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05-29-07, 11:46 PM #1
New Website Launched - Check Status on TRO's
Restraining order status now online
By Kristina Davis
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
May 29, 2007
The Sheriff's Department has launched a new Web site that allows victims to learn whether their restraining orders have been served. And they never have to leave the security of their homes.
The online tool is a database of active restraining orders in San Diego County that can be accessed by typing in the restrained person's last name or case number. The Web site does not list victim information.
“It's a big benefit to victims of domestic violence or anybody being harassed,” said Lt. Joe Lucero of the sheriff's Court Services Bureau. “Some feel like prisoners in their own home. They're frightened.”
He said not everyone can get into their car and drive to court to find out if the person harassing or hurting them has been served.
“What if it's a three-day weekend? You can't get through to the courts,” he said. “Now they can get on the computer and find out.”
In the past, the Sheriff's Department only mailed an official document showing the order had been served. While the mailing will continue, the Web site gives victims immediate information.
Lucero said this may be the first Web site of its kind in the state.
Lois Rosa, who works with domestic violence victims at a local YWCA shelter, said she has already used the Web site to help women look up restraining orders.
“Any tool that helps is a godsend,” Rosa said. “It's an affirmation for female clients that they have a voice and someone takes them seriously in the judicial system.”
Knowing the restraining order has been served can be a cue for victims to move into a safe haven.
Lucy Nash said she wished she'd had access to the Web site in 2003. That's when her son's father was served with a restraining order in Ocean Beach. After being served, he killed their 14-year-old son, Evan. The father, Bill Hoffine, then killed himself after an eight-hour standoff with police.
“There was a lapse in time, and since I didn't know when it had been served, or if it had been served, I wasn't being quite as diligent as I should've been,” Nash said.
If she had known the order had been served, she and Evan would have stayed with her sister a few more days to see how Hoffine was going to respond, Nash said.
Two years later, Nash helped campaign for a new law that authorizes the immediate surrender of firearms from those served with restraining orders.
If the guns aren't immediately removed, the restrained must show proof to the court that they were surrendered or sold within 48 hours.
Nash said the new Web site is another huge step for victims.
“I'm delighted,” she said. “I'm very gratified to know that's now the case.”
The sheriff's Web site also directs victims to another Web site where they can download a temporary restraining order form that can be filled out in advance, as well as information on how to file an order in court.Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.
Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
or otherwise distort statements of fact.FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley
05-29-07, 11:54 PM #2
Great thing. I hope it actually works. Ours (state) isn't worth a #$%.Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me
We are who we choose to be.
R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012
05-29-07, 11:57 PM #3GrasshopperVerified LEO
- Join Date
- Rep Power
If its kept up with, should be a great tool.And Shepards we shall be,
for thee, My Lord, for thee,
Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy Command.
So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
And teeming with souls will it ever be.
In Nomine Patris, Et Filli, Et Spiritus Sancti.
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