Restraining order ramifications question, and a long sad story . .
February 25, 2013 1:59 PM Subscribe
Asking for a shell-shocked friend who was threatened and attacked last week by her adult son. She barely managed to escape, by running into the street and stopping a passing car. She is convinced he would have strangled her if she'd not been able to get away, and she's the most level-headed person I know. He tore her clothes and bruised her, but she is OK physically (she did take photos of her bruises). He has a long history of opiod use, and has been on suboxone, which she had been paying for, since he is unemployed and uninsured. He's been using Xanax for a high, binging she thinks, and has had two seizures in the past 6 weeks when he ran out of Xanax. (Long story there, but peripheral to this question).
posted by citygirl to law & government (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The attack was in the immediate post-ictal period of his most recent post-binge seizure. She tried to rouse him and he reacted violently, as though he'd been attacked himself, growling "I'm going to kill you" and lunging for her. He choked her, punched her, and she feels she only got away because she's in pretty good shape and he was groggy and a little uncoordinated from the seizure. He has no memory of any attack - loss of short-term memory is pretty common after seizures - but the problem is that by the time the police saw him he was lucid. The attitude the cops and hospital personnel displayed is that she is exaggerating to blame him, to justify kicking him out of her house, and that she completely overreacted to an arguement that got a little out of hand. He stayed overnight in a hospital, and agreed to enter rehab, but since he's uninsured and rehab is voluntary he may not stay, though that doesn't matter too much in this context if he doesn't try to return to her home.
She has now evicted him, told the hosptial people that she is not going to take him in when he is discharged, and that they can send him to a shelter if they need to - he's pretty much burned his bridges with other family and friends. She knows she had become an enabler, and she's trying to work on that, both in Al Anon and with her own therapist. She wanted him to get the support he needed, but the worry always was that he'd do harm to himself, not her.
He had a "counselor" - a cash-only guy who wrote for the suboxone, once a month. No insurance, so no other therapist.
She's considering a restraining order, but is worried that if he does manage to get it together and applies for a job in the future that a restraining order would show up on a background check. I know, it's backsliding and enabling, but she's worrying about it. She's not been able to find out much - it seems in Philadelphia that restraining orders are both difficult to obtain and find information about.
I'm not sure he was actually charged with anything, and it is possible that he will be charged with assualt and the whole worry about restraining orders may be moot, but it sounds like the cops don't have an appetite to hold him responsible and this may not happen.
Does anyone know how restraining orders appear on a Philadelphia or Pennsylvania background check? I wish this didn't matter, but even now, she is trying to protect him . .