If you are a victim of domestic abuse, harassment, stalking or rape, you have legal rights and avenues that can help you stop the cycle of abuse. A protective order is an order from the court ordering the abuser to stop hurting, threatening, harassing and/or stalking the victim. In any abusive relationship, there are safety issues that might need to be addressed. If you need assistance in developing a safety plan for yourself and/or your children, the staff at Wings of Hope: Family Crisis Services is available to assist you at no cost.
Types of Protective Orders:
Emergency Temporary Order — If an abusive situation occurs outside of normal court hours, you may request an emergency temporary order from the law enforcement officer. The officer provides the petition, asks you to complete and sign it and then contacts a judge who can issue the petition by phone. Emergency temporary orders are only effective until 5 p.m. the next business day, so you must contact Wings of Hope the next day and complete a petition for an ex parte and full order.
Ex Parte Protective Order — In cases of immediate and present danger of abuse, you can ask for an ex parte order, which is an order of the court, usually granted the same day; without the defendant present. The judge reads the petition for a protective order and based on the law determines whether or not the order may be granted. If the order is granted, a date is set for a full hearing to be held within 20 days. The Ex Parte Protective order is only in effect until the full hearing. A law enforcement officer serves (delivers) a copy of the protective order to the defendant along with a summons for the defendant to appear in court at the full order hearing.
Final Protective Order — During the full hearing, you and the defendant appear before a judge who hears evidence and decides whether or not to issue a final protective order. Bring any evidence and witnesses you may have in order to strengthen your case for the protective order. Explain to the judge any special arrangements you want to included — for example, children are to be picked up for visitation at a neutral location, not your home. To help you through the hearing, you may desire an advocate from Wings of Hope to attend with you.
You now have a protective order. But, what do you do if your abuser continues to bother you?
Call the police immediately and notify them that you have a protective order. Write down notes of any and all details of the event — names of police officers, time and date of offensive, where and how it took place. All detailed notes will help you in court.
If you have questions at any time during the protective order process, please feel free to call our office. Wings of Hope advocates are here to talk to you further about next steps, enforcing your protective order and anything other concerns you may have.