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This article is primarily intended to assist individuals who have been served with a protective order.
Let's face it, the premise of protective orders are quite ridiculous. You have a domestic partner, be it a boyfriend, husband, or fiance who you are afraid will hurt you in the future. Because of this overwhelming fear, you ask a quasi-judicial officer, or what we call a magistrate to issue an emergency protective order on an ex parte basis, which most will do without a lot of hesitation. Then your case escalates up to a JD&R judge who conducts a hearing with all parties within 14 days or so. Well, now that you have the protective order, you are shielded by a bullet proof, fist proof legal protection right? When that crazy husband comes to your home with a gun, with an intent to kill you, all you have to do is calmly brandish your protective order, and he will immediately desist from his aggression and leave peacefully. ----------- This scenario is as improbable as winning the powerball lottery. As a practicing attorney for 14 years, in my experience, a party seeking a protective order is not trying to truly get judicial protection. They are simply trying to gain a judicial advantage in a domestic situation, be it a custody fight or divorce. If a protective order is issued against you, you will lose valuable rights. Possessing firearms is a key right. You also will unlikely be able to maintain or apply for a concealed weapons permit. However, the biggest and most egregious consequence of protective orders, be temporary or permanent, is that they interfere with custody rights. If you are served with a no-contact protective order, that supersedes all other others entered. If you have a custody order saying you get your children on Thursday after school, and a no-contact protective order is issued protecting the mother (and usually the children) from you, you are not going to get to exercise the custody rights that have previously been awarded until you get that protective order removed. Additionally, if you get served with a no-contact protective order, you cannot contact the person who it protects. Even if they contact you first. Many times protective orders get issued to protect a wife from a husband. Then a few days later the wife is texting and calling the husband. DO NOT ANSWER THOSE TEXTS OR CALLS. There are serious criminal consequences that you could face for having any contact with the protected party. Protective orders are also quasi-criminal. This means they will stay on your criminal record if one is issued, which will make you look like a crazy person to future people looking at your criminal record. Do not consent to the issuance of a protective order. Do not agree to have one issued just against the wife but not your children. Fight protective orders as you would any criminal charge. I have never, in 14 years, advised a client to consent to the issuance of a protective order.
Contact my office immediately for a consultation if you have recently been served with a protective order and wish to protect your rights.