The restraining order was approved (it’s automatic when the guy doesn’t show up) and all we have to do is serve the order and it becomes in full effect. Of course, there are a lot of other minor details, but that’s the gist! Turns out that other than my case and my co-worker’s case, he was on the docket under an alias with ANOTHER person. After the hearing, the clerk told us that he is well-known at the office. Apparently, my stalker is completely off his medication, smells because he is homeless, and is in the habit of constantly suing normal people (including his own mother).

It makes me sad. If ever, God forbid, something like this affected one of my children, you can be damn sure I’d somehow find a way to make them take their medication. However, I do have to acknowledge that sometimes, you just have to let go because there isn’t anything else you can do. 😦

On another note, since we were the last case to be heard, we got to witness our justice system (small claims and civil suit style) at work! Utterly fascinating. Our judge was a particularly compassionate judge. He seemed to recognize that many people just wanted to be heard and gave the folks quite a long leash to just blab. He said he had the highest settlement percentage among that particular court (~90%) and it was usually much lower (~40%?). I learned that judgments against a defendant goes on the defendant’s credit report for ten years. Plus, just because there is a judgment, the plaintiff still has to collect. So, it is better for all parties if they can settle on an agreeable amount vs. having a judge mandate something.

He reminded me of Solomon. Wise and funny and casual. The judge seemed to care about the people themselves and tried valiantly (and patiently) to get folks to settle and resolve problems vs. just passing out judgments (and not caring whether or not the situation gets solved on a personal matter). The judge made me very happy. 🙂

Also, I think it would be really weird to constantly have to do your job in front of an audience. The judge and the other court members filled out paperwork, answered phones, looked up things, etc. all in front of us while court was in session. Weird. All in all, this experience gave me faith in our judicial system (even though it is a bit convoluted).

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My court date for the restraining order is tomorrow, Friday at 8:30am. Wish me luck. I’m not too keen on potentially seeing this crazy guy, but I hope it will be clear that he is schizophrenic, harassing me, and needs to stop. I feel bad for the guy because he is sick, but seriously, someone make him take his medication!!

I apologize to all the women I have ever judged for not getting restraining orders on crazy people who have threatened them. It is hard. And scary. And confusing. I am college-educated, with many resources of family and friends willing to watch my kids, and I have the benefit of not having to work. How would a less wealthy, single mom who has to work and doesn’t have friends or families or resources even do this? The window to file a restraining order is from 1:30-3pm. Are you kidding me? Who can do that unless they take off work?

Even navigating the court website was confusing and I was terribly unsure of whether or not I had the right forms, etc. I think I was also a little too overwhelmed and frazzled because now that I’ve actually gone to court and spoken with a real person (I tried to call but was stuck in automated hell), it doesn’t seem as horrible.

However, as I am filling out the forms, it seems very stupid. I think the Temporary Restraining Order form that I’m filling out actually GIVES this guy my kids’ names and my address!! I mean, if he didn’t know where I lived (I put down my work address) or who my family members were before, HE DOES NOW. Even their full names and ages!! On the one hand, I suppose if he’s going to be restrained from approaching people, he has to know who they are. HOWEVER, that doesn’t make ME feel any better! And if I don’t put them on the order, and he eventually DOES approach them, I can’t do anything about it!!

This is such a fucking Catch-22.

I’m going to a lawyer tomorrow and hopefully, they can figure this shit out. This is much scarier than I thought.

On the bright side, I finally listened to this crazy guy’s voice mails he left for me at work. If I just play these in court, I’m pretty sure he’ll be restrained. Dear Lord, at least he’s polite and not violent – but definitely NOT normal sounding. Plus, he thinks that I want something more than a platonic relationship with him – which is IMPOSSIBLE SINCE I HAVEN’T TALKED TO HIM (IF THAT) SINCE HIGH SCHOOL.

*sigh* Sorry for the capslock frenzy again. This does bother me more than I thought. Did I mention that the guy SHOWED UP AT MY OFFICE on Friday?

*sigh* Again. Sorry. 😦