AN OPEN LETTER TO “HONORABLE” JUDGE BALL-REED (Cook County Domestic Violence Court, 555 West Harrison Street, Room 201),

Dear Judge Ball-Reed,

I hope that after seeing you in court countless times over 7 months – for what must have been one of your longest and most memorable cases – that you remember my name, because I will never be able to forget yours. I am writing to you regarding your ruling on October 30th to dismiss my order of protection case and to tell you that you got it COMPLETELY WRONG.

Not only did you get it wrong, your ruling was ill-informed (as you very clearly did not read critical documentation submitted during the proceedings), and, most of all, it was condescending and offensive (particularly when you implied that my story was implausible because – from not ending the relationship at a friend’s suggestion to not being able to fight him off during the physical altercation in spite of being 3 weeks post-LUNG surgery – I did not act the way you would have had you been in my shoes). To be perfectly clear, the ONLY thing you served that day was a grave injustice to all women who have ever been a victim of gender-based violence and then had both their abusers and the system turn things against them and revictimize and further traumatize them.

Please know that it is with 100% confidence that I am saying you got it wrong in such a public manner, because I can conclusively, via documentation, PROVE (as I did in court) the following: 1) That there WAS a physical incident the night of Mar 2-3. 2) That the story my ex (who is an attorney) and his BFF (who is an Assistant US Attorney) told was a complete lie, 3) That I was blackmailed with a picture of me using a toilet in his apartment (we proved foundation for this e-mail which was submitted to you as evidence) and for which the EXIF data shows that it was from his exact longitude & latitude as well as his exact floor. He lied under oath and said that the bathroom in the photo wasn’t his, and 4) That he stalked, harassed and threatened me and also harassed and threatened my family. In other words, I FULLY met the preponderance of evidence required to secure an Order of Protection. In spite of this, you held my case to the standard of a criminal case, requiring me to prove what he did beyond a shadow of a reasonable doubt.

FYI, just as a friendly reminder: evidence includes your testimony and any other proof you have of the alleged abuse.

Even though this case could and should have been a criminal case, it was not – it was only a civil case filed purely for PROTECTION, not seeking any punishment, retribution or retaliation whatsoever.

Perhaps the confusion came from my ex having a CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY represent him, who manipulated technicalities/loopholes in the system, so that I was unable to submit the PREVIOUS 2-YEAR PLENARY Order of Protection against my ex from another woman, unable to speak to my own and/or to subpoenaed phone records, and could not show all my evidence because, for certain items, I could not prove “foundation.” For example, I couldn’t speak to the texts I received stating he knew where my parents lived and where my father worked, and threatening that I “Could have avoided so much,” because the texts came from a number that I could only have proven was him had I just been able to speak to the subpoenaed phone records (FYI, those 2 numbers are in the public record in the first petitioner’s case).

When my father testified, he was not allowed to speak to the threatening e-mail he received at his work e-mail address, that had the same exact 4 pictures (with the same exact titles and EXIF data) as the blackmail e-mail I received, all because the e-mail to my father came from a fictitious e-mail address.

Despite countless items that we were unable to speak to and submit into evidence, we WERE able to prove foundation for both the “fix this or else” blackmail e-mail and the threatening texts from him telling me that “the very thing you are desperately trying to avoid is going to blow up in your face.”  Even though these pieces of evidence were both read out loud in testimony and submitted as evidence for your review, you very clearly missed these entirely. Perhaps you were sleeping for that part, and yes, Judge Ball-Reed, in addition to not being able to see the faces of 2 of my witnesses at any point during their testimony due to 2 monitors blocking your view, at least 4 people can attest to your sleeping in court on October 30th.

When it came to making your ruling, rather than base it on 3 days of testimony from a total of 4 witnesses corroborating my story (one of whom is one of his clients) and the above-mentioned evidence, you based it on the closing argument of his lawyer, who told you that giving me an order or protection would be an insult to women who were “actually” abused and that your court had a reputation for giving out OOPs like candy. Accordingly, when you went back to deliberate for all of 30 minutes, instead of reviewing my 6-page affidavit (which you had clearly never read) or the evidence, you found an obscure e-mail that I wrote to him to STOP abusive behavior and took ONE line out of context to come to the determination that I was simply not the type of woman who wanted to be a victim (I would love to know what kind of woman wants to be a victim).

Furthermore, because I didn’t “get at least one in” during the physical altercation as you would have or end the relationship per my “BFF/bestie,” my story was implausible. It was as if I was the FIRST domestic violence victim who did not successfully fight off her abuser, did not call the police to report the abuse the first chance she had, did not end the relationship when recommended by friends/family and who stayed in an abusive relationship out of fear of threats and/or due to continued manipulation by her abuser. Judge Ball-Reed, I’m sure you are very familiar that it takes a woman an average of SEVEN times to leave her abuser, and I only dated him for 3 months.

I understand that there is a process to challenge your ruling, but unfortunately, after spending the greater part of my life savings these past 7 months only to receive your unfathomable ruling, I can no longer afford to file an appeal. Therefore, I am writing this open letter hoping that I will be able to have an opportunity to meet with a CPD 18th District Detective and a State’s Attorney to simply present my case as well as the previous Petitioner’s case (still within the 2-year statute of limitations). Even if criminal charges are not pursued, I will be able to rest assured that I have taken all action possible against this 2-time offender, who, when (absolutely no question of “if”) he continues this behavior towards women – especially South Asian women – some poor woman will either commit suicide or be killed as I could have been.

With great disappointment in the American “Justice” system,

His, your, & the system’s victim

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