What is a Protective Order?

A Protective Order. . .

* Orders a person not to commit any more family violence

* Orders a person not to come within a certain distance of where the victim lives and works and of the victim's children, their home, school, day care or baby sitter

* Orders a person not to communicate with the victim indirectly in a way that is harassing or threatening

* Prevents a person from harassing, annoying, alarming, abusing, tormenting or embarrassing the victim or a member of the victim's family or household

* If you are still living together, requires the defendant to move out

Who is entitled to a Protective Order?

The person who committed the family violence against the victim must be either

* related to the victim by blood or marriage

* currently living with the victim or must have lived with them at some time

* someone with whom the victim has had a child

* someone who has or has had a dating relationship with the victim

How to apply.

You will be required to fill out a simple application form giving us information on yourself and the person you are making the complaint against (the defendant). If you cannot fill out the application, we will help do it for you.

At this time it is determined whether to send the defendant a letter, raise a bond, secure a no-contact order or request a protective order.

You will also be referred to various outside agencies for appropriate services.

What information do we need?

In order to provide you with a Protective Order, we need the following:

* A police report (We will obtain this for you; however, if you have a recent police report it will expedite your case)

* A statement that we take from you describing what type of violence has occurred

* A current address on the defendant

Protective Order procedures

Once the paperwork is prepared, a protective order hearing will be scheduled in twenty (20) days to give the Sheriff's Office time to serve the defendant. Once granted, a protective order lasts two years.

The Sheriff's Office will hand deliver the paperwork to the defendant. The paperwork consists of an application for the protective order, the sworn statement you signed in our office describing the violence, and a Temporary Ex Parte Order to keep the defendant from bothering you until the hearing date. This includes keeping the defendant away from your house and job.

If the Defendant is served, you will need to go to Court. An attorney will go with you to Court to represent you and answer all your questions.

If the defendant agrees to leave you alone, an Agreed Protective Order will be issued. If he or she does not show, you automatically get a protective order by default. If he or she denies the charges, a hearing will be held in front of a Judge who will decide if you get the protective order.

Once you receive the Protective Order, the defendant may be arrested if he or she bothers you or goes near your residence. However, if the defendant is not delivered (served) the papers, the case will be reset again for twenty (20) days, and again, if necessary.