is the guy still wrong?” LOL

    Lived in MA back when the 209A law was passed as a knee-jerk reaction to a woman being killed by the bug-house crazy ex. It was total mayhem until the courts finally figured out the system was getting played by POed girlfriends and wives. One call to 911 and zoom, he was locked up on no-bail for two weeks minimum. She automatically got a caseworker and a lawyer and counseling — he sat in jail with none of the above and nobody listened to a word he said, didn’t even ask. That ain’t right.

    Gonna start whipping paperwork on one side of a situation, best make sure it’s backed by reality…

    • Anonymous

      I also lived in Massachusetts when the 209A laws were passed. Domestic violence was a serious issue and I remember when Barnstable County on Cape Cod made the national news because at least 8 people were murdered there within a period of a week due to domestic violence. One of the victims was a male, stabbed to death by his wife. Domestic violence was a serious issue then and it remains so now. You only have to look for today’s headlines regarding the NFL player that killed the mother of his child and then himself.

      • Bill Cat

        Mimi, yeah it’s serious, but did you ever wonder if it’s just people in general getting more unhinged? We hear all about domestic violence, then once a month somebody attacks a college campus, or the job, or the neighbors.

        As a kid I lived with my folks for about 16 years — same house, same street, same neighbors mostly — and the closest we ever got to domestic violence was Ray and Doris bellowing at each other over who drank whose booze on Saturday night.

        The NFL dude, can’t say how that truly makes a statement about domestic violence at all. He snapped, went off the rails, cracked up — killed the two people he loved most in the world and then followed them.

    • Anonymous

      Bill Cat, why do you think reality is in the middle.. Thinking there is wrong on both sides is weird thinking, Please re-evaluate that thought.

      • Bill Cat

        Fair point. The original quote was similar to “He say, she say and somewhere in the middle lies the TRUTH.” Does that sound better?

        I don’t imagine there’s always ‘wrong on both sides,’ . but believe two people each own 50% of a situation. To me an ‘innocent victim’ is somebody who shows up at work or school and gets gunned down by a total stranger — not somebody who sat across the dinner table for 6-1/2 years. There’s a fine line between being a victim and a volunteer.

        See, I function on three very simple premises.
        1. Normal is a cycle on washing machines and doesn’t apply to human beings.
        2. All people are to some extent emotionally ill as well as frequently wrong.
        3. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results each time.

        There’s no dividing this into “Females good, males bad!” or vice-versa. We’ll close with the Aaron Neville. “Everybody plays the fool, sometimes. There’s no exception to the rule…” Peace on, Button.

        • Anonymous

          ok!

        • Anonymous

          May I borrow/spread points 1 and 2? haha… been having similar conversations with people where we do not believe there is a so called normal, or its not as normal as some people like to think. It’s just an average, but average of what? Thanks.

          • Bill Cat

            Feel free, took some looking and lots of listening to reach conclusions. =) There is no normal — ‘typical’, sure; textbook normal, nah. ‘Average,’ I think, has a whole different slant based in actual math — like the average number of people who wear brown shoes in a given place over a week, but it says nothing about the normalcy of the people involved. Joe eats a sardine & onion sangie at work every day — as did his father and grandfather before him – and believes this is normal. And it is for him and those who do the same, but not for the rest of us… And the beat goes on… Bill

  • You can NOT just walk into a court room as a plantiff and be granted a Protection from Abuse order. You as the plantiff still have to show valid proof why you feel the need to be granted the Protection from Abuse order, sometimes the proof you have to give is very personal and emotional. Yes, the temporary orders are easier to get then the permenant, but you still have to prove to the judge why you need such an order. The statistics of DV in Maine are astounding and finally, after many many years the courts are now taking the PFA requests seariously, as they should. Both the plantiff and defendant get their day in court and both have the right to retain a lawyer. If either party walks into the PFA hearing and does NOT have a lawyer the judge will set aside that case and give either or both parties a chance to talk to a lawyer or advocate that is present or may postpone the final hearing until both have been given a fair chance to retain council. DV is finally, after many many years of it being kept quiet, being taken seariously in the State of Maine. Maybe, just maybe it will make people think twice before hurting a person whether mentally,physically or verbally.

