Order Denied

Jackie M. Lewis, 57, reportedly shared a residence with her long time boyfriend Arthur “A.J.” Comer, 57. Reportedly according to relatives and court documents Lewis had been trying to get Comer to move out since May.

On August 15, Lewis reportedly applied for a temporary peace order, and the Judge found that Comer had been harrassing Lewis  and trespassing. He granted the peace order and ordered Comer to leave the residence. A final hearing was scheduled for Aug. 22.

On Aug. 22, a different judge denied the temporary protective/peace order, stating that “No eligibility under statute. Living together for more than 90 days.” And did not specify if a temporary protective order or a peace order was denied.

In Washington where this was requested, a peace order is usually used by persons seeking protection from aquaintances and strangers. A protective order offers more protections and are used with domestic violence cases.

Lewis then applied for a protective order, and that too was denied. Reasoning was that “no reasonable grounds to believe that abuse (as defined in the statute) occurred.” In one of the court documents Lewis had stated that “He make me feel unsafe; I can’t sleep because I don’t know what he will do next.”

Just afer midnight on Wed. AM police received a call from a man who said he had just shot someone and threatened to harm himself. He gave the address that Comer and Lewis resided at and also told the dispatcher that he was depressed and considering killing himself. Reportedly he also told the dispatcher that he could not provide enconomical or emotional support to Lewis, but that she didn’t deserve to die. Then the dispatcher then heard a single gunshot.

The swat team and police who responded then found both Comer and Lewis dead inside the home.

wtopnews.com                          washingtonpost.com         

nbc4.com                                  wusatv.com

Preparing for a court order can be confusing. How much to write about events that have occurred and an honest apprasial of events that that will convince a judge that the order is needed. Also which order is the proper one to apply for, which will give the most protection or which will best suit your needs. Are all the proper little boxes checked, what evidence is needed and what do you have.

The court personnel know these things, they work with it every day. But many times it is hard to find someone who can explain things. They don’t have time or it may be considered a conflict for them. This is where domestic violence agencies can be so helpful. They can explain the orders, help prepare the documents, and give instructions on how to make the application. Many also go to court with the applicant. They also help explain the different orders that a judge may issue.

Even if a person is not using the services of the shelter, the domestic violence agency can provide a lot of assistance.

It is advisable that if a domestic violence episode occurs, that it be documented- even if you do not plan to separate from the abuser or apply for a protective order at that time. Document the date, a description of the events, and take pictures of any injuries. Keep these in a safe place not available to the abuser. That way the evidence will be there if later you need to apply for an order. 

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When Ms. Lewis was in court, she alleged loud arguments and her fear of what would happen next. But there were no complaints of violence or threats of violence. But it is not clear if Ms. Lewis was aware that other legal remedies might help her, or if she knew that their was legal assistance at the courthouse that might have assisted her. Reportedly there are phamplets available in the lobby regarding the legal help for domestic violence victims, Ms. Lewis had not made contact with them. And the court does not have a policy to tell people about the help that is out there for them. An attorney makes the statement that the system is too complicated for a victim to navigate alone.

washingtonpost.com                      washingtonpost.com

                                  wusatv9.com

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11 Comments

  1. Renee said,

    October 5, 2006 at 7:04 pm

    Judges think they are so high and mighty. The arrogance that exudes from them when they are deciding on cases is at time unbelievable. When some one dies as a result of their ruling why do they not face the family and justify the arrogance of their ruling just as strongly. These cowards that rule from the bench always run to hide. I wish these judges a peaceful death when their time comes. They will find out that in the End that they are not God and they have not been anointed to make the publics life miserable.

  2. April Kissel said,

    October 7, 2006 at 1:29 am

    I have an extremely difficult time getting domestic violence agencies to assist me properly. I have been seeking refuge from a battering relationship since 2002, with very little help from anyone (but much recrimination and criticism). Right now I am in my boyfriend’s apartment by myself, but the landlord is trying to kick me out because I wasn’t added to the lease before he left. Today was the day I was to appear in landlord/tenant court, but at the appointed hour there was no judge, no one to open the courtroom, and no lawyer representing my landlord. They had continued the case without notifying me, so I wasted half of a day.

