Restraining order error takes guns from Southern California police chief

A clerical error that led to a police chief being erroneously served a restraining order and stripped of his guns highlights the need for careful attention to detail when dealing with Southern California family law matters.

Gene Fretheim, the chief of police in Maricopa, was served with erroneous restraining orders not once but twice: on October 2 and then again on the 5th, following an incident in which he shot and killed a dog belonging to a city resident. Fretheim acknowledges killing the animal, which he says was loose and vicious and “was a danger and a threat to the community.”

According to media reports, the error was a simple one: a box on a court form that should have been left blank was checked in error. That mistake, however, led to the chief being served with the restraining order and forced to turn in his guns. The court’s executive officer acknowledged the mistake. “It appears to be our error,” Terry McNally said. “The clerk changed everything… but missed one box.”

The mistake appears to have been an honest one, but it highlights the need for a skilled restraining order defense attorney whenever ordinary citizens find themselves dealing with the complexities of the legal system. Restraining orders are often issued as part of Orange county family law disputes and can lead to serious personal or business difficulties.

Chief Fretheim’s case remains open, and a hearing is pending.

Taft Independent: Maricopa police chief Gene Fretheim gets back his guns and his dignity

Bakersfield Now: Court mix-up forces Maricopa police chief to turn in his guns