Order of Protection

TYPES OF ORDERS OF PROTECTION AND WHAT EACH ONE DOES

By: Akanksha A. Panicker

As mentioned in the earlier article, an Order of Protection is merely a document issued by the court to limit the harmful or threatening behavior of a person to another. It is used to address safety issues, including domestic violence.

Orders of Protection may be full or limited. This means that an individual can get a temporary Order of Protection, which will be issued on the day of filing for the order by the complainant and lasts till the next court date [although it may be subject to extension] or may get a final Order of Protection. A final Order of Protection is issued upon the conviction of the individual by plea or after a trial and required that the judge find the offense committed

It must be kept in mind that the degrees of protection afforded to an individual will vary across cases. One might be awarded a full Order of Protection, wherein the perpetrator is forced to stay completely away from the individual and their home, or a limited Order of Protection may be given where the subject is allowed to maintain highly restricted contact with the victim.  One can get an Order of Protection from a Family Court, a court that hears criminal cases, and a Supreme Court.

[1.1] WHAT CONSISTS OF A FAMILY COURT ORDER OF PROTECTION

Being in an intimate partner relationship or a victim of domestic violence will qualify for a case in a Family Court. This must be initiated by filing a Family Offense Petition in order to ask the court for an Order of Protection. The filing of a petition here will be free, as a Family Court Order of Protection is issued as part of a civil proceeding to stop the violence that is occurring within the family or within an intimate relationship  The person who files the petition is called the Petitioner (domestic violence victim). The person that the petition is filed against is called the Respondent (accused abuser). However, it is required to file the petition in person at the courthouse, unless the individual is working with a domestic violence advocate group.

A requirement to obtain an Order of Protection in family court is to have a relationship that classified as a current or former spouse, any individual with whom a child has been had, a family member relationship through marriage or consanguinity, or any individual who falls under the heading of an intimate relationship. This does not necessarily mean a sexual relationship, and the court will consider the frequency or longevity of the relationship.

It is required in a case in Family Court to list the ‘family offenses’ – acts of crimes that the Respondent committed, like assault, harassment, or stalking in detail, and to further explain the reliefs that might be sought. Specific details about reliefs need to be clarified, whether it is a requirement of the respondent to move out of the home, to stay away from the children and follow custody orders, or even pay child support.
After the petition has been filed, the petitioner will present their narrative before a judge in the absence of the respondent, whereupon the judge will decide whether a temporary Order of Protection is necessary to be granted. The temporary order must be served upon the respondent before it takes effect.

[1.2] WHAT CONSISTS OF A CRIMINAL COURT ORDER OF PROTECTION.

Most criminal domestic violence cases start with an arrest and criminal charges for Domestic Violence Acts. In a criminal court Order of Protection, an Assistant District Attorney will request for the order on the behalf of the petitioner. The main difference between the Family Court Order of Protection and that of the Criminal Court is that an intimate or personal relationship is not necessary herein. The person charged need not have a special relationship with the petitioner, and the decision of the judge rests solely on them. The terms and conditions of this order will also be delineated on a case-wise basis. It must be kept in mind that a Criminal Court case requires a higher level of proof (beyond a reasonable doubt)

A criminal domestic violence case can also start by going to the police or the district attorney to report a crime. The police can charge the other person with a crime and during any of the court appearances in Criminal Court, the court can issue an Order of Protection. New York has a mandatory arrest policy for domestic violence cases, even if asked not to make an arrest. Of course, this is not held to be the case if there is no Order of Protection or the abuser commits a misdemeanor crime.

If the case at hand has an Order of Protection from both Family Court and a Criminal Court, the case will be sent to an Integrated Domestic Violence (IDV) courtroom.

Upon conviction, a final Order of Protection may be ordered alongside counseling, conditional discharge, a fine, probation, and even imprisonment. Restitution may also be ordered to cover the cost of medical facilities.

