Sarah Palin is a polarizing figure on the political compass who can bring up strong emotions from those who love, hate, or love to hate her. And that is just the sane among us. For those who are a bit less balanced in their approach to politics or just life, there is the need for a protective order. That is just what Palin has done, seeking and receiving court ordered restraint against her alleged stalker Shawn R. Christy.
Alaska Magistrate Judge Colleen Ray has granted the motion by the former governor to have a protective order issued against the 18 year-old Pennsylvania man, according to the Associated Press. Palin has claimed Christy made implied threats, saying Palin should "watch her back," and insinuating violence through sending her a receipt for the purchase of a gun.
Although the court proceeding was important to her safety, Palin was only available to testify by telephone. The AP reports her statement to the court about Christy said, "Bottom line is, he is crazy and could kill me. He wants me dead."
Under the order, Christy may have no contact with Palin or her family and must stay a mile away from her home and from a Wasilla high school. An additional order also was issued for Palin's friend, Kristan Cole, who says she has been contacted by Christy since 2009.
Although many people associate protective orders with cases of domestic violence, they can be used in criminal cases as well. Under Alaska law, protective orders are often set for six month periods and a failure to abide by the order can result in 1 year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Evidently, Shawn Christy is the cream of the crop. Palin's attorney, Thomas Van Flein, tells the AP Christy has "risen to the top of the dozens and dozens of people" who have threatened Palin since 2008.
The current order has a 20 day time limit. Next month, Palin may seek a six month extension.