Law and Order is a great show. While normal court can put you to sleep, TV court can be quite the show. Even better is when real life court is just as exciting as the show, with a dramatic twist and everything. Although this story involves no killers, it does present the more relatable angle of how an average guy got back at his crazy ex wife in court in an extremely satisfying way. One Reddit user, who we'll call "Adam," shares his exhausting experience battling an abusive "victim," referred to as "Vee" (short for the affectionate nickname he gave her, "Voldemort").
Adam and Vee had been happily married for 15 years. But, unbeknownst to Adam, Vee had decided to cheat on him continuously, starting at year 7. When he finally found out about her many affairs, he also discovered a whole different side to her personality. Vee had to have been a sociopath, a narcissist, or both, to do what she did. Just like Ted Bundy, she could flip on the charm to get everyone to trust her and then lie without breaking eye contact. Police report after police report, everything looked pretty grim for Adam. But when he found the one piece of information that would turn everything against his ex, he knew he was in for a good day at court. Cleanse your palates, folks, because these just deserts are best served ice-cold with a side of sweet revenge.
While they were still married, Adam and Vee had befriended another couple, we'll call them Sam and Marie. Before Adam found out, Marie had discovered Vee's plans to cheat on her husband and had warned her that she would end their friendship if Vee was unfaithful to her husband. Obviously Vee didn't care. But Marie, although she had split from her former best friend, didn't want to be the one to break the news to Adam.
It didn't matter anyways. Adam, being a computer expert, found out on his own. Vee had been cheating on him on Facebook with some random guy in California (a long way from their home in Massachusetts) and had been planning on flying him into town in 2 weeks. They were going to shack up for a few days in a nearby hotel.
Now was the perfect time to act.
In the two weeks leading up to the visit, Adam got a lawyer, a private investigator, and an escape plan. When the time of the affair had come, the investigator collected plenty of photo evidence of Vee and the mystery man leaving the hotel, eating lunch together, and returning to the hotel. Vee would return home to her husband in the evening, not showing even a shred of remorse for her actions. Now Adam knew he had to do something.
Consequently, Adam moved out a week later and into Sam and Marie's in-law's apartment, and then eventually into his own apartment. Nine months after that, Adam and Vee divorced. They had a 13-year-old daughter (we'll call her Rebekah) between them and had agreed to shared custody. They also were selling a lake house they had owned together while married and had agreed to split the proceeds, but Adam was starting to get stretched thin financially with his own rent.
One day Marie emails Adam with the subject line in all caps: "VEE JUST TRIED TO GET ME FIRED". Apparently Vee had emailed Marie's boss accusing Marie of spreading rumors about Vee on sales calls to customers. The boss knew it was a load of bologna and brushed off Vee, but Marie knew to be cautious of her devious ex-friend. So she got one step ahead and filed for an anti-harassment order against Vee at the local courthouse. Marie had to visit the courthouse several times, as Vee ignored her numerous summons to court to defend herself. Frustrated that she never showed up, the judge eventually just granted the order.
But Vee's scheming had only just begun.
While the anti-harassment order was processing, Vee called 911 on her ex three times - once for planting a letter bomb in her mailbox and twice for "breaking into" her apartment.
The bomb incident had come from a time Adam had posted a link on Facebook to the website of a company that ships envelopes full of glitter to the buyer's enemy. Months after that post, Adam mailed Vee an unrelated envelope full of forms for her to sign. She made the connection and called the cops, who then ordered Adam to come over and open the letter himself. No glitter. No bomb. Imagine that.
The "break-ins" were from the two times Adam had gone into her apartment to drop off Rebekah's bookbag when she had forgotten it at his place. Both times Vee had texted Adam that it was ok for him to open the door and place the bag inside the door. Both times, she texted him afterwards, trying to revoke her permission. She might have thought that by deleting her permission-granting message on her phone would delete it on Adam's phone as well so that he wouldn't have any evidence when she accused him of trespassing. Not the brightest crayon in the box.
To top that off, Vee also called for multiple "minor child wellness checks" when Rebekah was at Adam's apartment. Essentially she was trying to stir the pot and get her ex to react badly so that she would have an actual accusation against him. What really made him angry was her next move.
Around the same time, Vee decided to file for sole custody. Adam's lawyer encouraged him to hire a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) to represent Rebekah's best interests, as she was a minor. However, money was getting really tight for Adam with this additional expense, so he urged Vee to lower the price of the lake house so they could sell it already, but to no avail. Eventually, he had no choice but to move back in with Sam and Marie so that he could afford his lawyer and keep fighting for his daughter. Thankfully, they were very supportive of Adam throughout this mess.
Only a week after his move, Adam heard from his daughter that someone had smashed Vee's glass patio table the previous night. Adam had been in New Hampshire with witnesses at the time of the smashing. He could prove using GPS data on his phone that he was in New Hampshire. Rebekah also knew he was in New Hampshire and told Vee it couldn't be him.
