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dkennedy
dkennedy, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 6009
Experience:  J.D. degree, 15 years practice
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I just had a stalking order hearing in which I am the Defendant.

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I just had a stalking order hearing in which I am the Defendant. After the hearing the Judge said he needed more time to make a decision and will do so in the next week or so. So basically all I did was give the girl a couple of notes with nothing inappropriate written at a place where she worked and I was a member. She accused me of following her when we left the building around the same time but all I did was head straight to my car without approaching her on two separate occasions. Another time I'm accused of flipping her off when she did not give me her phone number. No threats otherwise and in the meantime I have terminated my membership so we don't see each other anyway.

dkennedy :

Hello,

dkennedy :

I would like to help you with this matter. What is your question for me? It sounds as if you have a difficult situation on your hands.

Customer:

I just had a stalking order hearing in which I am the Defendant. After the hearing the Judge said he needed more time to make a decision and will do so in the next week or so. So basically all I did was give the girl a couple of notes with nothing inappropriate written at a place where she worked and I was a member. She accused me of following her when we left the building around the same time but all I did was head straight to my car without approaching her on two separate occasions. Another time I'm accused of flipping her off when she did not give me her phone number. No threats otherwise and in the meantime I have terminated my membership so we don't see each other anyway. Being a professional I don't want the order granted because it could impact my job.

dkennedy :

Let me as you for more info. Is this a civil hearing for a restraining order? In what state do you live?

Customer:

Yes civil hearing in Kansas

dkennedy :

Let me do a little research into the code there and get right back to you.

dkennedy :

The Kansas code says the stalking order has to be a result of the alleged "victim" being in fear of her safety. Did she testify or talk about that in court at all?

dkennedy :

Just being bothered by someone is not enough for an order resulting from stalking. Lots of people are annoyed by another person either with reason or not, but that is not enough to obtain an order against stalking.

dkennedy :

Many times judges, however, want to err on the side of the victim "just in case". It is a popular cause right now--harassment, stalking, and things like that, so you are in a difficult situation. However, the judge still has to follow the law.

Customer:

Yes she did but its very subjective. She even said she feared for her life even though I've never made any threats and the only incidents involved are the above mentioned ones. She made a big deal of the "following" incidents stating I was sitting in the café opposite her work area staring at her for 30 mins and then followed her out. Judge said "fear of safety" is subjective and can differ from man to woman

Customer:

stating she's looking in her rearview mirrors all the time and living in constant fear though I don't even know where she lives.

dkennedy :

That is true. But, there must be some "overt" act. Just looking at someone cannot be considered a crime or a stalking incident in any way.

dkennedy :

Unfortunately, she may have been a victim at one time and "jumps" whenever anyone looks at her, or just the nervous type. That is the sad truth of the matter that you might be dealing with.

Customer:

Yes and that's what I thought too and was confident it would be dismissed. She stated that she was so scared that she had to ask her coworker to walk her out although I think they might have been carpooling.

Customer:

The only "overt" act is when I flipped her off for a customer related issue and I had my back towards her when I made the gesture

Customer:

All these incidents seem innocuous but the Judge has said we could put in a memo while he waits to make a decision

dkennedy :

And that act would hardly be "stalking" or going after her, but quite the opposite.

dkennedy :

I would definitely submit a memo and apologize for any misunderstanding she may have had. Make it sound very sympathetic to her while still defending yourself by saying you have had and continue to have no intention of stalking or bothering her and indeed, have no interest in her whatsoever. You must state, however, that you will willingly stay away from her but do not want the stigma of a court order against you.

Customer:

I know and this has been a nightmare experience for me. Do you think the Judge is going to do some research before a decision is reached. Could he considered the 2 incidents when the ledt the building concrete enough even though I was about 50 ft away and only headed to my car.

Customer:

It was stated in the court that since I'm no longer a member we are never even likely to see each other again

Customer:

and this was just an "awkward crush"

Customer:

Outside of the Clubhouse we've never come face to face

Customer:

Can a order be granted without a "credible threat" and can the statutes be satisfied by these seemingly "trivial" incidents

dkennedy :

But leaving the building at the same time would hardly put someone in mortal fear of her "life". As I said earlier, your biggest danger is that judges tend to just institute the order to stay away to be "on the safe side" rather than take publicity or dissent from women's groups and so forth who are so into this domestic violence, harassment, stalking, etc. these days. Not that I don't think it isn't an important matter, but it is tending to be swinging towards the issuing of unnecessary orders in some cases.

Customer:

Is there an option of an appeal in case it is granted?

dkennedy :

You can always appeal a court order. Yes.

Customer:

Is the Judge's option to take his time before making a decision indicate which way he's gonna go in any way?

Customer:

I mean if stalking was so obvious he would've granted it right away

Customer:

the girl's only witness was her Mom whom I had never met

Customer:

so not much in terms of evidence either

dkennedy :

I think his taking some time and allowing memos is a good sign. Absolutely, write what I told you that is your best chance now to get your opinion in there!

Customer:

Ok thank you. You were extremely helpful

dkennedy :

I certainly wish you the best of luck.

Customer:

Thank again! Ciao

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