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View Full Version : Divorce, restraining order and guns, please help!


diddler
04-05-2007, 3:52 PM
All,

Have a buddy who just had his world turned upside down, got served with divorce papers and a restraining order, totally broadsided out of the blue. The allegations are so numerous that under other circumstances they'd be comical, he just isn't that kind of guy.

Anyways, I'm concerned about certain firearms issues he might be facing. Part of the restraining order includes a section on firearms, to quote: "You cannot own, have, possess, buy or try to buy, receive or try to receive, or otherwise get a gun while the order is in effect. You must sell to a gun dealer or turn in to police any firearms that you have or control." Apparently he is supposed to either turn them over to the police or sell them to a gun dealer within 24 hours of being served. (You gotta love that Guilty Untill Proven Innocent mentality) He has a few rifles and pistols, nothing fancy, most are registered to him.

Here is where things get sticky:

1) Another part of the restraining order had him removed from the house by a lawyer and a peace officer. The guns are still in that house, locked and unloaded in a safe. He isn't allowed to approach the house, so of course he cannot dispose of the firearms in any manner, 24 hour time limit or not. How do they expect him to do anything?

1a) They say he cannot "own" a gun, which of course technically he still does. However the next sentence down says you have to relinquish any firearm that you "have or control". Since he cannot go near the firearms, he does not "have or control" them. It seems like a bit of a legal pickle to me.

2) Two handguns in his possession are not registered to him. One (a .22 Beretta Neos) is registered to his grandfather, out of state. The other (Colt Python revolver) was a gift from a friend, belonged to her deceased husband. Neither were officially transfered to my friend. Never even got his Handgun Safety Cert. I know, a bit dumb. The Neos seems a bit easier to deal with, coming from a close blood relative, worse comes to worse the grandfather could just take it back out of state. The Python seems a bit tougher, nobody involved even knows if it is actually registered to anyone, or at least anyone that is still alive. What kind of legal problems could stem from this? What happens if it is still registered to the deceased husband? I imagine it was still community property and therefore legally belongs to the widow, but she doesn't have a handgun safety cert either, and therefore cannot take possession again. What happens if the serial # comes up clean, never registered to anyone?

3) Is there a way to gain access to these firearms so they can be transfered to a trusted friend/family member? My friend is the only one with the combination to the safe, so unless his Ex has hired a locksmith to break into it they should still be secure for the time being. Her lawyer wants the combination to the safe, apparently they want to turn all the guns over to the police. From what I understand if that happens, even if all other charges get dropped or dismissed he'll still have to pay the DOJ, the cops, go thru paperwork and a background check etc till he can ever hope to get them back. So the important question: Can he have his attorney (when he gets one) go to the house, physically take possession of the firearms, transport them to a dealer where they are sold to someone else?

4) Some of the rifles are old, and almost certainly not registered to anyone, passed down through the family. I know that there is no state registration for long guns, so is there any concern at all along that avenue?

5) For my own information (and everyone else too!) is it really this simple to have anyone's entire gun collection taken from them? Simply file for a restraining order, no history, no evidence, and boom! They loose it all and have to "prove" themselves innocent? Is there any protection from that kind of nonsense?

Well, thats all I can think of now. All responses will be appreciated, the sooner the better! Thanks!

67Roadster
04-05-2007, 3:57 PM
Have his lawyer contact her lawyer to set up a time and then go get them. He cannot be there. The lawyer can then drop off the firearms at your place.

bwiese
04-05-2007, 4:01 PM
These things are customarily thrown out there in divorces.

Fight it and ask for that to be removed, you'll need a lawyer.

oaklander
04-05-2007, 4:05 PM
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alpha_romeo_XV
04-05-2007, 4:17 PM
This is one time when I'd say he needs a lawyer - fast. The TRO is only good for one or two weeks until the first hearing happens, T = temporary, nothing has been proven. He may have every right to keep his guns after the hearing, but until then, if they are safe in the safe ust hang on until they are transfered to him. If a RO is unheld for longer period, then hopefully he has a qualified family member he can transfer them to. Don't volunteer anything about whats registered or not, but don't lie if asked under oath. Best referal is by trusted word of mouth, if he doesn't know someone to ask for a good family law attorney in his area, here is a link http://www.findlaw.com/. The s#$t bag lawyer the wife hired knows they get to sucker punch a guy in the first round. He's got to be in it for the long haul and not do anything stupid. If he has good job and she doesn't and there are kids - he basically screwed - for a while. If he can afford it, make sure he gets a certified family lawyer with seveal years of experience. The new laws weren't in effect when I went through this 10 years ago, someone must be up on a recent experience and the best way to handle this.

chris
04-05-2007, 4:22 PM
get a lawyer really quick to save his butt and his firearms. sad to see this happen to good people who are not a problem to anyone. good luck to your friend.

oaklander
04-05-2007, 4:24 PM
If you are in the Bay Area, pm me for the name of a family lawyer who went to law school with my boss and is considered one of the best around.

diddler
04-05-2007, 8:03 PM
All,

Thanks for the info, great advice, everything is being passed along immediately. He is in the process of finding a lawyer, hopefully we'll make progress tomorrow.