    The summons came only after I’d complained about cockroaches, which I did thinking I was a legal tenant. My boyfriend has so damaged my rental history that I am having a hard time finding someplace acceptable to rent.

    I’m depressed right now because I feel like such an underdog, so I’m going to sit back and let life’s lessons settle in around me. We’re all connected, somehow! Thanks for this site — there are some good judges, and they require our constant nurturance and encouragement (like the first judge who ordered Comer out of the house, “forthwith!”).

  3. October 7, 2006 at 2:56 am

    April, I am sorry for what you are going through. I am not sure what you are needing help with. Are you looking for help in leaving the relationship? Or looking for help in a tenancy problem?
    If you are looking for help to leave a violent relationship, I would suggest the local domestic violence agency. If they are unable to help, you might try the domestic violence hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
    Or I have recently come across a website http://www.abusevictimhotline.org/ though I know nothing about them.

    If you are looking for assistance for tenancy problems, I am not sure where to refer you in your area. You might try looking for the tenancy laws in your state and see if you can find anything helpful.

  4. Maud Krulla said,

    October 7, 2006 at 11:56 am

    Jackie M. Lewis case sounds identical to mine, except I’m not dead yet.

  5. October 7, 2006 at 5:51 pm

    Are you safe now?
    I am afraid that happens more than we know. Was a domestic violence agency helping you?

  6. April Kissel said,

    October 11, 2006 at 1:01 am

    I didn’t say anything in my message about needing help. I’ve come to understand that help will not be forthcoming. He is out of the apartment, and I finally have a decent job, so I am out of the worst of it. Relying upon government/agencies to help you is the LAST thing any battered woman should do. These merely encourage passivity to their own benefit (as does your patronizing reply to me). Hear me well: dv agencies do nothing but sit on their own laurels. The only “help” I need at this point is for people to learn from my story.

    The “tenancy problem” is part-and-parcel of the abusive situation. I don’t know why this is hard to understand. Every time I have asked for assistance in leaving my abuser, or have managed to leave him, I have been stymied. I have moved everytime someone intimate has abused me. It isn’t the answer.

    I can say that, if a woman is to safely start over, at minimum she needs a job or place to live (and preferably both). If a phone number can’t give me that, then it is no good.

    Obviously, Maud is not safe yet. Read her message again. She needs help. Chances are very good that others know about her abuse and are doing nothing. Maud, just try to move out! Make as much noise about your situation as you safely can, and don’t take no for an answer from anyone. This is the time to stand up for yourself, and fight for your rights like you never have. Why do we take this?? To hell with your abuser; take care of you. Don’t expect anyone else to help you, but demand that they do. You are what is important. YOU. Call the number homesweethome gave me and ask for emergency shelter and legal help; but remember to very assertive, because people are lazy.

    If you can, let us know how it works — you are NOT

  7. April Kissel said,

    October 11, 2006 at 1:07 am

    I didn’t say anything in my message about needing help. I’ve come to understand that help will not be forthcoming. He is out of the apartment, and I finally have a decent job, so I am out of the worst of it. Relying upon government/agencies to help you is the LAST thing any battered woman should do. These merely encourage passivity to their own benefit (as does your patronizing reply to me). Hear me well: dv agencies do nothing but sit on their own laurels. The only “help” I need at this point is for people to learn from my story.

    The “tenancy problem” is part-and-parcel of the abusive situation. I don’t know why this is hard to understand. Every time I have asked for assistance in leaving my abuser, or have managed to leave him, I have been stymied. I have moved everytime someone intimate has abused me. It isn’t the answer. At the moment, I am being evicted because I never got onto the lease, even though management well knows that I am an abuse victim. They’re sticklers for the law (witness Jackie Wilson) when it comes to depriving us of our rights, but not when it comes to helping us. I was supposed to appear in court Friday, and not until Saturday did I receive notification that the case had been continued until this week. I’ll be okay, but it isn’t because the courts/police/employers/landlords/therapists came through for me (I am also a survivor of psychiatric abuse).

