A Florida man has been ordered by a judge to take his wife on a romantic date, after a domestic dispute landed them in court.
Judge John Hurley ordered Joseph Bray, 47, to romance his wife Sonja, 39, with a dinner date and a trip to the bowling alley to avoid jail time, according to NBC News.
The couple found themselves in court after a domestic dispute over Bray forgetting his wife's birthday. An ensuing fight broke out between them and Bray's wife claims that her husband shoved her against a sofa and grabbed her neck, according to Bray's arrest affidavit.
Bray's wife said that her husband clenched his fist to hit her, but never struck her, according to the Sun Sentinel.
Judge Hurley ruled that Bray's domestic violence charges were "very, very minor." Citing Bray's clean record, he did not consider Bray's actions a major offense. Rather than have him arrested, he ordered him to take his wife to Red Lobster.
First, he made sure that Bray's wife wasn't injured and agreed with the ruling. He asked her if she was hurt and if there's somewhere she liked to go. She answered no to being injured and said she likes Red Lobster and enjoys bowling.
"He's going to stop by somewhere and he's going to get some flowers," Hurley said. "And then he's going to go home, pick up his wife, get dressed, take her to Red Lobster. And then after they have Red Lobster, they're going to go bowling."
The couple was also ordered to undergo marriage counseling within a week. If Bray doesn't follow the judge's orders, he will be arrested.
Hurley emphasized with the couple because Bray's wife didn't appear to be injured or in danger of being injured.
Hurley admitted that it is unusual for the court to treat domestic violence in such a light-hearted manner, but he believes a romantic night for the couple is better than other alternatives.
"The court would not normally [make this ruling] if the court felt there was some violence but this is very, very minor and the court felt that that was a better resolution than the other alternatives," Hurley said.
"Flowers, birthday card, Red Lobster, bowling," was Hurley's final ruling.