Lives are being ruined. California's Domestic Violence Prevention Act ("DVPA") allows a restraining order to be issued against anyone who does or says anything that upsets the "mental or emotional calm" of a person they have a relationship with. The definition of DV "abuse" is so vague that family court judges have unbridled discretion to take away a person's fundamental constitutional rights - such as the right to parent, to free speech, to file a lawsuit, to own a gun, and to due process of law.
My name is Alex Baker, and I need your help to challenge the DVPA definition of "abuse" in the United States Supreme Court.
Like so many other people, mostly men, I am a victim of California's unfair and discriminatory law called the Domestic Violence Prevention Act, the "DVPA". I have had my children taken away from me. My name was entered into the criminal database along with murderers and pedophiles. I have been gagged and disallowed from posting the documents that would allow me to discuss this case.
And just what was my crime, my "domestic violence"? I won a civil lawsuit against my ex business partner, who also happens to be my ex wife. I made an internet blog where I posted court documents and discussed the matter. I contacted business associates and threatened to file another lawsuit, based on what I had discovered in the meantime. All of this upset my ex wife. Under the DVPA, the mere fact that she was emotionally upset is all that was needed for a domestic violence restraining order.
The DVPA allows a judge to issue a restraining order after finding a single instance of "abuse". Let me be clear: The DVPA has a good purpose. There is such a thing as domestic violence. Sometimes a restraining order is needed. The problem with the DVPA is that definition of "abuse" is so vague that nobody knows what it means. Now, the definition begins right. Abuse is:
(1) To intentionally or recklessly cause or attempt to cause bodily injury.
(2) Sexual assault.
(3) To place a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or to another.
1, 2 and 3 above are as it should be. We know what these mean, and we are not challenging that part of the law. But then, the DVPA adds "disturbing the peace of mind" of the other person, which the Courts say means "any conduct that destroys the mental or emotional calm" of the other person.
What does that mean? Or, better yet, what doesn't it mean? Notice that this definition is entirely related to the emotions of the accuser, and says nothing about the conduct of the accused.
I have never done anything violent in my entire life. Not to my children. Not to my ex wife. Not to anybody. The Court in my case found my lawsuit to constitute domestic violence abuse, "irrespective of whether the case had merit". The court said, "all that matters is the effect that it has had on her".
This law is wrong. A lawsuit is not violence. A lawsuit is opposite of violence. A lawsuit is the right way to settle your disputes, and violence is the wrong way.
This isn't just about me. These unjust and unconstitutional restraining orders are being misused every single day in California Family Courts, in case after case, to gain advantage in property disputes, custody battles, and to perpetrate parental alienation. It is so popular and strategically effective that the baseless DVRO has become divorce lawyer "standard operating procedure". It even has a nickname - the "silver bullet".
I do have the pro bono support of the fine civil rights attorneys at the National Coalition For Men ("NCFM"). I'm very grateful. We want to challenge the DVPA definition of abuse in the United States Supreme Court. Again, we are not trying to overturn the domestic violence law, only the little piece of it that allows for these arbitrary and absurd restraining orders.
I've been fighting this case for 2 1/2 years, all through the California Courts. The Petition to the U.S. Supreme Court is drafted, you can download it here:
We cannot file this Petition for Writ of Certiorari without your financial support, because the printing costs and filing fees total nearly $5000.
Please, donate what you can.
We won't get the exact invoice from Supreme Court Press until the day before the deadline. We when get the invoice, we will post it here. Any money received beyond what we need to file this Petition will be donated to NCFM, for the great civil rights legal work that they do. If we don't raise enough money to file the Petition, I will just give all the money to NCFM. Please visit NCFM at http://ncfm.org.
This is urgent. The filing deadline to the U.S. Supreme Court is June 24, 2019. If we miss that, the entire case is over. And if we don't raise the money, we can't file it. I would spend the money myself if I had it. After 2 1/2 years, I am depleted. Depleted, but not defeated.
If you care about family court reform, or parental alienation, or the First Amendment, this is your chance to make a real difference in the real world. Thank you.