    • Anonymous

      Women are often couched by “victim advocates” on exactly what to say and not say and exactly how to say and present it in order to get the Protection from Abuse order.

      The system is broken.

      • Anonymous

        ok if she “loves you” why is she getting a protection from abuse order?? I’d say it is the relationship that is broken..

    • Anonymous

      Proof? Then how did someone get a PFA from someone they never even met? A story is not proof, and filed with lies and an order is granted? Seen that too.

      Oh, and a PFA doesn’t hurt someone mentally, or physically or verbally (in the written sense at least)?

      • Anonymous

        OK details please…

    • Anonymous

      so all this whining is baloney??As I supsected..

  • Anonymous

    Plain and simple, most women abuse them for court purposes to attain many things they want….Come sit in the Ellsworth court on a Monday morning and see all the 16 and 17 year old girls with 3 kids from 3 fathers asking for them, they all talk and know one another and up to date on all the court rules to get what they want…what they should do in the court is pass out BIRTH CONTROL ORDERS instead of protection from abuse orders…..that might curtail the problem to some extent….Maine has what’s called the “womb syndrome” in the courts, and almost always favor the women over the men…for everything….so until us men can push out a child, this is what it’s come to…..sorry guys , next time remember, condoms are cheap!

    • Bill Cat

      Ah, this may come across as a bit awkward, but that rarely stops me. Spend a lot of time eye-balling teenage mothers and listening to conversations down the courthouse do ya? Why?

      • Anonymous

        At least ya know they put out…

    • Passadumkeagah

      While I lean toward agreeing with your point of view, your examples strain my credulity. There’s no need to grossly exaggerate, mischaracterize and fabricate to attempt to make a fairy obvious and otherwise plausible point.

    • Anonymous

      maybe some women do. Those are not the women you should be hanging out with, IF you want to avoid this stuff. Choose your mate ,wisely. Clearly there is a poor” oh woe is me” boys clubs. to match the womb syndrome club. Better men find better women. and make better choices .Think about that and BE a better man.

      The welfare crowd deserves each other, is my guess. Bad choices all the way around . if you are hanging with a “bar girl” ( as someone else noted above , his “friend’ was ) and a “bar girl “is your choice, what do you expect?? How do you think it will “end’ ? HELLO.

      GOOD men are able to ( and do) get custody, all the time . Ever hear of something called a condom?

      I can visualize all of you on a bar stool at the local bar comparing war stories of how your old lady “did you wrong”. and one upping each other over it. Get off the bar stool.and be a better man if you want a better ‘class’ of woman. I suspect you get what you deserve.

  • Anonymous

    There is no doubt, that, once a woman goes for a divorce, PFA, or no PFA, if there are kids involved, to which, even if the man does not want a divorce, has done nothing to warrant a divorce, but, can find himself fairly finished financially, by Maine Courts.

  • sassyfrazz

    ” Valley, who also had been charged with a second violation of that order and with violating conditions of bail, is, he admits, no saint. In a sworn affidavit for a 2004 protection order, his wife wrote that Valley had verbally and physically abused her.”

    Sorry. No sympathy there. Once someone abuses someone else (be they male OR female) they kiss any so-called ‘rights’ they had goodbye in my book. If there is no proof of abuse, that’s one thing, but when it’s documented? Quite another.

    If one can’t control themselves one time, the chances are pretty good they won’t be able to next time. In very rare cases maybe, but in most? No.

    • Anonymous

      Verbal abuse can include almost anything that the woman claims it is. Simply raising your voice in an argument is enough. I would want details before deciding if physical abuse actually took place.

      • sassyfrazz

        “…but when it’s documented…” That’s what I wrote above. Was this documentation iron-clad? Who knows, but his simply saying that he “ain’t a saint” is pretty telling.

        I had a conversation with a person just the other night. Do you know what I heard?

        “He gets very angry and yells at me because he has Seasonal Affective Disorder. He doesn’t really mean it. He thinks I’m working too many hours. He’s only been physical twice. I know he can’t help it.”