[1.3] WHAT CONSISTS OF A SUPREME COURT ORDER OF PROTECTION

A Supreme Court Order of Protection will be issued as part of an ongoing divorce or criminal proceeding, but only if a written request is provided by a Motion or Order to Show Cause. This may also be through an oral request at a court appearance by the party or the representative attorney.

[2.0] OTHER ORDERS OF PROTECTION

It must also be remembered that an Order of Protection need not necessarily come by way of one party alone. Mutual Orders of Protection and Consent Orders of Protection allow for a more flexible manner in ensuring restrictions on hitherto intimate partner relationships

A mutual Order of Protection may also be granted in case both parties have filed Ex-Parte Orders against each other. When this happens, it’s required that both parties abide by the provisions in the order. Either individual can be arrested if the police have probable cause to believe that the terms of the order have been violated. Both parties may have restrictions in any type of verbal or direct abuse, violent reactions and attempts to coerce or manipulate. The protected party may tell the partner to leave the house, work, family, or another private residence.

By law, a mutual Order of Protection can only be granted if both parties have filed Ex-Parte orders against each other

[2.2] CONSENT ORDERS OF PROTECTION

When both partners agree to the terms and provisions of the order, an Order of Protection may be granted by consent. This does not mean that the alleged perpetrator agrees to the allegations of abuse against them but only means that the respondent and petitioner can circumvent the detailing of violence and abuse to the judge that is done in an evidentiary capacity. The judge will not make a finding on the occurrence of abuse but will sign the Order of Protection and grant it enforceability.

A Consent Order of Protection cannot be used as evidence in future legal proceedings. What this means is that since the finding of abuse was not a criterion in the ruling, the consent Order of Protection cannot be held convincing evidence in cased of divorce, child custody, or criminal prosecution. Order without a finding [which is on consent] will have the same effect and will protect an individual in the same matter as an order after a trial would. Upon violation, the respondent can still be arrested.

On order without a finding (on consent) has the same effect and will protect you the same way that order after a trial would. If the order is violated, the respondent can be arrested. However, order on consent does not establish that the respondent did anything wrong for use in other proceedings, such as custody or visitation.

For more information on serving orders of protection, contact our order of protection process service (800) 774-6922. Representatives are available Monday-Friday 8 am – 8 pm EST.  If you found this article helpful, please consider donating.  Thank you for following our blog, A space dedicated to bringing you news on breaking legal developments, interesting articles for law professionals, and educational material for all. We hope that you enjoy your time on our blog and revisit us!  We also invite you to check out Why Have An Order Of Protection

Sources

1. NY Fam Ct Act § 828(1)(a)

2. Held in Family court. 

3.N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 551; N.Y. Dom. Rel. Law § 240(3)(8)(e).

4.F.C.A. §§ 812, 818, 821 Form 8

5. Family Court Act ‘812(5);  Form 8-1 Criminal Procedure Law ‘530.11(2-a)]  

6.CPLR 2214.

WHY HAVE AN ORDER OF PROTECTION?

By: Akanksha A. Panicker

Domestic violence, or family violence, is violent, abusive, or intimidating behavior in a relationship. There are many types of domestic violence, including emotional, sexual, social, financial, spiritual, and physical abuse. For violence to be ‘domestic’, it doesn’t have to occur within the home, only within a relationship (with a family member or an intimate partner). It occurs when the abuser has power and control over the individual. This control or abuse can be expressed in different ways.

Why order of protection?

An order of protection is issued by the court to limit the behavior of someone who harms or threatens to harm another person. It is used to address various types of safety issues, including, but not limited to situations involving domestic violence New York State Unified Court System. (n.d.). Obtaining An Order of Protection. Retrieved August 30, 2020, from https://www.nycourts.gov/faq/orderofprotection.shtml

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[1.1] WHAT IS AN ORDER OF PROTECTION?

