What to do if in possession of a temporary protective order
Someone can request a restraining order if he or she claims there was abuse by someone of a close relationship. If someone has served you with a temporary protective order, also called a restraining order, you may be wondering what your next steps are.
The California Courts state that if the judge approves the individual’s request, there is a temporary order that is in effect until there is a hearing to determine the validity of the claim. For the best outcome, there are certain steps you must follow.
Follow the terms outlined in the order
The order will lay out orders that you must follow. Common ones include staying away from the alleged victim’s home, work or school and avoiding all contact. The order should also contain the date of the court hearing to determine if a permanent restraining order is necessary.
Prepare for and attend the hearing
The hearing is the time you are able to state your case and argue the claim of abuse. If there is any evidence or witnesses that can help your defense, bring them along. The judge will also hear from the individual requesting the order.
After hearing both sides, if the judge determines a protective order is necessary, he or she will issue one for a period of time of up to five years.
If issued, follow the permanent order
It is important to follow everything in the order, which may address:
- Stay away orders
- Personal conduct orders
- Residence exclusion orders
An order may affect your ability to see not only the person requesting the order but also your children. The order may also require you to attend counseling or anger management sessions.
According to FindLaw, if you violate any of the order’s terms, you could face arrest and contempt of court, misdemeanor or felony charges. Penalties include stiff fines, jail time or both.