Gaston, OR asked in Domestic Violence, Federal Crimes, Libel & Slander and Child Custody for Oregon

Q: My wife assaulted me, she filed a false restraining order and kidnapped our kids and is using emotional blackmail.

She emotionally blackmailed me into not submitting any evidence at the trial, so she was found innocent. Now she is using the restraining order and the threat of arrest as blackmail to take full custody of our children despite me offering several reasonable alternatives involving joint custody. Can I have a mistrial declared due to her blackmail and witness tampering? I have video of her complete irrationality and proof she knows that she doesn't need the restraining order. The only reason the order was upheld is because she hired and attorney and I didn't realize I needed one to be treated fairly. What are my legal options and what would be the best type of attorney to seek? I have proof of all my claims.

The blackmail originally came before the trial to get me to try to get it dismissed altogether and not submit evidence, only now that divorce is being talked is she using it to force me to relinquish all rights to our children. I did testify truthfully, but showed regret at calling.

1 Lawyer Answer
Gregory L Abbott
Gregory L Abbott
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: It is not clear exactly where things currently stand. It sounds as if she assaulted you, was charged, went to a trial in which you failed to testify to the facts and she was found not guilty. She also obtained a restraining order against you prohibiting you from having contact with her or your children; you objected to the Order, went to Hearing, and lost so the restraining order is now considered permanent for a year minimum. If this is accurate or even approximate, you should consult with a domestic relations or family attorney to see if there is anything left to potentially help you despite your sabotaging your own case. You were given a chance to tell a Judge the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth - but you elected not to. Why would a Judge set aside the verdict and give you a chance to testify a second time, based upon your assertion now that you wasted the court's and attorney's time the first time? And if he/she did, why should they believe you the second time instead of the first? You are the one who chose to not testify fully/truthfully against her when you had the opportunity and you need to take responsibility for your own actions. If you go into a court proceeding without an attorney, particularly when the other side has one, you again should not be surprised that you are at a disadvantage though you have no way of knowing that the "only reason the order was upheld was because she hired an attorney". Lastly, threatening to enforce a judicial restraining order against you with arrest if you violate it is not "blackmail" - it is her absolute legal right and the law, whether you agree with it or not. It likely does not matter whether you have viable alternatives to share custody - as long as there is a restraining order prohibiting you from having any contact with your spouse or children in her care, your options are severely limited. The only way to really know what, if any, options you still have is to fully review everything with a local divorce/custody lawyer. It may or may not be that late is still better than not at all.

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