What I'm worried about is that this guy will be a divorce/family lawyer, and not necessarily versed in firearm law. I want my friend to have some idea what he should/shouldn't say when he finally gets with his own lawyer.

Thanks again all, and if there is any more advice please keep it coming!

hoffmang
04-05-2007, 8:46 PM
He can say anything to his lawyer and its not disclosable by law.

If his divorce lawyer isn't aware of how to handle gun restrictions (which I actually expect a good divorce lawyer will know), then come back and we can get you in touch with a firearms expert for a consultation for his attorney.

-Gene

Ford8N
04-06-2007, 5:24 AM
I smell a lawyer and a lot of $$$$$ coming from this

Divorces in California usually end up 50% to the lawyers and 50% to the ex wife.

This info was from someone with years of practice. Do not get a divorce in this state, it is bad.

Serpentine
04-06-2007, 6:25 AM
PM me if he needs an FFL in the SJ/SF bay area.

Smokeybehr
04-06-2007, 7:49 AM
These things are customarily thrown out there in divorces.

Fight it and ask for that to be removed, you'll need a lawyer.

+1. In most cases, the petitioner (female) has lied about the potential danger posed by the respondent (male) when filing the divorce paperwork, and a TRO app is included. Many lawyers do it as part of the packet to make a couple extra bucks.

xLusi0n
04-06-2007, 8:06 AM
Note to self: Don't get married. Ever.

diddler
04-06-2007, 8:26 AM
Note to self: Don't get married. Ever.

Amen to that. I don't fear commitment, but I do fear the institution of marriage. I mean, what says "I love you!" more than entering into a legally binding contract? :confused: In my opinion the whole legal side of marriage is disgustingly biased to help the woman.

I also think its an easy fact to prove that the vast majority of marriages come from pressure from the woman, something stemming from social pressures or genetics. Men may still pop the question, out of tradition, but I doubt few men volunteer themselves into the position totally without prodding from the woman. Add to it the fact that the majority of divorces are now triggered by the woman. The lovely 50% divorce rate we see in this nation, I place the blame on women for just about the whole mess.

They force the marriages, then force the divorces, and somehow always make out better.

ivanimal
04-06-2007, 8:34 AM
Note to self: Don't get married. Ever.


That is ludicrous, getting married was the best thing I ever did. Life is not perfect. It sounds like he is doing what he should be doing. You donít have to be married or even in a relationship to have a TRO pointed at you.

chiefcrash
04-06-2007, 9:06 AM
after he gets a lawyer, and legally is able to retrieve the firearms from his house, ask him if his mother/father would be willing to hold the guns for him (adult children too, but i'd go with mom and dad first). You can then do a family transfer without a FFL (just a form + $19 per handgun to the DOJ)

if his mom and dad aren't around or able, i'd be willing to hold them for awhile :D

kap
04-06-2007, 9:06 AM
That is ludicrous, getting married was the best thing I ever did.

Amen to that. You just need to find someone who is a good shot and worth marrying. In that order.

ketec_owner
04-06-2007, 9:13 AM
Sorry to hear about your buddy.

TRO are normal in divorce cases. It's supposed to stop the sale of property and making of new debt. Technically, everything aquired during the marriage is joint property - including firearms. If they were aquired before the marriage - they are seperate property.

I'd say he's probably got worse things to worry about than his firearms. Primarily - where to live, legal fees, spousal support, and child support. But the only way to get them would be his lawyer. Get a good family law lawyer. I'd say get a good woman family law lawyer with years of experience in divorce and isn't shy about being agressive.

Good luck to your buddy. Divorce laws in California suck.

Knauga
04-06-2007, 11:30 AM
You donít have to be married or even in a relationship to have a TRO pointed at you.

My buddy had a TRO pointed at him once. A 24yo friend of the family got his 16 yo daughter pregnant and with non-custodial mom's help took them out of state to get married. Now married daughter and husband got TRO against father because he was in fear for his life based on what HE did with this guys minor daughter. When it came time to go into court and see the judge, the judge was very harsh with the "husband" and told him to keep his mouth shut as he had serious 5th amendment issues, and that he didn't see any real danger but let the restraining order stand because it wasn't hurting anybody for it to be in effect.... :confused: except of course my buddy who had to divest himself of all of his guns.... :mad: He has since gotten them all back, but it was money and hassle for no good reason.

