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Orders of Protection and How They Are Obtained

  • December 4, 2013

An order issued by a judge in a court of law that calls for a person to either engage in, or not engage in a specific act or acts, is known as an order of protection. Legally binding documents, orders of protection are known by a number of different names, some of them include: Stay away order, restraining order, order of no contact, injunction for protection, and harassment order. Protection orders are meant to keep the peace, and protect parties that need either emergency, or ongoing protection. Here is some additional information regarding protection orders, how they work, and how to go about getting one.

Reasons That Protection Orders are Issued

Orders of protection are commonly issued to victims of domestic violence, and they order the defending party to refrain from going to the plaintiffs workplace, home, or school. The orders stipulate that the defendant is not to pursue any contact with the plaintiff by any means, and this includes, phone calls, text messages, emails, or letters. Even if a defending party sends flowers or gifts to the plaintiff the act ii considered to be a direct violation of the protection order. Orders of protection are also issued in cases where there is harassment, stalking, and even bullying in some states.

How an Order of Protection Works

Protection orders give the person seeking protection the opportunity to specify what their specific needs regarding protection are. Once a protection order is issued, it can only be lifted or changed by an order of a court. Even if the plaintiff and the defending party make the decision that they want to try to work things out, only a judge can make the final decision as to whether the order should be augmented or terminated.

What is the Process of Getting an Order of Protection

There are several ways in which an order of protection can be obtained. The paperwork to be filed can be obtained by filing a complaint with a local police department, women’s shelters, and local court houses. A hearing is usually scheduled within 14 days of the paperwork being filed, and the plaintiff is ordered to be in court on the scheduled court date. Plaintiffs should have proof of abuse to present to the court, such as medical records, pictures or injuries, or a police report.

If an order of protection is granted, it is important that the plaintiff make multiple copies of the order, and keep them in a safe place. It is recommended that a copy be given to a family member or a friend in case of an emergency. The plaintiff should also keep a copy of the order on his or her person at all times.