What can I ask for in my petition for an order of protection?
Most temporary orders of protection say that the respondent must not assault, menace, or harass you, but you can ask for additional terms. You must tell the petition clerk specifically what you would like the Judge to order. Some of these things may be in the temporary order and some may be in the final order. You can ask for:
1) Stay away: The court can order the respondent to stay away from you, your home, your job, your children, your children’s school or any other place or person the court finds necessary.
2) Refrain from certain acts: The court can order the respondent to stop abusing or threatening to abuse you or your children. The order can be specific, such as, ordering the respondent to stop calling you at work.
3) Collect your belongings: If you do not want to return home, you can ask the court to allow you to enter your home with the police to collect your personal belongings at a certain date and time.
4) Exclude the respondent from the home: If the respondent is dangerous to you or your children, you can ask the court to order the respondent out of the home (“excluded”) while the order of protection is in effect. It does not matter that the home is not in your name.
5) Temporary child support: The court can order temporary child support based on the needs of the child. You do not have to show how much money the respondent has or earns. Since the child support is only temporary, you will still have to file a separate petition for child support. You can do this on the 1st floor of the Family Court. The case will be heard by a Support Magistrate in about two or three months, but you can get support back to the date you filed the petition.
6) Revoke or suspend firearms: The court can revoke or suspend respondent’s license to carry firearms or order surrender of any or all firearms owned or possessed by respondent.
7) Five year order: Most Family Court orders of protection are for two years. You can get a five year order of protection if there are “aggravating circumstances”, or if the court finds there was a violation of an order of protection. Aggravating circumstances exist where there is physical injury, the respondent used a weapon or other dangerous instrument against you, there is a history of repeated violations of prior orders of protection, the respondent has been convicted of crimes committed against you in the past, there is exposure of any family or household member to physical injury, or other behaviors that pose a danger to you, your family or other household members.
Its important to note that once you have obtained an order of protection you MUST have the respondent served with the court order. Generally, this means hiring a professional process server agency. The process of how to determine which Process Server Agency to call, and then how to figure out if they’re the right fit for your case is sure to be an important one, and there can be no doubt that you want to get it right. There are a couple of things that you should keep in mind as you look for the Process Server Agency that is right for you. First, your Process Server Agency should be familiar with family court documents. Taking advantage of a Free quote can be a great way to get a feel for what the process server agency can offer you, and whether or not they treat you as a person or case number. This idea of being more that a case number is important because it can change the way the Process Server Agency handles your case. This is so often the case because they have a feel for the struggles of that given area, and are invested in the well being of the people who seek out their help. If you’ve been less than impressed by a Process Server Agency, you should feel free to find a different Process Server Agency without feeling guilty. You are a person of worth, and your Process Server Agency should recognize this and treat you accordingly. Your case is individual, and your Process Server Agency should treat it as such. By using the knowledge and experience that they have gained in cases similar to yours, Your Process Server Agency should be able to give you useful information as you proceed through whatever legal steps your case requires.