You may find yourself in a situation in which there is the need to prevent another person from harassing or causing injury to you or a member of your family. This is where the concept of obtaining an Order of Protection comes into play. Depending on the nature of the relationship and the circumstances surrounding the request, your lawyer will seek to secure this order from a different court system. Here are some examples.
A Family Court Order of Protection
This particular type of order is designed to set limits on interactions between family members or others who are considered part of an intimate relationship. This order is often part of an overall civil action and helps to ensure a certain amount of space is maintained between the person seeking the order and the individual who is named in the action. The goal is to create circumstances that do not include the opportunity for verbal or physical abuse to take place.
This type of protection order can be used to ensure that an abusive spouse maintains a certain physical distance from the abused party. When the couple have children, the terms of the order may ensure that contact is made only when a third party is present and in a position to protect those children.
Other family members may choose to secure an order when a relative acts in a threatening or abusive manner. This means if an adult child or cousin poses what appears to be a real threat, the odds of securing this type of order are very good.
When it comes to defining an intimate relationship, don’t think that the court will only consider situations in which some sort of physical relationship has occurred between the two parties. For the purposes of the court, intimacy can be defined as living under the same roof, or having spent a lot of time together in the past. This means a family court can issue a protection order against a former tenant or housemate if the need arises.
A Criminal Court Order of Protection
When there is a criminal case pending and the accused party is released on bail, it is possible to obtain a protection order that bars any contact between the defendant and the plaintiff. Should the defendant violate the terms of the order, he or she could easily find that the bail is revoked and it is necessary to remain in jail until the case is heard in a court of law.
A Supreme Court Order of Protection
This particular type of protection order is found in divorce cases currently underway. If there is reason to prevent one party from seeking to interact with the other party, the judge can step in and issue an order that establishes limitations on how close the defendant can come to the plaintiff. The order will also provide specific circumstances that must prevail during those times. For example, the order may allow both parties to be present in a conference room with their attorneys while the terms of a settlement are reached. The order may extend to attempting to communicate by means of emails, letters sent through the post, or text messages.
What Happens When an Order is Violated?
If the accused party fails to comply with each stipulation in the protection order, severe consequences will follow. This is especially true if the order was issued by a criminal court or a Supreme court. Since the action is seen as being in contempt of the court ruling, it is possible for the individual to face arrest. If the person is already out on bail pending any other offense, the bail will be revoked.
With family court protection orders, the individual may or may not be arrested. The person who is threatened by the action can contact an attorney and file a complaint with the court. Depending on the type of infraction that took place, the court will decide on the most appropriate action.
There is no need to deal with people who seek to do harm physically or emotionally. Talk with our attorneys about the type of protection order that would provide peace of mind. Doing so will ensure that the harassment ceases and it is possible to move forward with whatever action is underway.