Shelley Luther and Temporary Restraining Orders

Happy Friday, everybody. I hope you all had a great week. Wanted to spend a little bit of time this morning talking to you about the Shelley Luther case that many of you are probably very familiar with. Now, don’t worry I don’t want to get into any type of political debate about who was right, who was wrong, that discussion can happen in other places, at other times, and with people that are not me because that’s not really what I’m interested in discussing.

What I am interested in discussing is there seems to be a little bit of a misunderstanding of exactly what Ms. Luther went to jail for. A lot of people are saying that well, she went to jail because she violated the emergency order that forced her business to shut down. And while that’s kind of true, it’s not entirely accurate either. Really what she went to jail for is because due to her violation of that emergency order, the city applied for and received a temporary restraining order against her, which she then violated.

So that leads me to the topic that I wanted to discuss is the temporary restraining order that the city applied for and got is similar to any of the other restraining or protective orders that we see on a fairly daily basis where a judge or a court will make some determination that it is in the best interest of either the public or of an individually protected person to issue an order to an individual that says you cannot engage in certain conduct. That conduct might be, you can’t go within 500 feet of somebody’s house. That conduct could be, you can’t go near a school. That conduct could be in this case, you can’t open and operate your business. Whatever that is, these temporary restraining orders, these protective orders, they’re actually incredibly common. And what a lot of people want to know is in a situation like Ms. Luther, where she disagreed with the rationale behind the protective order or the restraining order, what is her recourse? What could she have done to avoid going to jail? And that’s really where we come in.

So if you or anybody you know has a protective order in place or a restraining order in place that you just simply disagree with, say that there’s no basis for that restraining order, there’s no basis for that protective order, or it has served as its duty and now there’s no reason to have it any longer. There are ways to challenge that order that will protect you, protect your client, protect your friend, protect your family member and not lead to them being incarcerated. So you can file motions to dissolve protective orders, you can have discussions with the prosecutors or with the city officials depending on whoever is in charge of pursuing their protective orders to try to find some sort of resolution that makes sense for all parties. But there are a host of ways that if you’re the subject of a protective order or a restraining order, there are a lot of ways that you can legally go about challenging them, removing them, dissolving them that don’t include a public display of defiance that could ultimately wind you up into some hot water.

So if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, I mean, obviously a situation like this will hopefully never surface again, where we’re in the midst of a global pandemic, but if you ever find yourself the subject of a protective or restraining order that you just simply don’t agree with, please give us a call. I mean, we can discuss the options that you have, the legal options that you have to try to do something about it that would allow you to continue living your day-to-day life, would allow you to continue operating your business while not resulting in you being placed in jail because of it.

So, that’s what we’re here for, that’s what criminal defense lawyers do. So if you find yourself in that situation, please feel free to reach out, give me a call. I’d be happy to discuss it with you, answer any questions that you have, and then we can go from there. So again, I hope everybody’s having a great safe week. I look forward to seeing you all again Friday, and as always, if you have any questions, comments, or anything that you would want me to cover in a future video like this leave a suggestion, whether it’s on YouTube, Facebook, or sending me an email, doesn’t matter, just shoot me some type of message that says, hey, I want you to cover this topic. I’d be happy to do it. So I look forward to talking to you all again next week and stay safe.

Author Bio

James P. Whalen

James P. Whalen is the managing attorney and founder of Whalen Law Office, a Texas criminal defense firm offering personalized legal representation for various federal criminal charges. With a commitment to providing comfort and guidance during challenging times, Mr. Whalen serves as both an attorney and counselor to his clients, helping them navigate their cases while striving to restore normalcy to their lives.

In an inherently unbalanced criminal justice system, Mr. Whalen takes on cases with unwavering dedication. With decades of legal experience, he offers representation across various criminal charges, including white-collar crimes, violent crimes, drug charges, and more. Mr. Whalen’s numerous accolades, including Super Lawyer recognition and board certification in Criminal Appellate Law and Criminal Law, reflect his unwavering commitment to ethical and high-quality legal representation.

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