Saturday, March 07, 2009

Domestic Violence Injunctions - American Style

Now, I had never heard of singer Rihanna (otherwise known as Robyn Rihanna Fenty), or her boyfriend, R&B singer Chris Brown. Apparently, however, their somewhat tumultuous relationship has been making the headlines on the other side of the pond, culminating in Rihanna being granted a 'Criminal Protective Order - Domestic Violence' by the Los Angeles Superior Court on the 5th March. Nothing too unusual (unfortunately) about that, but what is, I think, of interest is that the order (what we would call a 'Domestic Violence Injunction Order') has been published, in PDF form, on the internet.

It is always fascinating to see how things are done in other jurisdictions, and three things strike me about this order. Firstly, it appears to have been made under the criminal jurisdiction rather than, as here, under the civil jurisdiction. Secondly, and in typical American style, it includes a (very sensible) provision requiring the defendant to surrender any firearms in his possession, and thirdly it expressly allows the 'protected person' to record any 'prohibited communications' with the 'restrained person'. Some ideas we could use over here?


  1. John - just on the firearms point. Whilst the North Yorkshire and Durham Dales are hardly the Wild West, hunting shooting and fishing remain popular sports. As we don't have a constitution here in the UK which allows us to bear firearms, I find that where a party has a shotgun licence and their partner is concerned for their own safety, one call to the police usually results in the weapon being removed, no court order necessary!

  2. Hi Judith,

    You are, of course, quite right, although it may be a useful reminder to those who are holding a firearm without a licence. I had a case years ago where I rang the police after my client told me her (violent) ex had a shotgun, only to be told off by the client for doing so!


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