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Singer Rihanna recently asked a court to grant her a restraining order.
Surprise! It's not against Chris Brown.
Rihanna has reportedly taken out a restraining order against an intruder. Funny thing about that -- it wasn't an intruder who ever broke into her home. It was an intruder who broke into a neighbor's home, thinking it was actually Rihanna's home.
The man, Steveland Barrow, allegedly went as far as to sleep in the neighbor's bed, thinking it was Rihanna's bed.
A restraining order is called "equitable relief." It's a type of legal order that doesn't necessarily ask the defendant to pay up, the way a money judgment would. Rather, it asks the defendant to refrain from doing something.
In order to get a restraining order, the person seeking the order must make an application to the court. The other party, against whom the restraining order is, need not be present.
How effective is a restraining order? It can depend on how hard Rihanna will try to enforce it. For most people, all it does is give you the right to call police if the unwanted person comes a bit too close. It obligates them to stay a certain distance away from you, but it's still not a physical fence or shield.
For Rihanna, it's likely that she has her security guards camped out around her house anyway. So if Barrow is seen lurking around, they'll be able to remove him from the premises and they'll be well within their legal right to do so.
Luckily, Barrow never actually broke into the singer's home and she was able to get the restraining order before he had a chance to. Rihanna certainly dodged a bullet there.
She wouldn't want an abusive psycho sleeping in her bed now, would she?