Rhode Island's protection from abuse laws were created to protect the truly abused person, both men and women. The usual result after the paperwork is filed and the judge has reviewed the complainant's application for an order of protection and affidavit about the facts which lead to the request is to grant a Temporary Order of Protection from Abuse. When a temporary order is granted then it typically includes a restraining order preventing the defendant from having any contact with the plaintiff/complainant.
Some people don't realize that no contact means exactly that "NO CONTACT." Too many times the defendant will find himself or herself back in court because they don't process those two words and make them stick in their brain.
THINGS THAT CONSTITUTE "CONTACT"
No contact means
1. No direct messages sent through a 3rd person;
2. No messages that are indirectly sent through a 3rd person (i.e. John is standing there while Bill who cannot contact his wife tells John "She should know that I'm so mad I could do THIS to her while bill takes a sledge hammer to his car.";
3. No messages even of a friendly or apologetic nature;
4. No flowers or cards;
5. No voicemail messages;
6. No hangup calls (if the line is picked up for even a milisecond then you have created a contact);
7. No messages left with family which could be interpreted as being intended to get to the person who has the no contact order;
8. No responding to a phone call in any way made to you by the person who applied for the protection from abuse order;
9. Even a wave of your hand or just watching a person mowing their lawn as you drive by their house has been interpreted as contact;
10. No emails, texts or photos;
11. No facebook emails or postings using any online service at all;
12. No phone calls;
13. No birthday or anniversary cards;
14. Even if you send a card to your child who is with the plaintiff/complainant may be interpreted as contact, especially if the child can't read;
15. No following a person;
16. No being in the same place as the same person who has the protection from abuse order against you. Yes, you must leave immediately as soon as you realize it;
17. Essentially, anything whatsoever that is intended to get a message across to the plaintiff/complainant may be interpreted as "contact."
Remember, "no contact" does not mean "no hostile contact." It means no contact at all, for any reason, at any time, through any means.
If you want to find yourself being arrested for a misdemeanor that may follow you for the rest of your life, then you can think you are smarter than the Order, the Judge and the law and try to put it to a test trying to use a technicality, but I can tell you that unless you plan on taking the matter to the Rhode Island Supreme Court and spend a lot of money for nothing it is better just to find yourself in handcuffs and under arrest just do the smart thing and remember this... NO CONTACT means NO CONTACT.
All my Best to All Who Go Before the Rhode Island Family Court,
I am Attorney Christopher A. Pearsall and I am "The Rhode Island Divorce Coach."