When it came to filing charges against the "husband" and non-custodial mom the DA refused to even look at it.

I sympathize with your buddy. Best of luck!

xLusi0n
04-06-2007, 11:49 AM
Easy way to "divorce" our spouse: Go on a cruise and tell her to look at something in the water.........

CSACANNONEER
04-06-2007, 11:57 AM
Just remind him that it'll be the best money he ever spent!

tlillard23
04-06-2007, 12:02 PM
It brings out the worst in the best of people. Just don't do anything stupid. You can always make more money and buy more stuff.

It's like antigunners, you can't give the other side an inch. fight for everything because they will want it all.

shooterx10
04-06-2007, 1:33 PM
Sorry to hear about your friend. Divorces can get very ugly and it can turn into the War of the Roses kinda fight (or what you see on those talk shows without the high drama) really fast! I pray that there are no kids involved? :confused:

Divorces are expensive too, especially the long drawn out ones. If he has not done so already, close all of the joint accounts that they have and have the money put into his personal accounts. He needs to build up his war chest! :mad:

diddler
04-06-2007, 4:49 PM
My buddy had a TRO pointed at him once. A 24yo friend of the family got his 16 yo daughter pregnant

Wait, he had a kid when he was 8?!?

I'm guessing I'm just reading that sentance a bit funny.

Knauga
04-06-2007, 8:21 PM
Wait, he had a kid when he was 8?!?

I'm guessing I'm just reading that sentance a bit funny.

24yo friend of the family got my buddy's 16yo daughter pregnant.... and then got a TRO against my buddy because he thought for some reason my buddy might have been offended by what transpired and that he might be in some sort of jeopardy from said angry father.

ketec_owner
04-07-2007, 6:59 AM
That makes me dizzy just trying to imagine it .... :)

fairfaxjim
04-07-2007, 7:24 AM
All,

Have a buddy who just had his world turned upside down, got served with divorce papers and a restraining order, totally broadsided out of the blue. The allegations are so numerous that under other circumstances they'd be comical, he just isn't that kind of guy.

Doesn't sound like he was paying much attention to the home front - but too late for that now. He DOES have to pay attention now, like his life depends upon it - cause in many ways it does. He now has to pay attention to what the wife (soon to be ex) is up to, what her attorney is up to, what his attorney is up to (watch out the the things your attorney ISN'T up too!), and watch out for what he does during a very, very emotionally trying period. I've been through divorces (yep, more than 1 - don't even go there) and my advice is hit it quick and get it done, because the longer it drags out, the worse it gets. DO NOT show any emotion to the other side - ever. Stay cool and calm and focused at all times when dealing with this. If he wants to have a break down over this - do it privately! They love the smell of a sick and dying husband. Don't get attached to some piece of s**t material thing that holds the process up - buy another one later!
If there are kids involved, that will make it harder, but my advice is again, cut the best deal he can without publicly showing any emotion right now - they have him painted, at least on paper, as a danger, and it is not a good time to be trying to prove what a great father you are - to a court that is predisposed to the mother. Get that done when that is the only issue - after the divorce.
It is good he is going after his guns quickly, and I hope that works out, but guns fall into that piece of s**t material thing - get the divorce OVER, NOW, then buy new guns.

E Pluribus Unum
04-07-2007, 2:44 PM
Note to self: Don't get married. Ever.

That will not help you....

In California, a spouse is anyone you are or have been sexually involved with.....


If you slap a woman on the street, its assault.... You keep your guns until you are convicted... then you lose them for 10 years; most likely it would be plead to a lesser charge and you keep your guns.


If you have sex with a prostitute and then slap her... its spousal abuse. You lose your guns immediately and on conviction, forever.

kantstudien
04-07-2007, 5:22 PM
If you have sex with a prostitute and then slap her... its spousal abuse.


WTF? :confused:

AJAX22
04-07-2007, 7:32 PM
I just don't understand how this is constitutional... my understanding of due process was that you had to be convicted of a crime. a judge telling you you can't own a gun seems to be a blatent violation of the second ammendment.

I understand that this is just how things are, but how did we get to this point? When did the accusation of a crime warrent the divestment of rights?

Perhapse we should all go out and file for TRO's against politicians and activists.

JAFGO
04-07-2007, 9:26 PM
If you have sex with a prostitute and then slap her... its spousal abuse. You lose your guns immediately and on conviction, forever.

Note to self - need to slap the hookers BEFORE sex, not afterwards. ;)