Try To Act Restrained

, , , | Legal | February 11, 2020

(I own a small hardware store, which has been in my family for three generations. When this story takes place, I have been the sole owner of the store for about five years, having inherited it when my father retired. I also have a crazy ex-girlfriend who took out a restraining order against me, claiming that our breakup caused her emotional trauma and she didn’t want to see me again in case it caused her to suffer an emotional breakdown. Even the judge was reluctant to approve the restraining order, but she manipulated him into eventually signing off on it. Anyway… I’m working at my store one day, along with my one employee, when my ex-girlfriend walks in. All the stuff about the restraining order rushes back to my memory, and not knowing what to do, I decide to leave my employee in charge while I wait in the back office until she finishes her shopping. A few minutes later, my employee calls me to the cash register, so I go up and find a police officer at the register.)

Officer: *after verifying my identity* “Do you know an [Ex-Girlfriend]?”

Me: “Yes, I do. We dated for a while, but we broke up about a year ago.”

Officer: “Do you know that she has a restraining order against you?”

Me: “Yes.”

Officer: “We got a call from her a few minutes ago. She says she was shopping in this store, and you came in behind her. I’m going to have to ask you to leave the store; if you refuse, I’ll have to arrest you for knowingly violating a restraining order.”

Me: “Officer… I own this store. How is it a violation of her restraining order when she entered my store?”

Officer: “Oh. Um… can you prove that you own this store?”

Me: “Yes, I can. Let me go get the paperwork.” 

(I get the paperwork proving that I own the store and show it to the officer.)

Officer: “Okay. Um… Did [Ex-Girlfriend] know that you own this store?”

Me: “She did. That was one of the reasons we broke up. She wanted me to spend more time with her, but I had to keep the store running after my dad retired and passed it on to me. I tried to go to the back office to let her shop in peace, but I guess she saw me.”

Officer: “Hm. Well… okay. I guess I can’t arrest you if she entered your business. I’ll talk to her and let her know, in case she forgot this was your place, and we’ll just let it go at that.”

Me: “Thanks. And before you go… I don’t want this to happen again, so what should I do if she walks in again?”

Officer: “Honestly, I don’t know what to tell you about that one. I probably shouldn’t suggest this, but my best advice would really be to file a restraining order against her. That way, you can call us as soon as she walks through the door, and we’ll settle it.” *says goodbye and leaves*

(I fully believe my ex-girlfriend entered my store purely to try and get me in trouble. That police officer could have caused some major problems for me if he had believed her story, so I owe him a huge thank-you for handling the situation the way he did. I did take his advice and file a restraining order against my ex-girlfriend, but as far as I know, she now lives on the other side of the country. Good riddance, and here’s hoping she never returns.)

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