    I can say that, if a woman is to safely start over, at minimum she needs a job or place to live (and preferably both). If a phone number can’t give me that, then it is no good.

    Obviously, Maud is not safe yet. Read her message again. She needs help. Chances are very good that others know about her abuse and are doing nothing. Maud, just try to move out! Make as much noise about your situation as you safely can, and don’t take no for an answer from anyone. This is the time to stand up for yourself, and fight for your rights like you never have. Why do we take this?? To hell with your abuser; take care of you. Don’t expect anyone else to help you; but demand that they do. You are what is important. YOU. Call the number homesweethome gave me and ask for emergency shelter and legal help; but remember to very assertive, because people are lazy.

    If you can, let us know how it works out — you are NOT alone. Do not stop asking for help until you are safe and happy. You deserve it. Lots of love —

  8. April Kissel said,

    October 11, 2006 at 1:08 am

    Oops, I mean “Jackie Lewis.” May she rest in peace —

    April

  9. October 11, 2006 at 4:58 am

    April, I did not mean to be “patronizing” and I apologise if I came across that way.

  10. April said,

    October 20, 2006 at 6:33 am

    Homesweethome,

    You did mean to be patronizing. I’ll bet anything that you are a therapist. Even your “apology” is passive-aggressive.

    That you’re so interested in what I need, and in helping me with it, you might be interested to know the conclusion of my housing drama. Remember, I had succeeded in getting the abuser out of the apartment, after un-succeeding at leaving (my apologies if this is over your head). The judge happily granted the eviction to my new landlord this morning, and generously granted a 30-day stay (this means that they really could have had me out of here today). Yesterday I had a traumatic visit to my doctor, trying to have an annual physical (that I really only manage once every ten years or so). In 2002 I had an abnormal Pap Smear result, and in 2003 this same doctor got around to informing me of the fact. I was instructed by a gynecologist in July of 2003 to have three Pap Smear exams by that Thanksgiving. As of today, I have only managed two of those three. So if the abnormal cells are in fact cancerous by now, they have gone untreated all of this time. I hope I don’t have to spell out for you how I come to be in this predicament of having abnormal cervical cells. All the time they teach you sex education in school, they never teach you to honor and protect your body.

    So, anyway, my suicidal thoughts and sleeplessness have returned after a considerable hiatus — what are you going to do?

    I have to reiterate that agencies and governmental institutions do more harm than good. I think informal things like this are much better. Every time I have asked for “help” I have ended up sorry. I usually have a fair idea of what it is I need assistance with anyway; I just don’t have an easy time in bending people to my will. My dad was always trying to get me to read “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” and because Dad was Dad, I refused to do so on general principle. The lawyer for my landlord cited the abuse by my boyfriend as reason for getting me out of the building. I spent five years trying to manage my boyfriend’s violence against me, only to be blamed for it repeatedly. My sister sent me to the emergency room when we were both teenagers (she punched me in the eye when I refused to let her change the television channel), and my dad blamed me for it when we got home. It’s been this way for me for so long, that it would stun me if it occurred any other way. I have been placed in handcuffs half a dozen times in my life (although never arrested), because that is what we know how to do. We feel safer blaming the victim than in apologizing to her. I think I might finally be getting through to my mother lately, and that is very noteworthy and commendable of her. A little late, but what choice do I have other than to accept it?

    You should try your apology again, because it didn’t come out very well the first time.

    Peace —

  11. October 20, 2006 at 6:46 am

    April, I am not a social worker, nor have I have I ever attempted to lead anyone to believe that I was. I am a concerned individual. And the apology was meant sincerely the first time. However, it is always your choice whether you wish to accept it or not.


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