        Some people were born with the word “Welcome” tattooed invisibly across their forehead. Of course there will be miserable people bent on making their ex miserable, but more often than not, there is a well lit trail of controlling behavior that others have seen but may not have mentioned for fear of getting involved.

        • Anonymous

          Women raise their voice and yell at their men just as often. You would be surprised at how often they get physical as well. My first wife hit me once. I was stunned because I do not believe in any excuse for physical abuse. I told her in no uncertain terms that I would not stand for that behavior.

          Far too many of these are the woman trying to get an advantage in divorce proceedings. Makes it much easier to get the house when you have already got the man kicked out and living somewhere else.

          Men rarely bother to get protection orders. Part of that is cultural. Another part is that when both are yelling at each other men usually don’t think of it as abuse. Just another argument where both ended up yelling at each other. Men often think that when they go to court that if she was yelling at him as well that excuses them yelling. They get a rude awakening.

          As for the controlling behavior. I have seen more of this from women then I have ever seen from men. It is often subtle and may be in the form of passive aggressive behavior.

          • Anonymous

            Men need to smarten up instead of ‘giving up” Many men get custody and the house these days. If you play the victim ; you will BE the victim .

            Yelling at each other isn’t “abuse” ,unless it includes threats of violence.

            Choose you partner wisely to begin with to avoid all this stuff.

      • Anonymous

        IF there is a protection from abuse order in place there should be NO contact ,PERIOD. Let her go. She doesn’t like you any more. The first clue of that IS the PFA !! There were probably other ‘clues’ before that , but you just weren’t paying attention.

        • Anonymous

          what happens when she calls up sayin “i love you and wont you sneak over to see me tonight? poor dumb bubba gets caught in the trunk on the corinna road…..

          • Anonymous

            well you said it— “:poor dumb bubba “.

          • Anonymous

            if dumb was a crime the streets would be pretty empty,my point is that when women want to play catch and release with a man who is “in love”with her ,too many times police time and resources are wasted when truly violent DV cases are left to fester into a tragic headline

    • Anonymous

      Someone can sitting there and saying, I want to protect myself, or my kids. That is not siting an example.

      Then they should also have the burden of proof, but unfortunately, it’s often his word versus her word. :(

  • James Klowning

    Sometimes these PFA’s are justified and protect an abused spouse….other times the ex wife exploits the court out of vengeance. The real question is how to parse the PFAs that need to be there and the ones where the spouse is exploiting the system. My contention is that you can’t parse them and that’s why judges err on the side of caution and issue them at the drop of a hat.

    If you are on the receiving end of a PFA take a breath and have a look at the laws. Best bet is keep yer mouth shut and don’t make any contact; kids or no kids. If you can’t do that you’ll begetting a “free stay” at the graybar motel.

    • Anonymous

      Err on the side of caution, or hand the kids to the abuser who is filing for a PFA???

      • Anonymous

        get a lawyer and defend yourself and prove your case in the court ; not on the streets..PROVE you are the better parent. Many men have done so and gotten custody. If your kid is worth it , don’t give up . Don’t make them a custodial football . 1 choose your mate wisely.!

  • nursingmainer

    In a world where things always go in the favor of the abuser (victim blaming still abounds), I’m glad to finally see some bias toward potential abusers. It’s about time.

  • Anonymous

    Oh Boo Hoo. How about not abusing your significant other to begin with so that there is no need for court intervention? Abusers tend to use the advantages they have to gain an unfair edge, namely fear and intimidation. The court can level the field so to speak.

    • sassyfrazz
    • Anonymous

      Exactly, so an abuser is likely to file for the PFA from their Significant other to get the advantage.

  • Anonymous

    Better to err on the side of caution and try and prevent some of these horrific and too prevalent domestic abuse and violence tragedies. Keeping people safe (including children) is the most important part of all this.

    • Anonymous

      Where do you get that type of thinking, Then why not Jail all men now. Family court are unconstitutional period. Jail someone because a woman said he abused her without proof.. Time for the State to get rid of these crazy laws..

