Pamela Anderson and Husband Rick Salomon’s relationship has certainly seen its ups and downs. Anderson has married the professional poker player twice, filed for divorce three times, and each has sought an annulment from the other on at least one occasion. However, Anderson’s most recent divorce filing on February 11, 2015 was accompanied by a request for a temporary restraining Order for the purpose of protecting her safety. Anderson alleged in her Restraining Order Petition that “[Salomon] is controlling, physically, verbally and financially abusive.” She continued that “[h]is anger towards me has increased and escalated, and his attempts to contact me both directly and indirectly, is disturbing my peace. I respectfully request that the court grant my request for a restraining order that [Salomon] be restrained from contacting me, either directly or indirectly, and a spousal support award”. After reviewing the allegations of her Petition, a Los Angeles Judge granted Anderson’s request for a Temporary Restraining Order against Salomon and scheduled a Court date for April 3.
Domestic violence allegations such as these have been given greater exposure over the past year due to other high profile incidents, most notably those related to NFL running back Ray Rice and the ensuing backlash against the NFL for its admitted mishandling of the incident. The NFL has placed a renewed focus on making domestic violence a serious discussion topic and has waged a commercial campaign to spotlight the issue. However, in Rice’s case, the victim did not seek immediate help, and is still in a relationship with Rice. In Anderson’s case, however, immediate action was taken, which highlights one important and effective option a victim has to secure immediate protection through the legal system.
In Georgia, a person who has been the victim of violence or the threat of violence may file a Petition for an Emergency Protective Order and present his/her allegations to the Court. The alleged abuser would not be given notice of this hearing due to the emergency nature of the issue. If the Court grants the Emergency Protective Order to the accuser, as was the case for Anderson on March 13, the opposing party is immediately served with a copy of the Order, prohibited from contacting the accuser, and a follow-up hearing is scheduled for shortly thereafter. At the follow-up hearing, each side will present his/her case to the court and will be permitted to call any witnesses he/she has available. If the Court finds in favor of the victim, the Court will extend the Protective Order for a longer period of time, typically at least twelve months. As part of that extended protective Order, the abuser is not permitted to come within a certain number of feet of the victim, is not permitted to contact the victim either directly or indirectly, and is not permitted to possess a firearm.
The Court is also permitted to award child support and/or spousal support to the victim at a protective Order hearing. This is particularly important because often victims are fearful to seek this type of court issued protection because they are financially dependent on their abuser. Thankfully for Anderson and Salomon, they do not have children together so the Court need not deal with those issues at their April 3 protective Order hearing. While it remains to be seen what the Court will do with Anderson’s allegations once Salomon gets to present his side of the case, it appears to be safe to say that the third time is not going to be the charm for these two.