When a court issues an Order of Protection Domestic Relations Law § 240 (3-c): and the document is signed by a judge, it’s essentially a safeguard to protect an individual from harassment or abuse. Restrictions are thus imposed on the threatening partner’s behavior. For example, a judge can order said partner to cease abusive actions, leave and stay away from every residence or workplace or direct the threatening partner to have no contact at all with the aggrieved partner. This might also include decisions of custody, visitation, or child support as well as compensation for the expenses incurred by the abuse. An Order of Protection thus is a court order that tells one person what he/she cannot do to another person, or what contact is allowed. Sometimes an Order of Protection is also called a restraining order.

There is absolutely no fee for an Order of Protection. It must be renewed if applicable after one year, although once the order is issued, only a judge can change it. It is a crime to violate a temporary or final Order of Protection. If an individual violates the Order of Protection, it must be reported to the police. So, what exactly should be done in case of a violation of the Order of Protection?

In cases where there is be immediate danger of harm by the abuser, dialing the emergency number is the best course of action. However, if this is not the case, the injured party may file for a violation of the Order of Protection by going to a police precinct. If there is a Family court Order of Protection, the issue may be filed in Family Court as well as reported to the police. If the filing of a violation of the Order of Protection is only done in Family Court, the subject who violated the order might not be arrested.

It is criminal contempt 2nd degree – Penal Law section 215.50 (3), class A misdemeanor; Criminal Contempt 1st degree – Penal Law section 215.51, class E felony; Aggravated Criminal Contempt – Penal Law section 215.52, class D felony to disobey a temporary or final Order of Protection. This is called a violation of the Order of Protection. Depending on the facts, an abuser can go to jail for up to 7 years if convicted of criminal contempt.

[1.2] WHO QUALIFIES FOR AN ORDER OF PROTECTION?

An Order of Protection may be obtained by any individual N.Y. Crim. Pro. § 530.13 – Protection of Victims of Crimes, Other than Family Offenses seventeen years of age or older who has been abused by a spouse, a former spouse, any adult who has at any time resided with them N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 551; N.Y. Dom. Rel. Law § 240(3)(8)(e).[or had an intimate/dating relationship with,] an individual who has stalked them or someone who has had a child with them. If the individual has been threatened or harmed, they can call the police or go to the police station to report a crime. The police can charge the perpetrator with a crime and the court can issue an Order of Protection during any of their court appearances in Criminal Court.

The District Attorney prosecutes the defendant for the alleged crimes. It is not necessary for the aggrieved individual to participate in the case against the perpetrator other than as a witness so it’s not always necessary to have an attorney. The District Attorney’s office may have a ‘Victim-Witness Coordinator’ who could assist in the proceedings for the same. A victim can seek both Family Court and Criminal orders of protection at the same time.

One can also file a family offense petition in Family Court N.Y. Court Family Court Act (“N.Y. F.C.A.”) § 812 – Procedures for family offense proceedings.  to request an Order of Protection. However, a specific sort of relationship must be maintained in this case. Both individuals must have been current or former spouses, related by blood or marriage, or have a child together. They can also have had a current or former intimate relationship, referring to any relationship that is more than a casual relationship that one might share with any other people N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 812(1)(e)
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During any of the court appearances, Family Court can issue a Temporary Order of Protection, even if there is no proof yet that the Respondent broke the law. Either person in a family offense case has the right to an attorney. An attorney will be assigned to represent either if he/she cannot afford one.

[2.1] THE PROCESS REQUIRED TO DECLARE ORDER FOR PROTECTION

The judge issues a temporary Order of Protection CPL § 530.13 Protection of victims of crimes, other than family offenses, or an ex-parte Order of Protection if they believe that there is an immediate or present danger of abuse. This petition may be filed at the courthouse in a county where either individual lives or where the abuse was committed N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 818.
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If the ex-parte order is granted, the law enforcement officer in charge will locate the respondent and serve them, upon which they are required to abide by the conditions ordered by the judge. The ex-parte order thus declared will last until the hearing for the Full Order of Protection.

