If you are in at least one of the following three categories of people, you can get an Order to Protection Against Domestic Violence.
1. Those who have been the victim of domestic violence,
2. Those that are in imminent danger of becoming the victim of domestic violence, and
3. Those that are the parent or legal guardian of any minor child that you live with and are seeking the order on their behalf.
Category 2 is really the most important because it allows you to get an Order of Protection even if you have not yet been the victim of domestic violence. In essence, the abuser does not get to abuse you once before you can get the order.
If you are in one or more of these categories, whether or not you can get the Order depends on the facts of your case.
After you file your petition, it will be read by a judge, usually within a day. At this point, the judge will assume that everything you wrote is true. Based on what you write in the petition, the judge will enter a temporary order if it appears that an immediate and present danger of domestic violence exists.
If your temporary order is entered, a hearing will be scheduled within 15 days. The hearing date can be delayed and the temporary order extended if the other person has not been notified of the hearing.
At the final hearing, you will have to prove the allegations in your petition by a preponderance of the evidence. If it appears to the judge that you are the victim of domestic violence or if you have reasonable cause to believe that you are in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence, the court will enter a permanent order of protection.
In the order of protection, the judge can address the following issues:
1. Child support,
2. Time sharing,
3. That the other side have no contact with you,
4. That the other side undergo a substance abuse and/or mental health evaluation,
5. That the other side attend a batterers intervention program,
6. That the other side stay away from your school, place of employment, and other places that you or your family members are known to frequent,
7. Surrender any firearms and ammunition.