Tuesday, June 12, 2007

When Orders Of Protection Don’t Work

I am always troubled by news stories concerning people who are injured or killed by a person for whom they had a valid protective order against. On the CBS Early Show, they discussed a case in which a woman had such a protective order and was killed by her ex-boyfriend, despite the order and numerous reports to the authorities concerning the threats that her ex-boyfriend had made about his intent to kill her. The woman’s family has brought a wrongful death suit against the authorities for their inability to protect the victim. While I sympathize with the family in this case, However, I worry about creating an authority whereby local authorities can be sued for their inability to stop a crime from occurring. Perhaps the best approach is to go to our legislatures and demand stricter rules regarding Protective Orders to insure that the authorities are able to keep a closer eye on those individuals who are likely to commit a violent crime. Under most circumstances Protective Orders are effective in keeping people safe. How we stop those few individuals from violating a Protective Order to commit a violent crime is something that all of us need in the family law arena need to think about.

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