Obtaining Orders of Protection
You do not need or have to make a police report to apply for an Order of Protection. If you called the police all you will need is the number that is written on Laura’s card, which will be given to you at the time.
There must be a least one or more of the following relationships:
- Spouse or former spouse
- Related by blood (parent, child, brother, cousin etc.)
- Currently reside together or cohabit
- Formerly resided together or cohabited
- Have a child in common
- Presently or in the past dating relationship
- In-laws related by marriage
You must go to the county courthouse to file a petition. You will need: Identification and An address where the person can be served. It can be home, work or relative’s house, if there. There has to be a recent threat of physical harm, actual harm or physical harm.
Once the petition in filled out there is a page where your signature will be notarized by the county clerk. Do not sign until in the clerk’s office. The clerk will put the information into the court’s computer system and you will be assigned a judge. Take the petition to the judge’s office. The staff will show the petition to the judge as soon as possible. If the judge is holding court you might have to wait sometime.
If you are granted an Ex Parte Order of Protection, take it back to the clerk’s office. It will be filed and you will be given a copy with a copy for law enforcement. There will be a court date and time on the petition. If you do not go to court that day the case will be dismissed.
Safety with an Order of Protection:
- If you have an Order of Protection, keep your protection order on you at all times and a copy of the order at all places where the abuser is likely to contact you, i.e., parents’ homes, your place of employment, friends and relatives, children’s school or daycare.
- Call the police if your partner breaks the protection order in any way. Before you give the police your name and address tell them “I have an Order of Protection and the person is here now!” Get a police report stating the Order of Protection was violated and take it to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and take a copy with you to the court hearing.
- Think of others ways to keep safe if the police do not respond right away.
- Inform family, friends, neighbors and the people in the workplace if you feel comfortable. Inform teachers and school personnel that an Order is in effect and the children cannot be removed from school or daycare by that person or anyone you have not given permission for.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ORDER OF PROTECTION, RESTRAINING ORDER AND A NO CONTACT ORDER
Order of Protection
These orders are civil in nature, but have arrest powers. If the Respondent (abuser) violates the Order of Protection, it becomes a criminal offense. The Order of Protection is not a mutual order. The petitioner is not prohibited from going to any location or participating in any certain contact, such as school activities etc. The Order can only be dismissed by the judge issuing the Protection Order.
Restraining Orders are usually only entered when there are divorce proceedings between parties. The language of a Restraining Order is usually broader than the typical Order of Protection. Unlike the Protection Order, the Restraining Order has no arrest power. Thus, the police cannot arrest a defendant for simply violating a Restraining Order. The victim must file a contempt motion and proceed in court in order to punish the defendant. Also, the language in the Restraining Order is usually, mutual, so parties cannot do any of the mentioned restrictions against each other.
No Contact Order
These Orders are issued by criminal courts. The No Contact Order usually goes into effect when bail is set by a judge, or the first time the defendant appears in front of a judge, whichever is first. They can also be ordered when someone is convicted of a crime.