Our client, a Rancho Palos Verdes resident with no criminal record, became romantically involved with a woman nearly thirty years younger. The two operated a business together wherein he provided all initial funding.
Synopsis: Rancho Palos Verdes client, age 72, violates civil domestic violence restraining order six times by stalking and making harassing phone calls, case resolved for one count with fines and fees.
The woman ran the business into the ground and abused the corporate credit card to pay her personal expenses. She also took our client’s second car for her own while they were romantically involved. She also transferred all of the money in the corporate bank account into her own personal bank account and used it to pay her personal debts. She also moved the office overnight to a new location and changed the locks on the doors.
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The romance quickly soured as the business ran out of money due to such conduct by the woman.
Our client then asked for the return of his car and, in response, the woman filed a civil restraining order against him, alleging he had harassed her, called her dumb and made her cry. The judge granted the order.
Our client remained interested in the return of his vehicle. So he called the police, as he regarded the continued possession as theft. He explained to the police that due to the restraining order, he could not ask her for the car back, even though he remained the one making payments each month on the car. The police told him “it is a civil matter” and refused to assist him.
The client then took the matter into his own hands and had one of his friends contact the woman. Our client also called his former girlfriend, as he explained, “just to make sure he knew where she was” for the credit union to get the car if he defaulted on the loan. He also called her, “just to make sure the phone number worked for her” because clients in the languishing business asked for her.
Once he did this, the woman called the police and our client was arrested. Our client admitted to all such conduct, but rationalized it as not improper because he needed the car back and the business needed to stay in contact with her.
After being released from the Lomita Sheriff’s station, he called up Greg Hill & Associates, explaining that he was being charged with nineteen misdemeanor counts in the Torrance Superior Court. He thought it was all a big mistake by the police and City Prosecutor filing a complaint charging client with violations of Penal Code § 166(a)(4) and Penal Code § 653(m). The initial offer was for our client to serve 180 days in County Jail, then serve five years of informal probation, pay a $500 fine, plus penalties and assessments (over $2700 in total payout) and then perform 60 days of community service.
Greg explained that it was no mistake and he had violated the restraining order, however unfair it was. Greg suggested the client enroll in anger management classes, which the client did.
Greg then negotiated with the Torrance City Prosecutor, explaining the full context of the underlying civil restraining order and its unfair nature, but without justifying a violation of the restraining order on that.
The Torrance City Prosecutor seemed to understand, and after much negotiating, reduced the plea bargain to a simple $300 fine, plus payment of the booking fee ($419). The client had to plead to one count of violating the restraining order and the remaining 18 counts were dismissed.
The client was very happy with this, as he avoided a possible nine years in county jail, as each violation was separate and such sentences run consecutive, not concurrent.
For more information about the issues in this case summary, click on the following articles:
- What Punishment Do I Face for Violating a Restraining Order?
- Criminal Protective Order in Domestic Violence Case Is Improper When It Bars Father from Contacting His Kids, Who Were Not Victims in the Case
- I Face a Civil Restraining Order for Domestic Violence and a Criminal Charge of Domestic Violence – What Should I Do?