February 17, 2014 By Wallin & Klarich

If a man pushes a woman, she can file for a restraining order. But if a woman pushes a man, should the man be able to have a restraining order granted against her? A recent decision by the 2nd District Court of Appeals (JJ vs. MF, 2nd District, No 82464401, February 5, 2014) held that a woman can push a man without having a restraining order granted against her if there is a prior history of the man abusing her.

Shove Turns into Mutual Restraining Orders

JJ and MF are a divorced couple with one child. The mother has primary custody of their son. One night, the father dropped the son off with his grandmother but forgot to leave his jacket. The mother called him multiple times to ask him to bring the jacket back because the child was sick and it was cold.


The father eventually came to drop off the jacket and the couple met in the parking lot. The father tried to approach his son but the mother pushed him away. He responded by grabbing her by the throat and choking her. The father’s new wife then got out of the car and punched the mother in the face and hit her with a shoe. The father left when the grandmother came out of the house.

The mother filed a restraining order, but when the court looked over the facts of what happened, they instead issued a mutual restraining order. The mother filed an appeal, claiming the restraining order should only be on the father.

2nd District Court of Appeals Ruling

The trial court found that the woman was the initial aggressor as she pushed the man and harassed him about their son’s jacket. The trial court then issued a restraining order against both parties.

However, the Court of Appeals reversed the decision. According to the court, the “single act” of pushing the father of her child did not warrant granting a restraining order, especially considering the father’s history of abuse against her.

The trial judge heard the evidence from the parties and decided it was important to calm down the situation by granting mutual restraining orders to avoid further violence between the parties. The Court of Appeals said that even if the woman struck the man first and was harassing him, she should not have a restraining order granted against her because the father of her child had a history of abuse.

Does The “One Free Push” Rule Promote More Violence?

At Wallin & Klarich, we believe that this is a bad decision by the Court of Appeals. The courts should be going out of their way to protect both parties in a domestic dispute. Both sexes should be treated equally when it comes to domestic violence.

Our law firm has represented many fathers who have been brutally attacked by women. A clear message has to be sent to all adults that there are no free assaults and that if you strike someone, you will have a restraining order granted against you.

Do you think the “one free push” rule is a good idea or do you think it could lead to more domestic violence?

Call Wallin & Klarich Today

If you are facing a domestic violence case, you should call the experienced attorneys at Wallin & Klarich. Our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience successfully representing persons accused of domestic violence.

With offices located in Orange County, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Torrance, Riverside, West Covina, Victorville, Ventura, San Diego and Sherman Oaks, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich domestic violence attorney available near you no matter where you are located.

Call us at (888) 280-6839 today for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

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