However, if there isn’t determined to be an immediate or present danger of abuse, a Notice of Hearing will be delivered rather than an ex-parte Order of Protection, which shall be served to the respondent in order to intimate them about the hearing to determine the putative Order of Protection. No restrictions or conditions will be placed on the respondent before the hearing.

What happens after the Ex-Parte Order?
Within 15 days of an Order of Protection, a Full Order of Protection is granted. However, it is required that the Ex Parte Order of Protection was served to the respondent at least 72 hours before the date (not counting weekends and holidays).

At the hearing, both parties must be present in order to present their testimony before a judge. Failure to do so would result in immediate dismissal if the neglect to show is on the side of the petitioner. It also means an automatic grant of the full Order of Protection to the petitioner if the respondent is absent.

[3.1] SERVING FAMILY OR SUPREME COURT ORDERS OF PROTECTION

Either party cannot serve their own Order of Protection. Orders of protection will be served in court by the judge if the defendant/respondent is present.  Experienced Process Servers are usually tasked with serving all Family or Supreme Court Order of Protection.  However, service may also be arranged through any individual who is over the age of 18 as long as they are not a party to the case. It is paramount that the Order of Protection is served as soon as possible and that an affidavit of service is obtained. This affidavit must be notarized and filed with the court in order to prevent delay and dismissal of the suit. This is especially important in a temporary order, which might not go into effect until served.

Orders of protection are issued by a judge to protect an individual from another person who is abusing, harassing, threatening, and/or intimidating them, or has committed a crime against them. It is highly recommended to take additional steps to ensure safety even past the Order of Protection, as it is not always the best option to prevent immediate harm caused by the abuser.

For more information on serving orders of protection, contact our order of protection process service (800) 774-6922. Representatives are available Monday-Friday 8 am – 8 pm EST.  If you found this article helpful, please consider donating.  Thank you for following our blog, A space dedicated to bringing you news on breaking legal developments, interesting articles for law professionals, and educational material for all. We hope that you enjoy your time on our blog and revisit us!  We also invite you to check out Types Of Orders Of Protection And What Each One Does

Sources

1. New York State Unified Court System. (n.d.). Obtaining An Order of Protection. Retrieved August 30, 2020, from https://www.nycourts.gov/faq/orderofprotection.shtml

2. Domestic Relations Law § 240 (3-c):

3. Criminal Contempt 2nd degree – Penal Law section 215.50 (3), class A misdemeanor; Criminal Contempt 1st degree – Penal Law section 215.51, class E felony; Aggravated Criminal Contempt – Penal Law section 215.52, a class D felony

4. N.Y. Crim. Pro. § 530.13 – Protection of Victims of Crimes, Other than Family Offenses

5. N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 551; N.Y. Dom. Rel. Law § 240(3)(8)(e).

6. N.Y. Court Family Court Act (“N.Y. F.C.A.”) § 812 – Procedures for family offense proceedings.

7. N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 812(1)(e)

8. CPL § 530.13 Protection of victims of crimes, other than family offenses

9. N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 818.

 

 

What can a Protection Order include?

By: Undisputed Legal/Family Court Process Service Department

TEMPORARY PROTECTION ORDERS. After the Petition is filed, the judge must decide whether to issue a “Temporary Protection Order” based on the Petition. If this Temporary Protection Order is given, it may include some or all of the following:

  • Order the victim’s home or work address, phone number, or other related information deleted from all records filed with the court concerning the Protection Order.  Restrain the defendant from committing or threatening to commit acts of abuse or harassing, annoying, telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating directly or indirectly with the victim, victim’s minor children, or any other designated family or household member.
  • Order the defendant to stay away from the victim’s residence and place of work, school or daycare, or any other specific place frequented by the victim or victim’s minor children or any other designated family or household member.  Award the victim temporary custody of any little children and restrain the abuser from removing the children from the victim’s control. The order may require law enforcement personnel to accompany the victim to get the children to protect the victim or the children from harm.  Remove the defendant from the residence, regardless of who owns the place.  Prohibit the defendant from selling, disposing of, destroying, hiding, or mortgaging mutually owned or leased real estate or personal property.  Order other relief as necessary to provide for the safety and protection of the victim, minor children, and other designated family or household members.

