Domestic violence is a sad reality in some family law cases.  The court system responds quickly to these allegations and does a tremendously good job of getting victims into court within hours or days of an allegation made to a police officer or magistrate.

There are three types of protective orders to combat domestic violence:

  1. Emergency Protective Orders:  3-day protection orders, usually issued by the police officer called to the scene, or by the magistrate if the individual’s case is compelling;
  2. Preliminary Protective Orders:  2-week protection orders, typically while the parties await the court hearing to determine if the Order should be extended “permanently” or up to two years; and
  3. Permanent Protective Orders:  Issued following a court hearing for a certain period of time, up to two years. 

Once a permanent order is issued, a party may appeal the decision made by the court, if formally requested within 10 days.  Violations of a permanent order may be reported at any time, leading to a follow up hearing.  Amendments to a permanent order can be made with a motion to amend.

Protective orders are commonly known on TV as “restraining orders.”  People will come into our law office, detailing abuse, and say, “I need a restraining order.”  For the abused, protective orders provide enforceable distance from the batterer while the victim sorts their life out. 

These are a few situations and emotions our clients commonly deal with. Do any of them sound familiar?

  • “We haven’t been getting along, but this time, our fight just spiraled out of control, and now I have to report to the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court for a Protective Order hearing. What is going to happen now?”
  • "What is going to happen in court if a protective order is entered against me--will I be able to see my kids?"