Useless: Restraining orders are meant to protect but do they really?

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - 19 Action News is asking the "Tough Questions" after two recent restraining orders fail.

Shana Gardner thought she was protected by a restraining order as did Tonya Hunter-Lyons.

Cleveland Muni Court Judge Michael John Ryan admits restraining orders don't do much good if the bad guy is intent on doing harm.

"The piece of paper is not a bullet proof vest, it's not gonna stop a knife, it's not an armored car," said Judge Michael John Ryan.

Judge Ryan's court issues roughly 10 restraining orders a week and he makes sure they know the rules.

"I take the extra step of asking them, Do you know what you can and cannot do while the restraining order is in place. You can't call, you can't write, you can't fax, you can't email. "

Judge Ryan also says if you come within 500 feet or three blocks of the person, you can be jailed for six months but that will only happen if victim calls the police.

"They can't allow contact. They may be thinking, I was once intimate with this person, maybe the situation has died down, they're thinking he won't cause me any serious harm."

Meantime, on the night both women died, police did not receive calls from either Shana Gardner or Tonya Hunter.

Police say both women were killed in their homes by their estranged husbands and both men were not supposed to come within 500 feet of them.

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