Clerical error left woman without restraining order against abusive ex

by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:

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UNION COUNTY, N.C. —

A woman whose ex-husband threatened to kill her went to Union County court to get help in the form of a restraining order. 

But the clerk's office admits it messed up, leaving her empty-handed for days.

Heather Thompson's ex -- Thomas Price Jr. -- beat her for hours, left her badly bruised and even sent her a letter, saying, "(T)here will come a day when I dance on your grave" and talking about seeing the "fear in (her) eyes... before I kill you."

"It's absolutely terrifying.  To know that you can't protect your children at all times is the worst feeling as a parent," Thompson said.

Price served prison time and just wrapped up his probation. 

Thompson is afraid he will made good on his threats. So she went to court to get a restraining order. 

"The restraining order is just a piece of paper, but it is a very important piece of paper," she said.

And it looked like she got it. 

But then, she said, Price tried to contact her children Monday on Facebook.

She called deputies, and they did not see any restraining order in place. 

"(I was) angry. Angry that once again I had gone through what I thought were the proper steps to make sure that that restraining order was in effect and had been given the wrong information by the clerk of court," she said.

So Tuesday, Thompson went to the clerk's office in person. 

The clerk said his office made a mistake, that he takes full responsibility for what appears to be a clerical error. 

But he also wanted people to know that they should not wait to get a restraining order if they know they will need on.

It can take eight days to serve all the parties and have a court hearing. He said people should start the process about a month early if they can.

Thompson finally got her restraining order, but thinks about how close she came to finding out the hard way the restraining order was not there. 

"It's scary.  It makes you wonder how many other women out there are in the same boat that I was in," she said.