Before getting into all this, I want to do what the state does and define some terms.
The state of Kentucky has two types of protective orders, basically. One is called an “emergency protective order” (EPO) and is restricted to domestic situations. An example is an estranged married couple, where the wife is afraid of the husband who is threatening to kill her.
Because these situations are fraught with danger, and often become tragic, the state allows one party to obtain a temporary order, generally granted without too many questions, good for two weeks until a court date can be set. At that point, the parties meet in court, the court examines the evidence, and either dismisses the case or grants a permanent protective order (with “permanent” meaning an extended length of time involving months).
It’s important to understand why the courts have a tendency to give out these temporary orders without much scrutiny. They aren’t being negligent. They’re trying to make sure that Jane is not killed by Frank because no one would listen. If this inconveniences Frank a little bit because Jane is actually bonkers and Frank hasn’t really posed a threat to her at all, well, better an error in that direction than for law enforcement officers to show up after Frank flipped out and killed Jane.
But the existing EPO law was problematic. It only applies to family members and partners in a domestic situation (i.e., living together, or a baby daddy). So in an attempt to make sure people were/are protected adequately, the legislature expanded the law (effective Jan 1, 2016) with a new protective order called an “interpersonal protective order” (IPO).
It’s pretty much the same deal, same drill, but the person doesn’t have to be related to you or live with you in order to get it.
Notice all this stuff. It’s all about domestic violence. It’s about Frank getting enraged because Jane has cheated on him (or burned his dinner) and beating the shit out of her.
It’s about the guy who went to the school the other day and killed his wife (and a very unfortunate child who was standing behind her) before killing himself. It’s about the poor woman I took care of once whose ex-husband came to her place of work and stabbed her in the head with an ice pick (she died). It’s about the girl in my youth group back in the sixties who married young, had a daughter, and whose estranged husband strangled both her and their grown daughter to death and left with their two-year-old grandson (child later recovered unharmed and the man is in prison).
That’s what it is about.
But what happened to Lisa is that Nicole pounced on two things:
Of course, Nicole would love the “free” part. And she ignored all the other things in that list of eligibility requirements and homed in on that one word: stalk.
Kentucky statutes are conveniently available online. Here’s the top part of the chapter dealing with IPOs. Notice that the very first link, the first part of the chapter (which would be identified as 456.010) is “Definitions for chapter.”
That’s because when you are dealing with legal issues, you have to first define your terms.
Then in the second section (.020) they talk about the purpose of the whole thing – what they are trying to accomplish – and make a disclaimer about a federal statute.
And the statute itself begins with the third link (.030). I’ve reproduced the first part here.
Rest assured that Nicole Naugler read all this. She flings out the statute numbers like her home phone number. But she doesn’t appear to actually comprehend what she is reading.
She was fine with the parts highlighted in green. She was so fine with (d) that she decided to use one minor child in her first attempt at this, and then expanded it to three minor children in the second attempt.
However, how did she miss item 2?
We’ll get back to that, but for now, just notice what item 2 (highlighted in yellow) says.
And let’s go back a minute to the green stuff (b). Who can file? Among others, it says, a victim of stalking can file.
But what is a “victim of stalking”? What does that mean? Does it mean that Nicole Naugler gets to just decide what “stalking” means? After all, she insists that I “stalked” her by riding on the public road past her wretched shithole property. She also claims that I was drunk when I did so and took photos of her children. None of that is true.
So the legal system doesn’t just let Nicole Naugler decide what stalking is.
They made it very convenient for her. They provided a fucking list of definitions in the very first section. There are eight terms defined. Here’s number 7.
Okay. So to find out what “stalking” is, we have to go look at the statute page for chapter 508. As it happens, chapter 508 is all about assault and related stuff, including menacing, so I’m quite sure that Nicole and Joe are very familiar with it.
The pertinent part here involves three entries located down near the bottom.
First we have the definition page, just like we did above. Let’s see what it says.
AHA! There it is. Nicole glommed onto this and clung to it like white on rice.
Lisa has been seriously annoying, alarming and harassing Nicole and Joe and all their poor children now for months. It serves no “legitimate purpose,” at least none that Nicole can see. And Nicole is just so stressed out by all this. She can hardly function due to all the stress. Furthermore, it specifically says that this stuff can happen on the internet.
Let’s go back. What did the definition say from chapter 456?
Oh. It says 508.140 or 508.150. It doesn’t say shit about 508.130. That’s because 508.130 is not anything but a definition. It’s not a statute.
So, what is the “conduct that is prohibited as stalking” under 508.140 or 508.150?
Well, 508.140 is a statute about stalking in the first degree, which is not applicable here at all.
What we’re looking for is stalking in the second degree, which is 508.150. What does it say?
Oh, gee. You gotta do both of those things. You gotta “stalk” and you gotta threaten bodily harm.
There is one other thing I want to draw attention to before finishing up this section, and that is the part I have highlighted in green under the definitions (508.130).
Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of “course of conduct.”