With Abuse Victims Trapped at Home, Detroit Moves Restraining Order System Online

Domestic abuse risks are on the rise, at a time of social isolation, economic disruption, and gun-buying, and so Wayne County, Michigan, court officials responded to the closing of their courthouses by allowing people to seek orders of protection online. A replacement for an onerous, face-to-face process, the new e-filing system processed fewer applications in its first month than before the pandemic crisis, but at least preserved a steady flow of cases that enable victims to block their abusers from possessing guns. Victim advocates hope the new system expands access even after the courthouses reopen.

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