lovehadleyApril 8, 2009

I am still debating pressing charges.

I talked to the police and DH's attorney yesterday. Attorney says it really doesn't affect the custody case one way or another--what DOES affect it is the fact that we have her drinking DOCUMENTED and DOCUMENTED that it's affecting her son.

The attorney was funny, though, she said "I can't advise you about criminal matters but...if it were me...NOBODY and I mean NOBODY is gonna come onto MY property and into MY house and assault me and get away with it." Teehee.

The police were nice yesterday---they explained the process to me. Basically, if I file a formal complaint, it will be sent to the prosecutor and he will have to review it and decide if there is enough evidence to prosecute.

Unforutnately, aside from SS, there are NO WITNESSES. A 7 year old is not going to be called to give any sort of statement, and honestly, even if he would, there is no way I would want SS to be dragged into more drama.

So chances are--the charges would not stick because she could just claim I hit her first or something. ALTHOUGH she has no injuries, and I do.


I am kind of pissed that I didn't have more bruising, etc. It makes me really mad b/c she decked me HARD and just b/c I happened to turn my head and not get the full-on blow, she is going to get away with it?

Either way, I have pics and a police report to take into the hearing for the full order of protection. I will do WHATEVER I have to to get the year long order! I want to be able to call the COPS immediately if she EVER shows up at my door AGAIN. I am LIVID that my SS and DD didn't feel SAFE in our own home that night!

Excuse my just-woke-up-no-makeup face and hair!

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I'm sorry to say that doesn't look bad at all. :( That sounds weird, but you know what I'm saying right?

Pressing charges could go either way. Perhaps you could get her for trespassing? That could be proven, right?

Problem is, then you've (well, she has, but...) created a situation that is hard to back down from.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 12:00PM
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File charges. Whether it's successful at getting her convicted, it will force her to answer for what happened. Yes, it's your word against hers, but you also have to look at motive and credibility. She was trying to put her son in a vehicle while she was intoxicated. She will have to explain herself. BTW, if I was on a jury and she claimed you hit her first.. and even if I believed you hit her first, I would not sympathize with her at all... she was drunk and trying to put a child in the car. I probably would have hit her if it was the only way to keep her from leaving. I sure wouldn't consider what she did as self defense, even if you had hit her first. Plus, she was at your house... she arrived drunk... the altercation took place as she was trying to leave with a small child, drunk. The facts speak for themselves. I would file charges and let the chips fall where they may. I see cases all day long where they know they did it, they take a plea and at least she might plead guilty to a lesser charge and it would be a 'prior' if she does anything again.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 12:08PM
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I know, silversword, it makes me mad! It hurts so bad, too---p*sses me off that just because it doesn't look bad, she can punch me and get away with it.

I am inclined to say the order of protection is going to be enough. I don't think pressing charges will go anywhere. :(

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 12:09PM
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I'm of the other opinion.

She did this. She escalated this to violence in her drunken state. There is no going back to anything resembling civility after what BM did.

I say file the complaint. It may not go anywhere at the prosecutors office, but at least there's a criminal record that will be very handy, should she show up drunk and violent again. She assaulted you. It needs to be on record somewhere that you are NOT okay with that.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 12:10PM
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Two words, Love.
Press. Charges.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 12:12PM
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Lh, go ahead and file charges against her. No it doesn't look that bad BUT its there and there is proof she did hit you and she had no injuries. There is proof she was on your property , she did assault you and she was intoxicated and she gave up custody of her son that day because of her drunken state or you would not have picked him up at school.
Everything is documented. I would be shocked if it didn't stick. Press charges, i think you have the upper hand here.
and no offence for your ss, but i hope he learned his lesson in lying about you. I know he is a child, i understand why he did it, but i honestly hopes he learns that lying does not do anyone any good here.
And i would not let this woman get away with anything now, you let her into your home, let her cry on yoru shoulder and then she turns around and assaults you??? no way!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 12:19PM
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Somehow I forgot that the "reason" she hit you was that she was trying to drive drunk with her son.

Yeah... press charges. She doesn't have a leg to stand on.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 12:44PM
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First I'd like to say that I'm so sorry this happened. It's terrible that in order to be with the man you love you have to put up with this nonsense. And the fact that your DD is effected makes it even worse!

I just was wondering what your DH thinks about pressing charges. Also wanted to know your pro-con list. What would you accomplish if you did press charges? What would the consequences be for your DH, you and SS if you did? etc. Please know that I am not trying to discourage you, just want to make sure it is well thought out before you make any decisions you may end up regretting.

By the way, my perspective on the thinking it out thing comes from experience...this is a crazy story and i can hardly believe it myself....

