The Court’s Presumption
I would hope that we could all agree that the events that Bob Kerr describes are a travesty in their own right, although certainly accentuated by the fact that their victim is a veteran:
Barone is a neighbor and friend and has testified in court on [Paul] Kelly’s behalf. He remembers when Pocahontas Cooley, Kelly’s former girlfriend, showed up shortly before Kelly left for pre-deployment training in September 2007. She’s still there, claiming to be Kelly’s common-law wife. She got a restraining order against him, saying he was bothering her when he visited his cabin.
“I think I would know if I was married or not,” says Kelly.
That seems reasonable, since common-law marriage requires the man and woman to intend to be married and hold themselves out to the public as married. Kelly says the only relationship he had with Cooley was boyfriend-girlfriend, and that relationship ended in 2004.
Kelly admits he made a mistake when Cooley came to his door just before his deployment and he allowed her to stay in his cabin temporarily because she said she had nowhere else to go.
“I was trying to help her out,” he says.
This is nuts. A man is kept out of his home for seven months after returning from nine months of serving his country. There is no way to justify it and no way to justify the length of time it is taking to resolve it.
Not knowing all of the specifics, I can’t say for sure, but this certainly sounds related to the many complaints that I’ve heard of the bias in court on behalf of the female in a relationship. Whatever the case, it shouldn’t be this difficult to resolve.
As Kerr says, Kelly’s still paying the taxes on the property.