      • Anonymous

        and yet…. what if he IS a homicidal maniac?? these ’emergency ‘PFA’s are short term. What keeps the guy from defending himself later when the order is made permanent? The thing is we don’t know WHO is telling the truth without proof .I image proof is required at some point right? If not, that is wrong.

        .I bet 9/10 the guy doesn’t show up for the permanent hearing to defend himself.( maybe because the accusations are NOT false?) .I thought this supposed gender bias was dealt with a long time ago.. MANY men get custody now and ARE the better parent.

    • Anonymous

      As I stated in antoher post, better the err on the side of caution and hand the kids to the abuser, or get the real story first?

  • Anonymous

    Protection Orders require no evidence to abuse and destroy innocent MEN’s
    and FATHER’s lives. They cause suicides and violence:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEFnHebBgpo

    VAWA Funded Maine DV Industry is Fraud and a Marxist Trojan Horse:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzfEzXY-Erg

    • Bill Cat

      No, no, the Marxists didn’t use the Trojan Horse.– that was the Greeks. In fact, the Marxists didn’t accomplish much aside from reading a book by Karl and being sort of pointlessly philosophical about it. Should’ve used “Commies” — at least that’d be in spirit with your ranting. LOL Dude, please DO NOT swear by anything on YouTube, okay?

  • Anonymous

    If you ever plan on leaving your woman, do it with witnesses.. Don’t let her attack you and when you go to defend yourself are arrested.. Some of these these women are n+ts.. I have never been involved in this crap but had many freinds who hooked up with bar girls who couldn’t break free without being charged with a bogus crime first..

    • Anonymous

      maybe if they weren’t hooking up with “bar girls”…?? try a different “class’ of women , maybe?

  • Anonymous

    Why isn’t there equal protection? Even for such a civil case as pointed out in this article, it is easy to become a criminal, and since PFAs are to protect someone from violence wouldn’t one have had to commit a crime in order for a PFA to stick? I think that should be all the more reason for representation for the defendent. 14th amendment, due process of law before taking life, liberty, or property away.

  • Anonymous

    That’s a tough one. Domestic violence isn’t something that is negotiable. That being said, I think that a court ought to entertain the thought of letting some of these kids tangled up in the whole mess have some sort of imput. I mean, if the child is old enough to have and operate an Ipod, then the child is old enough to say to a judge that I want to be able to talk to my dad. The other thing, which is obvious, she had the thing taken away from her by the mother, who had the order placed upon him. It may have been the only way for him to communicate with his daughter, and she put a stop to it. Though their (the parents) relationship has self destructed, the children’s relationships with their parents ought not to be collateral damage.

    • Anonymous

      Perfectly put. It’s called parent child alienation, which is emotional child abuse, (i.e.domestic violence), and the courts are aiding and abetting in this when they sign off on these fictitious PFA’s.

      • Anonymous

        initially they are “short term ‘maybe 30 days (?).both parties get to “prove their case” later.

        • Anonymous

          You’re right.. in theory. However typically when these cases come to hearing, a number of continuances are granted to the Plaintiff for a myriad of excuses, then a few months later, another continuance, and so on, and so on, and this can go on for many months (and the temp PFA stays in effect during that time). When all continuances are eventually exhausted, the Plaintiff withdraws the PFA just before walking into the courtroom… only to file another PFA just a week or two later before the father gets to visit the children, starting the cycle all over again. You would think that judges would catch on to this game eventually, but I’ve seen that trick played for four consecutive PFA filings, lasting almost a year, meanwhile the father cannot contact the children, (nor can extended family members), and the children feel abandoned, that the other parent doesn’t want to see them, or isn’t trying hard enough. The children should have the ability to voice their wishes in these cases, regardless of age, but are almost never allowed to. These PFA’s are a travesty of justice, and have tortured and scarred more children than I care to even contemplate.

        • Anonymous

          Denying any parent some sort of parental contact with a child is simply not in the best interest of anyone. More often than not it escalates tension and desperation in a situations that are often very tenuous and perhaps even dangerous. Nothing is gained by denying contact with a child; the child did not and cannot file, on their own, for a short term, 30 day protection order.

