Tag Archive for: Domestic Violence

For purposes of a Domestic Violence “Protective Order,” Maryland law defines “Abuse” as the occurrence of one or more of the following acts:

  • Assault
  • An act that places a person in fear of imminent serious bodily harm
  • An act that causes serious bodily harm
  • Rape or sexual offense
  • Attempted rape or sexual offense
  • Stalking
  • False imprisonment, such as interference with freedom, physically keeping you from leaving your home or kidnapping you.

Former football star Chad Johnson is in the news for refusing to participate in the divorce filed in Florida by his wife, Evelyn Lozada.  He won’t sign divorce papers or appear in court.

Instead he is trying to win back his wife.  Since his arrest for domestic violence in August, Johnson has apologized publicly, tweeted his affection for his wife and had her face tattooed on his leg.

This sounds pretty heroic, but it may be more like Don Quixote tilting at windmills.  When a spouse has taken the drastic action of filing a lawsuit for divorce, it is usually too late to change her mind.  Lozada doesn’t appear to be interested in reconciling.  And the court doesn’t need Johnson to be grant a divorce.

We all have the need for love and the need to control our surroundings.  Johnson needs to accept the premise that he cannot control this situation.  This takes time.  Lozada and her lawyers might be rushing him.

Scott Dekraai, 41, allegedly walked into the beauty salon where his ex-wife worked and killed her and seven other people yesterday in Seal Beach, California.  They were involved in a bitter custody battle over their 8 year old son.

I think there is a rage reaction lurking in all of us.  Most of us keep it under control.   But emotions are strong and they can overwhelm logical thinking.

I’ve had clients who have let their anger involve them in domestic violence.  I’ve had clients who have directed their anger inwardly and tried to commit suicide.  When I asked them why, they said something like “I don’t know.  I just snapped.”

My advice?  No matter what happens in your divorce, get control of your anger.  And have a big flashing neon sign in the back of your mind that says “The best revenge is living well.”

In November of last year, Frederick Wood, 29, of Maryland, was involved in a domestic altercation with his 27 year old girlfriend.  The police report noted extensive injuries to her.

Wood was charged with second-degree assault, a misdemeanor.  His case came to trial on March 10 before Judge Darrell Russell, Jr., District Court Judge for Baltimore County, Maryland.

When the case was called, Wood’s attorney asked that the trial be taken off the calendar because the couple intended to marry.  The wife could then invoke spousal privilege which would prevent her from testifying against her husband and the case would be dismissed.

The judge refused but he did declare a break in the trial that day so they could obtain a marriage license.  When they returned to the courtroom with the license, Judge Russell married them in his chambers.  He found the defendant not guilty.

Judge Russell has been reassigned to chambers by the Chief Judge, and the House of Ruth said it  intends to make a complaint to the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities.

Additional Coverage:

Maryland Daily Record
11 News I-Team