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Jim Reilly
Jim Reilly, Crim Defense Atty
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1805
Experience:  CA Atty since 1976, primarily criminal law. 150+ jury trials.
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Does a restraining order have reach accross a state line What

Resolved Question:

Does a restraining order have reach accross a state line? What recourse does a person have if a crazy (truly,certified,on meds) daughter gets the guardianship of her mother,then lies to the court about her father's behaviorand relationship with his wife and obtains a series of restraining orders,preventing this man from seeing his wife for more than 6 yrs.?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Jim Reilly replied 9 years ago.
This is a difficult situation which to be fully resolved requires more advice than can possibly be provided in this setting. I can give you some basic information which will be helpful, but this man really needs to consult with and retain a lawyer who can represent his interests in court.

First: yes, a restraining order is effective across state lines, so the Washington order issued today is effective there and anywhere else in the U.S.

Second: what can be done about this situation is that the husband should retain an attorney and move for modification or elimination of the restraining orders and to change the guardianship order. Failing a modification, he could appeal the court's order. Since this man is not wealthy, he should try to find an attorney who will help him at reduced cost or pro bono (free of charge). He can try to find a pro bono attorney by contacting the bar association of the Washington county in which the court is located. Since the mother is now in Washington, any legal proceedings would have to be conducted there.

Third: I believe the judge is mistaken about the possession of firearms. There is a federal statute which relates to the possession of firearms by persons subject to restraining orders. It is 18 U.S.C. section 922 (g)(8). Read quickly, it might appear to prohibit possession of firearms by anyone subject to a domestic restraining order. Read carefully, however, it actually says that it is illegal for anyone subject to a domestic restraining order "to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce". Therefore, possession of a weapon other than in or affecting commerce is not prohibited. This would mean that the weapon could not be transported across state lines or otherwise used in a way which affects interstate commerce. In my opinion, however, it does not prohibit simple possession within the state in which the weapons are located.

Fourth: If anyone can testify to the desires of the mother, expressed when she is not in a drugged state, that person's testimony would be helpful in any court proceeding. Particularly if this person is a medical professional.

These people are lucky to have a friend who is willing to help. I hope you and he can find an attorney who can provide the kind of help he really needs.
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