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.
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