My sister was abused by her husband for years before I called 911 for her because I was concerned for her life and police arrived. They arrested him. Police took picture of knife he threw at me and fingerprints. My sister in love and dumb didn't do anything after. He started threatening her more that I ruined their life. He was abusing her for years. Same night he got bail and came home. Day of hearing she could not show up on time and I think it got dismissed. She is not sure. Finally now she is getting a divorce and I think it's not fair that he is out and about living life. Some pictures of my sister are horrific. So now it's April 2017 and I'm wondering if I can help her reopen the case? This is in Sacramento. Please advise.
The court will not entertain a Restraining order at this point since your sister did not follow up and show up in court at the time of the threatening behavior. So no - she cannot re-open the case three years later and expect to get a court order of protection. However - she can certainly include the information about the abuse in any motion she files regarding any current threat.
California is a "no fault" divorce state. That means - it doesn't matter whose fault the marriage failed - so don't bother throwing mud at each other. Bringing up past issues will not get her very far unless there is some abuse happening now for which someone requires a protective order.
Are you talking about re-opening the criminal case? If so, there is probably nothing that can be done. The reason is that criminal defendants have a right to a speedy trial. If the matter was dismissed due to your non-apperance, even without prejudice (meaning the prosecution wanted to leave open the possibility of recharging), any good defense attorney will raise the speedy trial issue as a potential defense to have the case dismissed before it ever even gets to a jury. This assumes the prosecution is even willing to re-open the case after two and a half years. Criminal cases for the prosecution almost never get better with time.
A Restraining Order is more likely to be issued with regard to a current threat to her which she can bolster by prior acts.
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