...When I was 15, my SM pulled my hair during the very first argument we ever had (she was not married to my Dad at the time, just dating). Things were awful between us from that point on until about a year or so ago when we finally worked out some of our problems. My mom saw her out in town and my mom told her that if she ever laid a hand on me again that she would regret it. So she filed a restraining order against my mom. At which point, I was very angry with her. So I filed charges in the city where it happened, which was about a 2 hour drive from where she lived at the time and currently lives (it was at the house my dad lived in at the time). The police told me they would keep it on record, but because it was she said-she said, there was really nothing that could be done because there was no proof...Fast forward, 15 years later, the day before Thanksgiving, things are finally ok between us, and the police show up at her house to arrest her for this thing that happened so many years ago. They had a warrant out for her arrest, all these years later. I didn't even know they had issued a warrant! Oh, what a mess. She actually had to go to hire a lawyer and go to court, where the charges were dismissed against her, but OMG, what an awful situation!

Please don't take this as my opinion one way or the other. I think if I were you, I'd probably want to make her pay for what she did. I just want to be sure you don't act hastily out of anger.

Big hugs to you!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 12:51PM
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I didn't log in for awhile so i am not sure if missed something, did you try to prevent her from driving drunk and she punched you? Or something of the sort...I would file charges, no doubts.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 1:10PM
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Press charges Hadley, I d also add criminal damage to property (didnt she damage your cell phone)Even if you dont think your injury looks bad, I think the damage to your emotional state of mind, being attacked on your own property, and the damage to the kids being subjected to this, warrants this woman getting charged...I dont think your DHs opinion should be considered, it happened to YOU, not him...

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 1:17PM
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Looking at this purely analytically, so no emotion:
(Not that your emotions are unimportant - Just that they cloud the situation.)

The most and least forceful actions you can take are:
- File for long term protective order / Allow the emergency order to expire
- File for full custody / Make no changes
- File criminal charges / Don't file

I can certainly understand why you'd want to take the more aggressive path, and just as clearly, BM wants you to take the second path.

But it sounds to me like your most aggressive responses might not realistically be fully granted -- so their real value might be for use as bargaining chips. Let me explain:

- Regarding the restraining order, if it were granted, visitation would mean a lot of disruption to Dad's schedule and probably to yours also, possibly involving child exchanges at the police station. I know you want to be able to protect yourself from an irrational her, but do you really want this? This is not a rhetorical question - think carefully.

- On the custody, you probably could get temporary full custody, but once BM stops drinking, she is very likely to get 'half' back.

- On the criminal charges, it sounds like you are unlikely to win your case, but could easily cause quite a bit of trouble for BM.

In terms of realistic positive outcomes, the best result might be that BM gets treatment for her out-of-control drinking, and that her visits with SS become supervised or somehow restricted until she does. My inclination would be to use your leverage to force her into treatment.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 3:03PM
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Love, I would press charges. Since you've been posting, it seems like BioMom has just been escalating with her drinking. In my experience, this situation just doesn't die and by the time the victims have had enough, they don't have any evidence, documentation, didn't press charges, nothing. They have absolutely nothing when they need it to get police/court intervention.

Since BioMom is STILL irrational (assuming she's been sober since the assault) still lying about who hit who, hasn't apologized....I don't see her changing. I think she thinks she did nothing wrong and she got away with it this time. What happens next time?

Even if the jury doesn't decide in your favor, you're sending the message to BioMom loud & clear that you won't be messed with. She will feel the hurt having to go to court and explain herself. She will have to explain why she was trying to drive drunk with SS. She won't get away with this clean, even if she is found not guilty...know what I mean?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 3:41PM
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"Regarding the restraining order, if it were granted, visitation would mean a lot of disruption to Dad's schedule and probably to yours also, possibly involving child exchanges at the police station. I know you want to be able to protect yourself from an irrational her, but do you really want this? This is not a rhetorical question - think carefully"

I disagree. I see NO REASON for her to ever be at our house. We have NEVER done exchanges at our home, so why would we start now?

95% of the exchanges are done at school. On the rare occasion that SS might need to be picked up at his mom's house, DH can do it.

There is NO REASON for this woman to EVER come onto my property again. This is one of the FEW times she has ever been to our house.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 4:25PM
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THERE IS NO REASON FOR THIS WOMAN TO EVER COME ON MY PROPERTY AGAIN......Yes, Hadley, that is absolutely correct..As a SM and as a former law enforcement officer I URGE you to press charges. Do not be discouraged when SA tells you you wont win...You at the very least will have dragged her sorry butt into court, she at the very LEAST will get a stern lecture from the judge, and most importantly have a police record..Its up to her to get her own help NOT you the victim to help her out of a mess of her own making..Sorry, there has to be consequences..DH can do drop offs..Do not feel sorry for the person that is causing problems for your DH..ITS NOT YOUR FAULT....

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 4:57PM
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If exchanges were not happening at your house, then there's no disruption, and I agree completely. I didn't intend to offend or imply anything -- I was just starting from the (apparently faulty) assumption that one parent picked up the child at the other's house, and that to do otherwise would be a major inconvenience. My Bad!

So is there something positive that you want to happen? (Other than never seeing psycho BM again.) And can you use your leverage to get it?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 6:15PM
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I DO think it looks bad. really bad. She hit you and you have bruises, that is bad no matter how big the bruise! The evidence that she hit you is there, and to me it really doesn't make any difference whether your nose was broken or not (well it does make a difference for you of course and I'm happy she didn't) but for the severeness of the matter it doesn't matter IMO. She hit you, press charges.