          FINAL PROTECTION ORDERS. After a Petition for a Protection Order is filed, a hearing will be held at which the plaintiff will need to prove, through testimony and evidence that the abuse occurred. The defendant is allowed to be present and offers evidence against the allegations in the petition. An attorney may represent the defendant. After that hearing, the judge must decide whether to issue a Final Protection Order. If a Final Order is given, it may contain any or all of the provisions in the Temporary Protection Order and may also include:

          • Order specific child visitation for the defendant, which may include supervised visitation in the presence of a third party or withholding visitation altogether, if necessary.  Order the defendant to pay the plaintiff’s attorney’s fees and court costs.  Order the defendant to pay child support for children the defendant has a legal obligation to support.  Order the defendant to provide temporary support for the victim/spouse and grant the victim possession (not ownership) of the residence or household.  Order the defendant to temporarily feed the victim with a vehicle if the victim has no other means of transportation. The defendant has control of more than one car or alternate means of transportation.

                WHILE THE ABOVE RELIEF IS AVAILABLE, THE COURT IS NOT REQUIRED TO ORDER ALL OF IT IN EACH CASE. WHETHER THE JUDGE ENTERS AN ORDER, AND WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE ORDER, WILL DEPEND UPON THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF EACH CASE. EVEN WITH A PROTECTION ORDER, THE VICTIM MAY STILL NEED TO FIND A SAFE PLACE TO LIVE. IF THE DEFENDANT VIOLATES THE TERMS OF THE PROTECTION ORDER, THE DEFENDANT MAY BE ARRESTED AND BROUGHT TO COURT.

                For information on serving legal papers, click here or call (800) 774-6922. Representatives are available Monday-Friday 8 am – 8 pm EST.  If you found this article helpful, please consider donating.  Thank you for following our blog, A space dedicated to bringing you news on breaking legal developments, interesting articles for law professionals, and educational material for all. We hope that you enjoy your time on our blog and revisit us!  We also invite you to check out our Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers by clicking here.

                How Do You Obtain A Family Court Order Of Protection?

                To receive an order of protection from the Family Court, the abuser must either be someone you are married to or divorced from; the parent of your child(ren); related to you by blood, such as a child, parent, or sibling; or someone who you are or have been in an intimate relationship with, regardless of whether you have lived with the abuser or whether the relationship is of a sexual nature. Initially, the order you obtain in Family Court is temporary and only becomes effective once the alleged abuser (“abuser”) is served. You cannot serve the order of protection yourself. The order of protection must be served by either the police or anyone other than you over the age of 18. 

                On the same day that you receive the temporary order of protection, you will get a future court date. On that date, both you and the abuser will have to go to court to appear before the judge. The abuser may either opt to admit to the petition’s allegations and consent to abide by the order or deny the allegations. If the abuser admits to the allegations in the petition and consents to abide by the order, the order will become “permanent” (meaning that the order will last for a fixed amount of time, usually one or three years) if the abuser denies the allegations a date will be set for a “fact-finding hearing,” which resembles a trial. If, after the fact finding hearing, the court finds that the abuser did indeed commit the allegations in the petition, your order of protection will become “permanent” (meaning that the order will last for a fixed amount of time, usually one or three years). If, after the fact-finding hearing, the court finds that the abuser did not commit the allegations, the case will be dismissed, and the temporary order of protection will end. If the abuser is served and fails to appear in court, the judge will either adjourn the case and schedule another time for the abuser to appear or will grant your petition in the abuser’s absence. 

