Mark Charalambous' letter to the editor

Restraining orders unfair to fathers

[Worcester] Telegram & Gazette

Thursday, March 25, 1999

The Telegram & Gazette editorial correctly points out the dangers inherent in tampering with the Public Records Law ("Unwarranted secrecy - Attorney general's position is ill-conceived," March 7). In response to AG Reilly's legislative proposal aimed at preventing the Fatherhood Coalition from researching domestic restraining orders in court files, you note the "bedrock principles of our justice system, which is founded on the presumption of innocence and rejects 'prior restraint' measures directed at anticipated wrongdoing."

This argument is quite correct, but it should be applied not only in rebuttal to Reilly's legislation, but to chapter 209A itself, which provides prior restraint measures directed at anticipated wrongdoing in the form of the 209A restraining order.

Has bad law ever ultimately resulted in good? Chapter 209A is bad law. It is destructive to families, and it causes real domestic violence. Criminal behavior should be punished via criminal law, after a crime has been committed. 209A presumes criminal intent based on the thoughts and feelings of the alleged victim, as divined by victim-feminist, domestic violence "experts."

There is no place in a society founded on the legal presumption of innocence, due process and equal protection of the law, for 209A as it is presently written--and certainly as it is presently selectively enforced against men.


Mark Charalambous


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