Why Are Pro Se Defendants More Suspect in the Eyes of Judges than Lying Accusers?

Posted on February 26, 2018


Showing candor that was as unexpected as it was refreshing, a judge I stood before in August acknowledged that he knew restraining orders were “abused” by litigants who made “blatantly false” statements to the police and the court.

Doing the former is a misdemeanor crime; the latter, a felony.

The judge, Tony Riojas, besides being the presiding magistrate of the Tucson City Court, is a member of the Task Force on Fair Justice for All. Much of what he told me I already knew: Neither false reporting nor perjury is ever prosecuted, there are no “mechanisms” to stop false litigants, and there’s no statutory limit on the number of times they can file fictive complaints with the court.

(For the curious or indignant: This status quo owes to feminist politicking. See also VAWA. No act by government, women’s advocates insist, should be seen to discourage “true victims” from coming forward. It’s a sentiment whose use-by date expired at least 20 years ago.)

After my brief dialogue with the judge, he tossed out allegations brought against me 20 months earlier by a woman I’d only met once in the previous decade and who is reportedly diagnosed with a mental illness (bipolar disorder). I lived with her allegations, made in one of three legal actions she brought back-to-back in 2016, every day for most of two years. All of the actions were frauds, and all have been dismissed. (In 2014, she had initiated or instigated multiple prosecutions against her own husband, from whom she’s now divorced.)

Here is my accuser, Jennifer Terpstra, in a selfie she published on a website cataloging her professional accomplishments. A generous critic might call her countenance “forbidding.” This person, whom I first encountered hanging around my residence in late 2005 and who insisted I meet with her and give her a hug in 2012 (when she called herself my “avid reader”), told officers in multiple police departments in 2015 and 2016 that I had been stalking her since she invited herself into my house 11 years earlier.

When all of her and a friend’s legal actions began to unravel in 2016, Terpstra, who also uses the names Jenn Oas and Jen Oas-Terpstra, fled the jurisdiction.

(She had been employed for over a decade as a researcher in the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Today she works at an institution she cryptically identifies on her online profile as “STC,” maybe to make it sound like a vertical career move. STC is short for South Texas College—a community college.)

I was a “pro se” defendant in the restraining order case Terpstra initiated, and after 11 years of false accusations, it was the first case I’d won—despite having been denied my lawful right to a hearing and having had my first notice of appeal dismissed by the judge quoted above, possibly because I was a pro se defendant.

Pro se is Latin for “for oneself” or “on one’s own behalf.” It means I was my own lawyer.

In court, where no phrase is used more pejoratively, pro se connotes unqualified, unworthy, or off-the-wall, and lawyers use it to remind judges that they shouldn’t trust anything their unschooled adversaries say. Pro se, in other words, means easily blown off.

It’s yet another excuse to deny the credibility of the accused in restraining order cases, which can be initiated by any scrofulous degenerate entirely for free. (See again VAWA.)

No one, of course, applies the phrase pro se derogatorily to plaintiffs who breeze into courthouses, fill out some forms, and recite narratives that may be arrant lies during a five-minute interview with a judge—which is all procurement of restraining orders demands. Accusers, who are largely pro se, are called “victims.” They don’t have to be competent to represent anything but their “torment.”

To prevail, in contrast, the falsely accused

  1. MUST appear in court to defend themselves already prejudged guilty;
  2. MUST defuse lies that may be incapable of disproof like “I’m afraid”; and
  3. MUST do it within rigid time constraints (usually minutes).

They may what’s more be prohibited from cross-examining the prosecuting witness, who may not even be required to show up. (In the prosecution against me referenced above, in which there were three hearings, the plaintiff never appeared a single time.)

On top of this, defendants may be treated dismissively based on their inability or unwillingness to shell out $5,000 to hire an attorney…to troubleshoot the court’s defective garbage disposal.

Copyright © 2018 RestrainingOrderAbuse.com

*As the reader might have predicted, remedying inequities like those sketched above is not the brief of Arizona’s “Task Force on Fair Justice for All.”