                In Family Court, several organizations can help you file a petition for a temporary order of protection. In Yonkers Family Court and White Plains Family Court, you may seek assistance from the Pace Family Court Legal Program, as well as from the probation department of each Family Court in Westchester County. 

                For information on serving legal papers, click here or call (800) 774-6922. Representatives are available Monday-Friday 8 am – 8 pm EST.  If you found this article helpful, please consider donating.  Thank you for following our blog, A space dedicated to bringing you news on breaking legal developments, interesting articles for law professionals, and educational material for all. We hope that you enjoy your time on our blog and revisit us!  We also invite you to check out our Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers by clicking here.

                What is an Order of Protection?

                An order of protection is an order issued by the Family Court, Criminal Court, or Supreme Court that orders an abuser to stop committing offenses against you. You can also request protection on behalf of your children, which would protect both them and you from the abuser. 

                For information on serving legal papers, click here or call (800) 774-6922. Representatives are available Monday-Friday 8 am – 8 pm EST.  If you found this article helpful, please consider donating.  Thank you for following our blog, A space dedicated to bringing you news on breaking legal developments, interesting articles for law professionals, and educational material for all. We hope that you enjoy your time on our blog and revisit us!  We also invite you to check out our Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers by clicking here.

                Child Protective Proceedings, What To Expect.

                WHAT IS A CHILD PROTECTIVE PROCEEDING? 

                When it appears that a child under 18 years old has been abused or neglected (harmed or not taken care of) or is in danger of being abused or neglected, a child protective agency may file a petition asking the Family Court to assist in protecting the child. In New York City, this agency is the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). ACS is the petitioner, and the parent or caretaker is the respondent. It is the court’s responsibility to decide whether the allegations of abuse or neglect are true and, if so, what action the court should take to protect the child. 

                Upon the filing of an abuse or neglect case, ACS may request that a child be placed away from home for their protection, or it may request that the child remains in the home under certain conditions. 

                DO THE PARTIES NEED LAWYERS TO REPRESENT THEM? 

                Although respondents have the right to represent themselves, a respondent should obtain a lawyer. Respondents may hire lawyers to represent them in court or ask the court to assign lawyers at no cost if they cannot afford to hire their own. Each respondent must have a separate lawyer. 

                In all child protective cases, an “attorney for the child” represents the child. The lawyer usually works for The Legal Aid Society, Lawyers for Children, or another child advocacy organization. The attorney for the child may also be an 18-b panel member (assigned counsel). 

                WHAT IF THE POLICE OR AN AGENCY HAS REMOVED THE CHILD? 

                When the petition is filed in Family Court, the child may already be in foster care because ACS or the police may have already taken (removed) the child from home due to an emergency. In emergencies, ACS or the police may remove a child with or without a court order. 

                If the child has been removed without a court order, the parents may ask that a court hearing be held within three days of the request. This is commonly referred to as a 1028 hearing. At the 1028 hearing, the parents ask the court to decide whether the child may return home until the court finishes a full hearing or fact-finding of abuse or neglect allegations. ACS may ask that the child is in ACS custody (remanded) until fact-finding is held. ACS must prove that a return home would present an immediate risk to the child’s life or health. The court must also consider, in most cases, whether ACS made reasonable efforts to keep the child in the home before the removal. At the 1028 hearing, the judge must return the child to the parent unless the judge finds that returning the child to the parent would pose an immediate risk to the child. 

                In some cases, ACS asks the court’s permission to remove the child before taking any action. In that case, the parents are notified of the court date and, if the parents object to the removal, a hearing will be held before the child is removed. This is called a 1027 hearing. 

                IF THE CHILD IS NOT ALLOWED TO GO HOME, WHERE DOES THE CHILD GO?

