Cases & Deals

Pakistani immigrant gains permanent restraining order against abusive ex-husband

Clients Adnan, Hajra

Jones Day Los Angeles represented a 23-year-old Pakistani woman, who was a victim of verbal and physical abuse by her husband over the course of two years following an arranged marriage in Pakistan.

The client continued to endure this abuse without reporting it to anyone because she was terrified of the consequences that would befall her family if she left her husband. Unfamiliar with the laws of California, she assumed no one would intervene in a marital relationship, no matter how violent it became. In October 2010, unable to tolerate any more violence, the client called the police after her husband threatened to kill her. The police arrested him on the spot and obtained an emergency protective order for the client.

Seizing on the client's limited English skills and unfamiliarity with the laws of California, the husband retained counsel and obtained a temporary restraining order against her. Jones Day was retained on a pro bono basis to defend the client against her husband's restraining order, and to assist her in obtaining a permanent Domestic Violence Restraining Order ("DVRO") against the husband. Jones Day immediately obtained a dismissal of the husband's baseless claims against the client and proceeded to prosecute her claims against him. After an evidentiary hearing lasting more than four hours, Jones Day successfully defeated the husband's attempt to exclude from trial a surreptitious recording made by the client of a conversation in which the husband repeatedly threatened her, cursed at her and her family, and imposed conditions on her behavior. Consequently, the husband agreed to an 18-month permanent DVRO to avoid trial.

During its representation, Jones Day also worked closely with the Torrance City Attorney's Office to prosecute the husband for domestic violence. A Torrance criminal court found him guilty on two misdemeanor counts, including spousal battery, and ordered him to attend 52 anger management counseling sessions as a condition of his probation.

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