Free agent Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson breathed a sigh of relief last month as his wife, American TV personality Evelyn Lozada, asked a Florida judge to drop a restraining order that had been in place against him since August.
The order stemmed from a domestic violence incident in the summer, where Lozada alleged that Johnson had headbutted her during an argument. Johnson was subsequently arrested and Lozada filed for divorce after just one month of marriage.
Since the incident, Johnson has been on a public tour of apology, expressing his contrition to virtually anyone who would listen. He has admitted that he has issues with anger and is seeking professional help for his issues.
During the court hearing to drop the restraining order, Lozada testified that she had not been threatened or coerced into making the request to drop the order and that she was not afraid of Johnson. While it remains unclear whether the pair will reconcile, sources close to Lozada have indicated that she wished to resume contact with the athlete.
In Ontario, a party applying for a restraining order in family court must prove that they have reasonable grounds to fear for their safety or for the safety of any child in their custody.
According to section 46 of Ontario's Family Law Act, the court may make an interim or final restraining order against:
- A spouse or former spouse of the applicant; or
- A person other than a spouse or former spouse of the applicant, if the person is cohabiting with the applicant or has cohabited with the applicant for any period of time.
This means that married people, divorced people and people who are living together may become the subject of a restraining order if reasonable grounds exist.
Furthermore, section 46 provides that the content of the restraining order may prohibit the person against whom the order is made from directly or indirectly contacting or communicating with the applicant or a child in the applicant's lawful custody and/or from coming within a specified distance of certain locations. The court can also include any other provision that it considers appropriate within the order.
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