Domestic violence cases rise to 742 in Allegan County

“The number of domestic violence cases in Allegan County continues to rise, and the prosecutor’s office expects more cases as the poor economy impacts more families,” reports the Holland Sentinel.

“‘The stress of the economy coupled with a relationship that’s already volatile can make a difference,’ said Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Margaret Zuzich Bakker. She addressed the Allegan County Board of Commissioners earlier this month as part of the county prosecutor’s annual report.”

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Man pleads no-contest to violating restraining order, now faces charges of kidnapping Byron Township woman

“A restrained and monosyllabic Travis Ghent pleaded no-contest today to charges he violated a restraining order taken out against him by one former girlfriend when he called her several times during the course of allegedly kidnapping another ex-girlfriend,” reports the Grand Rapids News.

“Ghent made the plea in Kent County Circuit Court Tuesday in front of Judge Christopher Yates, his family and a 24-year-old Byron Township woman who took out the personal protection order in August, claiming Ghent had been assaulting and harassing her for several months.”

Unintended consequences? PPO cases jamming court dockets

The Detroit Free Press reports that in the 15 years since the Legislature created personal protection orders as a tool against domestic violence, PPOs are increasing coming into play in relatively frivolous disputes.

From the Freep:

A rift between two neighbors over grass clippings, a potty-mouthed text messenger sending notes to a woman he barely knows and a squabble that began four years ago with an empty pizza box — all seemingly bad behavior by people who, it could be argued, should just learn to get along.

Instead, those are among thousands of personal protection order cases clogging Michigan courts each year. …

Oakland County Circuit Judge Cheryl Matthews, who prosecuted domestic violence cases for many years before taking a seat on the family court bench, said such unwarranted PPO requests can be dangerous.

“These cases dilute the seriousness of situations where a PPO is very much warranted,” she said.

More from The Detroit Free Press.