What Are Temporary Protective Orders
A Temporary Protective Order is designed to stop violent and harassing behavior towards you and your family members from someone who has harmed or threatened you. These are written court orders of two types, a temporary (TPO) or extended protection order (EPO).
A protection order can mitigate continued threats, including any harassment or injury towards you or your minor child and grant you temporary legal custody of your children. You may also apply for an extension of the temporary order. After holding an evidentiary hearing where witnesses testify, and evidence is presented, the Court may extend the protection order, up to one year. The Court has the ability to enter temporary child custody and support orders at the time of the hearing.
Who Can Apply for a TPO
If an adverse party has committed an act of domestic violence against you, you may qualify for a protection order. Acts which qualify as “domestic violence” include:
- Destruction of property
A protection order may be extended for up to one year. A protection order prohibits the adverse party from being in specific locations or contacting the applicant. If there are children involved, the Court may enter temporary custody orders and exception to a protection order to allow limited contact/communication between the parents, as it relates to the children.
If an adverse party violates the terms of a protection order, for example:
- Calls/texts in violation of the terms of the order;
- Sending letters;
If you have a protection order, you should always carry a physical copy with you, or in your vehicle. If the adverse party violates the protection order, law enforcement will easily be able to handle the violation accordingly. you may report the violation to law enforcement.
How to Defend Against Protection Orders
When an Applicant filed for a protection order against an Adverse Party, the adverse party must be personally served with the Temporary Protection Order. A protection order is not in effect until the Adverse Party has been personally served.
Upon personal service, the Adverse Party will be notified of a hearing on the extension of the protection order. At the hearing, both sides will get to testify, present witnesses and evidence for the Court to consider when deciding to extend a protection order.
If allegations have been made against you, resulting in a temporary protection order, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced family law attorney regarding your rights and how they may be affected by a protection order.
Getting Legal Help
You do not need an attorney to file for an order for protection. It may be in your best interest to have an attorney represent you at an extension hearing. An experienced family law attorney can help you through the process, collect the necessary evidence and fight on your behalf.
Looking to learn more about temporary protection orders? Contact family law attorney Erin Grieve for a consultation.