“Is Mental Abuse Enough For A Restraining Order?”

What conduct is sufficient to support the issuance of a restraining order is a matter that has been discussed, over and over, and which is subject to continual changes in the law of many states, including California. The California Court of Appeals took up the issue in the case of Rodriguez v. Menjivar (2015) 243 Cal.App.4th 816.

In this case, the court answered the question regarding mental abuse firmly with a “yes.” The court stated that disturbing the peace of the other person is abuse, including things like calling multiple times a day, accusations of cheating, and staying connected via an open cellular phone connection at all times constituted abuse. The court specifically found that “coercive and controlling behavior” can be a basis for a restraining order if the acts are severe enough.

Basically, the courts are trying to find the right line to issue restraining orders in cases where one side knows better than to actually get physical, but uses other methods of control that are just as effective in the end.

One area which has not been much discussed as of yet, but which you can expect to be added to the list in the future is financial control. This will most likely include extreme behavior like keeping the other party from having access to any money, doling out money only for “good behavior” or otherwise limited the other party’s options and decisions by controlling the money. Denial of phone access by financial means would certainly be in the discussion as well.

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