Protective Order Attorneys in Ogden
There are many reasons why you may need orders of protection, also known as restraining orders. You may have been the victim of domestic violence or someone may have threatened to harm you in some way. Protective orders are issued by a court and designed to keep a threat away from you.
A Restraining Order is a court order that prevents certain actions on part of an individual or group. Typically, these orders are to prevent contact with a specific person or persons or to stay away from a specific property. This prevents further injury in cases of domestic violence. In some states, a restraining order can be registered with the police. That way they can respond immediately in cases of an abused child or victim of a stalker. Most restraining orders are temporary, in which they expire on their own and must be renewed. A violation of a restraining order can result in criminal prosecution.
A Protective Order is an order issued by the court in order to protect someone from harassment or injury. Most orders are presented to the courts at the request of one party. The other party may appear at a later date to make their case to the judge. Many protective orders are issued by the police when courts are out of session, like a weekend or holiday. Protective orders tend to last a short time. The courts can then issue a restraining order which has a longer duration. However, warranted the situation severe enough, a protective order can remain permanent.
What Can Protective Orders Do?
In the state of Utah, a protective order demands that the Respondent, the person who you filed the order against, not harm you, the Petitioner, your children or anyone who lives in your home. They must also stay away from your home, job, vehicle or school and they cannot contact or harass you in any way. Depending on the reason for the order, the judge could order the Respondent not have any guns or weapons and could allow for possession of a home, car, or essential property. Temporary custody, parent-time, and support as well as spousal support may also be ordered as part of the orders of protection. If you have children and file against your spouse, they can be ordered not to remove the children from Utah. You may also be permitted to carry a concealed firearm without a permit in a vehicle, on a public street or in a posted prohibited area for 120 days after the order is issued.
Disobeying Restraining Orders
Anyone who disobeys the rules of an order of protection may be arrested which could lead to fines and jail time. If the person you have filed the order against violates the rules, you need to contact the police immediately and this must be done each time they violate the order. When the officer arrives, show them a copy of the order, and request a police case number. Even if no one is arrested at the time, request that the officer turn the violation over to a prosecutor.
Who Can Get Protective Orders?
You may be eligible for a protective order if you have been harmed by the Respondent, you are related, live with or used to live with each other or have children together, you are pregnant by the Respondent and you are at least 16, married or emancipated. You may also get a restraining order if you are afraid of harm by the respondent, you are related, lived together or have children together, you are pregnant by the Respondent and you are at least 16, married or emancipated. An adult can request orders of protection for a child under the age of 16.
What is the Definition of Harm?
In Utah, harm has specific definitions. The following terms are considered harm and could qualify you for orders of protection:
- Any type of physical attack
- Breaking things
- Pulling hair
- Restricting movement
- Sexual assault
- Stopping you from calling for help
- Throwing things
- Using a weapon
Even trying or threatening to do any of these things is considered harm.
Getting a Protective Order
There is no fee for a protective order in Utah. You will need to fill out forms and file them with the court. Forms can be found online or picked up at the courthouse. You can also find them at a domestic violence shelter. The forms must be filed in the district court where you or the Respondent live or where the abuse or threats took place. Take the forms to the clerk’s office who will review the paperwork, your identification and watch you sign the request. Once the papers are filed, you will be given a case number and assigned a judge. The clerk will then take you before the judge for an ex parte hearing.
During the hearing, the judge may determine that you need an immediate order of protection. At that time, they will sign a Temporary Protective Order which begins as soon as the Respondent is served by law enforcement. This temporary order will remain in effect until a hearing for the final order, but the temporary order can be extended if there is a delay in serving the Respondent. If the Respondent is in Utah, a County Sheriff or Constable will serve the papers but if they live outside of Utah, it will be your responsibility to serve the order. Information about the order will also be entered into the Statewide Domestic Violence Network in order for it to be accessible to law enforcement.
Civil and Criminal
There are two parts to a final protective order. The civil portion of the order lasts for 150 days unless a judge extends it. The criminal portion of the order lasts 10 years. The Respondent can request the final order be dismissed after two years and, if you choose, you can request the court to extend it beyond 10 years. You must have a good reason for requesting the extension.
We Can Assist You Today
If someone you care about is the victim of domestic violence, contact Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman right away. You need an experienced advocate working on your behalf, guiding you through the steps you need to take to help protect your physical safety as well as your legal rights.