Cases & Deals

Abused client, who previously sought a restraining order while representing herself, finally realizes that order

Clients Client B

Jones Day Los Angeles successfully represented a client in obtaining a permanent restraining order against her former boyfriend, after the client attempted and failed to obtain an order on her own.

Following a tumultuous relationship in college in the early 1990's, the couple lost touch with each other, but became reacquainted about three years ago. The relationship deteriorated when the boyfriend developed a habit of appearing at the client's house in the small hours of the morning, intoxicated and seeking sex. After two separate and escalating acts of sexual abuse, each of which required our client to seek medical attention, our client filed an application for a restraining order.

In response, our client's former boyfriend also filed an application for a restraining order on grounds that our client was supposedly "stalking" him – but he filed his application at a different courthouse so that it would be heard by a different judge.

At the hearing on our client's request for a restraining order, a Judge Pro Tem permitted the ex-boyfriend to testify that all sex had been consensual, but refused our client the opportunity to testify about the incidents that gave rise to her fear. Although she had not been permitted to testify, the Judge Pro Tem nevertheless found our client was not credible. Then, although he had not heard all the facts, the Judge Pro Tem summarily denied our client's request for a restraining order. Following the dismissal of her case, our client filed a second application for a restraining order to be heard on the same day as her ex-boyfriend's restraining order application, before the same judge who would hear the ex-boyfriend's claim.

Jones Day then entered the case. Because a court already had heard the client's request for a restraining order, Jones Day's most important task was to avoid a finding that her claims were precluded by res judicata. Following a full hearing, Jones Day obtained three critical things: (1) an order denying the ex-boyfriend's spurious request for a restraining order; (2) a finding by the Court that the client had been denied due process at her prior hearing, and that therefore her claims were not precluded; and (3) a three-year permanent restraining order against the ex-boyfriend. The Court found not only that our client's claims were credible, but also that her former boyfriend's accusation of stalking was without merit. Finally, the Court found that the first hearing, in which a Judge Pro Tem had summarily denied our client's request for a restraining order, had been unfair, and therefore had no preclusive effect.

The client credits Jones Day with the win, and is grateful that attorneys volunteer to help clients like her at such important crossroads in the clients' lives.