Protection Orders: What you Need to Know
If you believe that a loved one, friend, or even complete stranger is placing you at risk of harm, you may be wondering how you can protect yourself. Asking the Court to issue a Protection Order (sometimes referred to as a Restraining Order) is one of the most effective ways to do so.
Process for obtaining a Protection Order
If your request for a Protection Order is granted, the Court will first issue a “Temporary” Protection Order. The Court may issue a Temporary Protection Order if the Court finds that an imminent danger exists to the person seeking protection. Typically, when asking for a Protection Order, you will be able to appear in front of a Judge that same day and the restrained party will not be present. If granted, the Temporary Protection Order must be served upon the restrained party. Temporary Protection Orders are then generally valid for approximately 14 days until you return to court for a Permanent Protection Order hearing.
Permanent Protection Order
If you are requesting that your Protection Order is made permanent, then you will need to appear in Court for your Permanent Protection Order hearing. The restrained party has a right to be present and request that the Temporary Protection Order is dismissed or otherwise not made permanent. At this hearing, the Protection Order will be made permanent if the Court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the restrained party has committed acts constituting grounds for issuance of a Protection Order and that, unless restrained, will continue to commit such acts or acts designed to intimidate or retaliate against the protected person. It is important that you are prepared for this hearing with any evidence that supports your request for a Permanent Protection Order.
Asking the Court to issue a Protection Order can be a scary and overwhelming process. If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to have an advocate by your side to ensure you are taking the right steps to protect yourself and your loved ones. If you’re in need of a Protection Order, please contact our office to schedule your free consultation.