Orders of protection are common in domestic violence cases. However, these orders are applicable in many other scenarios. If you find yourself in a situation where you require a protection order, it would be helpful to gather as much information as you can about this legal instrument. Read on to learn what an order of protection is, the different kinds of orders, and the provisions in these orders.
What is an Order of Protection?
It is an order granted by the court to prevent the conduct of a person who poses a threat to harm, or actually harms another person. This order addresses a variety of issues and is not limited to domestic violence. Supreme courts, criminal courts, and family courts are involved with the issuance of orders of protection.
Types of Orders of Protection
A Family Court Order of Protection
This order is given during a civil case. It is issued to stop violence in a family setting, or in an intimate relationship. The order purposes to offer protection to the victims of domestic violence.
A Criminal Court Order of Protection
This order is one of the conditions issued when a defendant is set to be released from imprisonment or set free on bail. It is only given against a defendant who is accused of a criminal act. When issuing a criminal court order of protection, the court does not require the defendant and complaining witness to be related in any way.
A Supreme Court Order of Protection
This order may be given during a divorce proceeding. If you are in the middle of a divorce proceeding, you can request the court to issue a protection order by submitting a written request or oral request.
Exparte Order of Protection Vs. A Full Order of Protection
An Ex Parte Order is an emergency or temporary order given when the judge has reason to believe that you stand a risk of being abused. Once the court grants you the order, a law enforcement agent or sheriff will issue the order to the respondent. The respondent is required to obey the terms of the order. An Ex Parte Order lasts a few days until a court hearing is held for a Full Protection Order.
The court will schedule a hearing for a Full Order of Protection 15 days from the time an Ex Parte Order is issued. The law requires that the Ex Parte Order be issued to the respondent, 72 hours before the scheduled hearing. If you are not present during the hearing, the order will be dismissed. On the other hand, if the defendant skips the hearing, the court will automatically grant you the order.
Provisions in a Protection Order
A violation of the provisions of an order of protection is treated as contempt of court, a misdemeanor, or a felony. The main provisions in protection orders are:
- No Contact: The order forbids the respondent from stalking, calling, emailing, texting, or disturbing you in any way.
- Peaceful Contact: The order may allow the respondent to communicate with the victim peacefully on issues regarding child visitation or other related matters
- Stay Away: The order may require the respondent to abide by a certain stay away distance from the victim’s home, work place, or school
- Move Out: The order may require the respondent to vacate the home they share with the victim
- Firearms Provision: The order may require the respondent to give up any assault rifles that they possess or forbid them from buying firearms
- Counseling: The order may require the respondent to attend anger management or some other form of counseling