Like she'd listen.
The next day an officer served Adam with a restraining order (RO) for vandalizing Vee's patio furniture and scaring her with the previous "bomb threat". Although the cop knew she was crazy, the judge wasn't aware and granted the RO anyways. So Adam had to follow the RO for ten days and then defend himself in court to prevent it from being continued. Under the terms of the RO, the cop had to confiscate his concealed carry license and any weapons he owned. All Adam had in his apartment was Rebekah's toy BB. The cop smiled as he lifted it between his thumb and forefinger, "I'm pretty sure you're not going to go on a rampage with this," and let him keep it.
The first thing next morning, Adam drove to the police station to review every single incident report Vee had filed involving him. He could only remember 7, but the person working the front desk pulled up 19 reports from Vee. He explained the whole situation so that the officers would understand who the real offender was. Now having a better feel for the situation, the officers agreed to give Adam the benefit of the doubt if he didn't lose his temper.
The ten day period was coming to a close quickly as Adam worked furiously to prepare for the big day in court.
Only two nights before contesting the RO, Adam was up late with Sam and Marie, sprawled out on their porch with a couple of drinks, and thinking over his defense. Adam began to doubt himself, as he knew that it was the mother's word against the father's, and Vee played a very convincing victim. Chances of a happy ending for him were looking slim to none. He held onto the hope that Vee wouldn't show up to court and allow the RO to expire.
Suddenly, Marie pipes up, "Hey give me that RO real quick." Adam passes it over.
"Wait a second. This is my judge. This is the same judge that granted me that anti-harassment order against Vee."
"No way." He couldn't believe it.
"Hold on, let me make sure." She runs inside. Within a few minutes she returns with her court order. Yep. It's the same judge.
Adam could barely hold back his excitement. Now he knew exactly where this was going.
Finally, it's show time.
Adam was the first person to arrive to the courthouse that day - alone, as his lawyer had to defend another client somewhere else. Adam still clung unto the hope that Vee wouldn't show up, but his hopes were dashed when she walked through the building's front doors with an unfamiliar lawyer. Before court was in session, her new lawyer approached Adam, offering to allow the "no contact" part of the RO expire, but to leave a "do not abuse" order in place. He refused. He didn't do anything to deserve either order and wanted to explain his side of the story. The lawyer was surprised that he refused this deal, and then returned to Vee, confident that they were going to win.
They had no idea what was coming.
When it came time for Adam to present his side of the story to the judge after Vee's, he brought up all of the incident reports he had read at the police department. Because Vee had only brought copies of her top three "most convincing" reports, she and her lawyer had to review the other reports while everyone else was sent back to the gallery.
After being called back, the judge insisted on delving into the content of each report, despite his claims that the content was irrelevant. As she began with the very first one from the night Adam found out about the affair, Vee chimed in, emphasizing the two later reports in which he "broke into her apartment". Adam fought back, calmly stating that he could provide text evidence granting him permission to enter. The judge continued with the first report nonetheless.
Vee jumped in again, painting her ex as having Multiple Personality Disorder, according to his doctor. The judge looked surprised. "His doctor told you that? Without his permission?"
"Yes, your Honor."
The judge then turned to Adam with the same dumbfounded expression.
He just slowly shook my head. "My doctor and I have a close relationship. I highly doubt he would break HIPAA."
The judge still looked taken aback, but caught onto the fact that Vee was bluffing. After finishing the last report, Adam reemphasized that his point in bringing up the 19 reports was not the content, but to show how Vee was trying to harass him and make him look bad in front of their daughter's GAL in the custody battle. Now for the kicker.
Adam stressed that Vee's harassing behavior isn't unusual for her, as "she already has an anti-harassment order put in place against her, approved by your Honor, your Honor."
The judge's eyes widened in shock at this revelation. Adam continued, reminding her of the multiple court summons Vee received and how she ignored each and every one of them. As he retold the story as he heard it from Marie, the judge began to grow angrier by the second. Once he was finished, she slowly turned to Vee with a cold voice,
"Is there an anti-harassment order in place against you?"
Vee looked pale and her voice was small and soft. "Yes, your Honor."
"And why is it that you didn't come to any of the hearings?"
Vee racked her brain for an excuse. "Because...because I didn't want to be anywhere near that..." she trailed off as the judge silenced her with a wave of her hand. Everything had begun to turn around.
Before that moment, it had seemed like the judge was in Vee's favor and about the grant the "do not abuse". Now, she turned back to Adam and stated, "I think she wants you to stay out of her apartment."
"Not a problem, your Honor."
"Restraining order terminated," she banged the gavel, and they were dismissed.
As it was terminated, legally the RO never happened and therefore wouldn't appear on Adam's record. He got his license back and eventually won the custody battle, which was mostly due to RO's termination, but also because of Vee's increasingly abusive treatment of their daughter.
Moral of the story? They're called "court summons," not "court suggestions."