      • Anonymous

        Exactly. And Maine Courts get an F when it comes to parent child alienation.

  • Anonymous

    This may be the case for a few, but , as a victim and a mother of a victim not enough is done to enforce PFA’s. Look at the deaths related to domestic abuse and how many had PFA’s. Direct or non direct communications can be detrimental in some cases. My grandchildren are in counseling and even their counselors say NO contact at this time, but the courts allow the ex to still control my daughter with attempted modifications he knows he can’t win at this time, but he still does it because he can and he is able to still manipulate my daughter. Again, maybe a few cases are the exception but not all.

  • Anonymous

    simple question: why are men not getting a a lawyer to represent them in this critical issue?? In this case the man was able to get a lawyer , when he was accused of violating the PFA . So why didn’t he get one when the PFA was being issued to begin with, to protect himself? Clearly he could ‘afford” a lawyer when he felt it was necessary to avoid jail. Why not to avoid loosing access to his children?

    Why are men not working so they can afford to PAY for their own lawyer at the beginning of the process ? Why are they not calling Pine Tree legal ( or a simillar organization in Androscoggin County , where Lewiston is?) to also get “free’ representation, if they are poor?

    I know for a fact the Cumberland county legal clinic can take VERY few “free” cases” . So in most cases, odds are VERY good , BOTH parties go unrepresented.. It would be good to know how many people are and are NOT represented in court. .Does Pine Tree or the Volunteer Lawyer project not represent Androscoggin county as well?

    I wonder if this is not just another ALEC “agenda’ item to eliminate “spending ” on any free legal services for the poor and using the constitution and claims s of inequity to do it. That’s what it looks and seems like to me

    Are men NOT free to call Cumberland county legal clinic also? ( Yes they are) So where is the inequity “issue”? The inequity may be that fewer men ask for a PFA, because fewer are abused, stalked etc? Or if they are , are too embarrassed to ask for a PFA?

    Then there are the “false claims” issue . Are there really that many women making false claims or is it the men falsely claiming the claim is false?? What man wants to admit he beats his wife? Don’t people have to provide ‘proof? How many women who have been killed had husbands who also claimed the “accusations” were false?

    How do we know WHO is telling the truth?? We don’t with out proof.

    And then finally why did this guy KNOWINGLY violate the ‘order” ?. These order are initially temporary and short term — like 30 days, SO if the accusation is false , at a later date, the guy can defend himself, against the false accusations.. Did he defend himself against false accusations later? Or were the accusations in fact true?
    In cumberland county people can and do call Pine Tree, so the opportunity for “equity” is there. Maybe androscoggin county is different?

    • Anonymous

      Initially a PFA is a civil issue not criminal, therefor he was not entitled to a court appointed attorney which was clearly stated in article. However once the PFA was violated it became a criminal issue, which meant he was then entitled to free legal representation as an indigent defendant. He never paid for a lawyer at all here, he was just given a court appointed attorney the second time around.

      • Anonymous

        got it .

  • Anonymous

    relationship advise: 1. choose your partner wisely.2. treat you partner with respect at ALL times. 3. when it is over; it is over—walk away graciously and don’t look back. 3.5 If you are “fighting all the time ” it is probably “over”. 4. IF kids are involved , #1 and 2 , are particularly important.—- so you CAN do #3 and see your kids regularly, without blowing a gasket.. 5 Some people cannot handle mature relationships. 6 Some people do not HAVE mature relationships.( sex is not a “relationship”.)

    Love and hate are BOTH emotionally charged and closely linked . Know the difference,. and keep one and toss the other.

  • Anonymous

    Sometime after the Missouri Compromise, several States, including Main opted OUT of the seventh amendment to the US Constitution. people tried in Maine’s civil court were no longer entitled to a jury trial, nor were they afforded a lawyer.

    I find it very difficult to accept that our basic civil liberties are subject to the whims of State governments. I see this as a huge flaw in our system of governance.

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