                If the judge finds that the child should not be with the parent, the parent may ask the judge to move the child to a relative’s home. The relative may be certified by ACS as a kinship foster parent, or the child may be placed there under a custody order (not foster care). 

                If the child is ordered to be placed or remains in ACS’s custody, ACS will assign the case to a foster care agency. The foster care agency will place the child with a specific foster parent, supervise the child and the foster home, and work with the parent to correct the problems that caused the child to enter foster care. A foster care agency will also be assigned if a relative is certified as a kinship foster parent. 

                HOW DOES THE COURT CASE BEGIN? 

                Attorneys file the petition for ACS. A summons must be delivered to the parents or other persons legally responsible for the child’s care to tell them to come to court so that they may hear the case against them and defend themselves. If the persons named in the petition are not the child’s parents but are people legally responsible for the child (a relative with a custody order or a person who has been caring for the child), then the parents must also be served with court papers so that they may appear in court if they wish to request temporary or permanent custody of their child. As a respondent on the petition, ACS must also notify the child’s other parent (the non-respondent parent) that a case has been filed and that he/she has the right to appear in court. This notice may be provided by mail. In some cases, other relatives of the child may also want to appear in court. 

                WHAT IS CASE CONFERENCING? 

                The judge may adjourn the case to be conferenced by a court attorney. A preliminary conference will be scheduled to discuss kinship resources (relatives who can care for the child if they are not allowed to go home with the respondent), visitation, and services for the respondents and the subject children. Another conference is usually scheduled to review issues raised at the preliminary conference, discuss a possible settlement of the case, and/or discuss preparation for fact-finding, including discovery issues (what each party intends to provide to the court as evidence). 

                WHAT HAPPENS AT THE FACT FINDING HEARING? 

                If the parties do not agree about whether the petition’s allegations are true, the court will hold a “fact-finding hearing” to determine whether the child has been neglected or abused. 

                At the fact-finding hearing, ACS may present hospital and agency records, photographs, and other evidence to prove neglect or abuse. ACS may call witnesses who heard or saw the abuse/neglect or to whom the parent admitted the abuse/neglect allegations. If only one parent is the respondents’ lawyer and the child’s attorney may cross-examine the witnesses, challenge the evidence that ACS offers, and present their own witnesses and evidence. 

                If appropriate, the child may be called a witness. Sometimes young children may be interviewed by the judge in “chambers” (the judge’s office) instead of in the courtroom if they believe they should talk privately. Only the child’s attorney is present for this interview, but the other attorneys may ask the judge to ask specific questions of the child. 

                WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE FACT FINDING HEARING? 

                If the court finds that the abuse or neglect has not been proven, the court will dismiss the petition and return the child to his or her home. 

                If the court decides that the child has been abused or neglected, a dispositional hearing will be held so that the court can determine what should happen next. The court must decide that it is the child’s best interests, balancing how to protect the child with keeping or bringing it back together with the family. 

                If the child has not already been removed from the home and the court finds that removal would be best for the child, the court will remand the child to ACS’s custody before the dispositional hearing. The child may be placed in foster care or with relatives or other suitable persons until the court makes its final disposition. 

                Before the dispositional hearing, the court will order ACS and/or the foster care agency to investigate and report the child’s home and family. In some cases, the court orders Mental Health Services to evaluate the respondent. Reports are prepared to help the judge decide what orders will serve the child’s best interests. 

                WHAT HAPPENS AT THE DISPOSITIONAL HEARING? 

                At the dispositional hearing, the court receives evidence about what will be in the child’s best interest. Caseworkers from ACS and/or the foster care agency may testify, as well as the parents. Written investigations and reports from ACS, Mental Health Services, or other professionals may be given to the judge as evidence. 

