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Family Law / Orders of Protection

If you have been served with papers by a process server or through certified mail, it is important to consult with an attorney quickly. The summons will state that you have 30 days to file a written Answer to the lawsuit or the other side may file for a default in the action. If the other parent is keeping you from seeing your child, you may have legal options. Informed decisions are good decisions. Consultation can provide you with information on your legal rights and ensure that you know what to expect. Consultation fees are at the hourly rate, but if you retain the day of your consultation, the consultation fee is waived in our law office. Make your appointment today to learn about your rights and options.

Temporary Ex Parte Orders of Protection are served by the Sheriff’s Department and will automatically have a hearing date to determine if an Order of Protection will be granted. The hearing date is set when the Temporary Ex Parte Order of Protection is served typically within 10 days of the service. The Temporary Ex Parte Order of Protection contains the following prohibitions to the person served:

(1) Do not abuse, threaten to abuse, hurt or try to hurt, or frighten Petitioner and/or Petitioner’s minor child(ren) under 18.

(2) Do not put Petitioner and/or Petitioner’s minor child(ren) under 18 in fear of being hurt or in fear of not being able to leave or get away.

(3) Do not stalk or threaten to stalk Petitioner and/or Petitioner’s minor child(ren) under 18.

(4) Do not come about the Petitioner and/or Petitioner’s minor child(ren) protected by this Order (including coming by or to a shared residence) for any purpose.

(5) Do not contact the Petitioner and/or Petitioner’s minor child(ren) protected by this Order, either directly or indirectly, by phone, email, messages, mail or any other type of communication or contact.

(6) If the parties shared a residence, Respondent must immediately and temporarily vacate the residence shared with the Petitioner, pending a hearing on the matter.

(7) If the parties shared a residence, Respondent can obtain his/her clothing and personal effects such as medicine as follows: (List process as approved by local law enforecement personnel). [This section will be specific to each jurisdiction.]

(8) You must not hurt, or threaten to hurt, any animals owned or kept by the Petitioner/Petitioner’s children.

If you do not appear at the hearing, then the Judge may likely grant the request for an Order of Protection. Orders of Protection remain in effect for one calendar year and can be requested to be extended for up to 10 years. If an Order of Protection is violated, criminal charges may result and often jail time will be imposed. The Court must find that there is a immediate and present threat of harm to a person or property which has occurred recently to find that an Order of Protection should be issued. If the Order of Protection is granted, not only will you be prohibited from having any contact with the Petitioner, you will also be prohibited from owning, possessing, having, buying or trying to buy, receiving or trying to receive, or in any other way get any firearm or ammunition. Any firearm that you are in possession of will be required to be transferred to another person who is legally allowed to have them within 48 hours of the issuance of the Order of Protection. Also, you will be required within 1 business day to fill out and file a Firearms Declaration of transferring your firearms.

Only a Court can change an Order of Protection once granted. So if you and the Petitioner no longer want the Order of Protection to be in place, you and the Petitioner must appear in front of the Judge and the Petitioner will need to request that the Order of Protection be dismissed.

Make your appointment today to learn about your rights and options.