It's very scary to me how she did a complete turnaround on you, it doesn't get more unpredictable than that. Very dangerous for ss to be exposed to that.

And good for DH for going temporary full custody. As you said it's not his intention to take ss away from his mum, but as it is right now he has no choice really. When BM gets help and gets better she might be able to have shared custody again, but now that is just not possible.

And I was thinking that maybe CPS can be involved, they could come around and interview SS and dd (I know you want to keep her out of it but she has already been involved and it might not be such a big deal for her to talk to a CPS officer in her own safe home)
That way you can have CPS making a statement in the courts if needed and ss does not have to be involved himself.
Anyway, just a thought.

I also wanted to say that I was very touched by how you handled things. It sounds like instinct kicked in when you needed to protect ss and ss knows that too. That is very comforting for him to know, that you are there for him.
Because you really are, like when you went back outside to get him after she hit you. He is VERY lucky to have you.
And how sweet of him to offer to replace your phone, what a sweetie. Make sure you tell him a lot over the next couple of days that you are not upset with him over the lie that you were slapping him. He was desperate to be loyal to his mom and if she was normal he would never say anything like that. He would have felt really desperate to make up those lies, but loyalty to your own mum who is clearly in need of looking after is a normal and healthy response for the child. I feel very sorry for ss.

Good luck with everything, you are doing the right things.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 11:32PM
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I would just like to clarify before I say any of this ... that I have been punched in the face by a drunk chick that came into my home trying to get to my sister for some perceived wrong... someone that was supposed to be my sisters friend and I ended up sporting a cruel black eye for months and have a scar around my eye brow...

But, here are my thoughts...

BM obviously has some serious issues. She was intoxicated and some people do things intoxicated that they would never normally do. She was emotional and distraught and the woman who she obviously compares herself to in her worst moments (ie the your such a great mother better than me nonsense) stepped into her path and she was unable to control herself. A whole mess of wrong to say the least... but what would pressing charges accomplish? In my mind's eye you have the possibility of what... sending your step sons mom to jail?... I mean, I totally understand the sheer volume of anger involved in that kind of personal assualt. But, my biggest concern would be that she gets some help to better support her son. If it were me (and it was me at one time) I would tell her that she needs help and now is the time to do it. I mean definately use it to get ss out of harms way... but use it as an opportunity to perhaps let the family court to tell her to get help so she can be the mom that somewhere in her drunken haze she wants to be. I would even perhaps give her the option of seeing her in court or her getting some treatment. I dont know... like I said maybe I am to soft. But, I do know one thing for sure. In hindsight I am glad I didnt press charges on the girl. It would have far more permanently wrecked her life than me telling her that she has a serious issue that she needs to take care of. She lost a lot that night without going to court over hitting me. Bm is very possibly about to lose a lot because of that night (her son)... My friend got her reality check... maybe this could be bm's ... without the additional court proceedings.

You definately have to do what you think is right... but I wonder if what is right is pressing charges... or is it more right to to as sweeby said and use it as leverage to accomplish something positive overall.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 11:40PM
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The reality in most jurisdictions.. is if BM does not have a criminal history or arrest record, she will get a slap on the wrist. If prosecuted, they may offer her a lesser charge.. no jail time.. probation and most likely anger management classes and AA. Even if convicted, unless she's been in trouble before, they will often only get probation and if jail time is given, it's usually suspended. Of course, every case is different but that is what I've generally seen in the criminal court. If, when you speak to the prosecutor, you state that all you want is for her to get help, you don't want to send your SS's mother to jail but she needs help... more than likely he will try to make a deal with her to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and say no jail time if you do this, this and this. (unless you live where they are hard asses that want to make an example of someone.. which judging from the police at the scene, they aren't) In CA, if it's domestic violence, the perpetrator would be taken to jail for the assault even if the victim said not to... if there is any marks. However, as someone pointed out, this is NOT domestic violence.. it is simple assault. Nobody has the right to put their hands on you. That is something you want to demonstrate to BOTH of those kids too. There are times to turn the other cheek, and you did that when she hit you... you didn't hit her back... but now is the time to stand up for yourself.

Be strong.

If she is not prosecuted, you can still sue her civilly for damages.. your broken cell phone and for the assault.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 1:47AM
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longer you wait, less bruise will be noticeable, it needs to be done now.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 9:55AM
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Even just giving some one a gentle push is abuse. Press charges for sure.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 11:57AM
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Press charges. Even if it doesn't stick this time it will be on record. BM will also realize you will not hesitate to call her out on her behavior and may likely think twice before doing anything like that again.

She most deffinatly would not be stepping foot on my property ever again unless SHE wanted to get popped in the eye! As far as the is out of control and getting dangerous for SS. I would at least try to get temporary custody untill she straightens her tail up.

WTH does your DH say about all of this. J would go positively APE if his ex ever laid one finger on me.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 1:09PM
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