                Possible dispositions include: 

                1) Suspending judgment for a maximum of one year. If the respondent complies with the terms and conditions of a suspended judgment, the petition will be dismissed after the suspended judgment period, despite the finding of abuse and/or neglect. However, the finding of abuse/neglect remains, even if the case is dismissed. If the child is not living with the parent, the court may not order a suspended judgment. The suspended judgment can be extended for another year if the court conducts a hearing and finds that exceptional circumstances (serious reasons) require continued court supervision. 

                2) Releasing the child to the parent(s) or another person (s) legally responsible with supervision on conditions specified by the court. 

                3) Placing the child in foster care while services are provided to the parents to help them become better parents and allow their possible return to them at a future date. 

                4) Issuing an Order of Protection.
                5) Placing the respondent under the supervision of ACS. 

                6) Granting custody or guardianship of the child to a relative or a suitable person upon the parents’ consent. If the parent fails to consent, the court, after a hearing, may find extraordinary circumstances to support an order granting custody or guardianship. 

                For information on serving family court papers, contact order of protection process service, call (800) 774-6922. Representatives are available Monday-Friday 8 am – 8 pm EST.  If you found this article helpful, please consider donating.  Thank you for following our blog, A space dedicated to bringing you news on breaking legal developments, interesting articles for law professionals, and educational material for all. We hope that you enjoy your time on our blog and revisit us!  We also invite you to check out our Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers.

                Who Can File For An Order of Protection in Family Court

                You can file a petition in Family Court for an order of protection if

                1) you are related to the respondent by blood or marriage;

                2) you are or were legally married to the respondent; 

                3) you have a child with the respondent; or 

                4) you are or were in an intimate relationship with the respondent.

                Factors the court may consider in determining whether a relationship is an “intimate relationship” include but are not limited to: the nature or type of relationship, regardless of whether the relationship is sexual in nature, the frequency of interaction between the persons, and the duration of the relationship. Neither a casual acquaintance nor ordinary fraternization between two individuals in business or social contexts shall be deemed to constitute an “intimate relationship.” 

                You may proceed for orders of protection in Family or Criminal Court or both. If you need an order of protection against someone else, you can only get one through Criminal Court. To get a criminal court order of protection, the police must arrest the person, or you may go to the court dispute referral center. 

                For information on serving legal papers, contact order of protection process servicecall (800) 774-6922. Representatives are available Monday-Friday 8 am – 8 pm EST.  If you found this article helpful, please consider donating.  Thank you for following our blog, A space dedicated to bringing you news on breaking legal developments, interesting articles for law professionals, and educational material for all. We hope that you enjoy your time on our blog and revisit us!  We also invite you to check out our Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers.

                How Do I Serve A Order of Protection?

                The summons with notice, petition for an order of protection, and temporary protection order must be personally served (handed to) the respondent. Generally, this means hiring a professional order of protection process service. The process of how to determine which order of protection process service 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 order of protection process service that is right for you.  First, your order of protection process service should be familiar with divorce & family court documents. Taking advantage of a Free quote can be a great way to get a feel for what the order of protection process service can offer you and whether or not they treat you as a person or case number.  This idea of being more than a case number is important because it can change how the order of protection process service handles your case.  This is so often the case because they 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 protection process service order, you should feel free to find a different order of protection process service without feeling guilty.  You are a person of worth, and your order of protection process service should recognize this and treat you accordingly. Your case is individual, and your order of protection process service should treat it as such.  By using the knowledge and experience that they have gained in cases similar to yours, Your order of protection process service should be able to give you useful information as you proceed through whatever legal steps your case requires. Any person over eighteen years old, except you, may serve these papers.

                For information on serving legal papers, contact order of protection process service, call (800) 774-6922. Representatives are available Monday-Friday 8 am – 8 pm EST.  If you found this article helpful, please consider donating.  Thank you for following our blog, A space dedicated to bringing you news on breaking legal developments, interesting articles for law professionals, and educational material for all. We hope that you enjoy your time on our blog and revisit us!  We also invite you to check out our Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers.