Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have been in the news a lot lately. A new breakup between the two has caused domestic violence allegations to be alleged by both of them throughout their relationship. Amber has accused Johnny of domestic violence on multiple occasions and has even provided pictures; at this point no charges have been filed against either party. At the restraining order hearing that is coming up in a couple days, Amber claims that it will be granted because Johnny will not file any paperwork in response.
Why wouldn’t Johnny defend the restraining order?
To most people a restraining order is a serious thing and you would want to defend it. It creates firearms restrictions, make you presumptively a bad parent in the courts and it puts you on a registry where any person can look that up. However, Amber’s legal team thinks that there is no way that Johnny will even respond to the restraining order, and they may actually be right. In a restraining order hearing in California, the petitioner first files paperwork called the DV-100. At that point the respondent has an opportunity to respond. When they respond, they sign it under penalty of perjury and it becomes a legal binding court document. They can also later be cross-examined about that at the hearing.
The problem is, if Johnny Depp responds to this DV-100 then he is potentially incriminating himself for any type of criminal case that could be later filed against him. Every person has a right to self-incrimination under the US constitution. What that means is they do not ever have to be forced to testify or talk about something that could be incriminating to them. In this case, anything that Johnny says in his response could be twisted by police and prosecutors and later used against him in a criminal trial. This is why her attorneys believe he will not respond.
If Mr. Depp does not want a restraining order against him, one thing he may consider doing is just filing a very bare response saying “I do not agree to any of these allegations”. Then at court he can essentially not testify because of self-incrimination and see if the court believes that Amber even has a case. At least that would give him a chance to fight the case without an automatic denial.
In California the process works with first the petitioner filing the DV -100 then the respondent has an opportunity to file the DV -120 in response. This just a place where they can either agree or not agree to the allegations and provide proof or evidence if they disagree with them. The response can only be 10 pages in length, if it goes over then additional paperwork has to be attached to explain why it is going over. After the response, the case goes to a hearing where the judge decides whether or not to grant the order.
Restraining Order cases in California are serious and if you want to win them you need a very creative attorney with a strategic defense. Make sure you hire an expert for your team that is willing to fight for you and that understands the ins and outs of the courtroom politics surrounding these types of cases.
For more issues about restraining orders in San Diego click here.