Kurt Angle Case Illustrates Pros and Cons of PFA Law
August 26, 2009 | Divorce, Family Law News, Legal Perspective
Local professional wrestler and former Olympian Kurt Angle has been charged with violation of a Protection from Abuse (PFA) order. His lawyer says that the charges are completely unfounded. His lawyer also attacks the law that allowed Angle’s girlfriend to bring the charges:
Unfortunately, the PFA process allows women (and men on occasion) to fabricate a tale to intake individuals within the court system without any corroborating evidence whatsoever, and the result is that innocent people are served with PFAs that did not do anything.
In Kurt’s case, that is precisely what happened. The woman involved has no injuries, was not threatened, and absolutely no conflict occurred.
We are confident that once a court actually hears the evidence, the PFA will be dismissed.
The Angle case illustrates why people who are involved in a marital separation or breakup need to understand the PFA law. Victims of domestic violence need to know that there is a law to protect them. The PFA law affords protection to people who suffer from threats, intimidation and stalking, as well as physical abuse.
On the other side of the coin, people who have anger issues need to know that they could become targets of the law and suffer criminal sanctions if they act out toward spouses, children or relatives. This is why it may be hazardous for someone with a foul temper or demonstrative personality to live in the same house with an estranged spouse during separation. You can be liable under the PFA law even if you do not intend to carry out your threats.
Perhaps the PFA law is susceptible to abuse by some who seek its protection. After all, the PFA law permits a victim (real or imagined) to obtain a court order secretly without giving notice to the perpetrator, who may be evicted from the home and banned from contacting the the victim for up to three years. But the law assumes that the protection afforded to real victims of domestic violence outweighs the potential for fraud, and eventually, everyone has his or her day in court.
Including Kurt Angle, I suppose.