Peace and Protective Order Petitions often go hand-in-hand with criminal allegations of domestic violence, assault, stalking, harassment, and certain other offenses and are considered quasi criminal in nature. The three levels of both Peace and Protective Orders are: Interim Peace and Protective Orders; Temporary Peace and Protective Orders; and Final Peace and Protective Orders. It is important to know who is eligible for each type of order, the burden of proof for the person seeking relief, and to act quickly if served with a Peace or Protective Order as court appearances are scheduled very quickly.
Protective orders are available to the following individuals:
- Current & Former Spouses
- Cohabitants for 90 days
- Persons related to the alleged abuser by blood, marriage or adoption
- A parent, stepparent, child or stepchild
- Vulnerable Adult
- Individual who has a child in common with the alleged abuser
- Individual who has had a sexual relationship with the alleged abuser within one year before filing the petition
Peace orders are available to:
- Anyone who is not eligible for a protective order, but who has been a victim of abuse
Interim Peace and Protective Orders are issued by District Court Commissioners and only effective until the earlier of the Temporary Protective Order Hearing or the end of the second business day the office of the clerk of the District Court is open following the issuance of the order. At a Temporary Peace Order Hearing a judge must determine if reasonable grounds exist that the alleged abuse occurred and at Temporary Protective Order Hearing a judge must determine if reasonable grounds exist that the alleged abuse occurred and is likely to occur in the future. If the court grants a Temporary Peace or Protective Order, the matter will then be set in for a Final Peace or Protective Order Hearing and the person seeking relief must then prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence, a higher burden.
There are no statutory penalties for someone who files a Protective Order Petition to be spiteful and misdemeanor penalties, which are hardly ever enforced, for individuals providing false information on a Peace Order Petition. However, the consequences for the alleged abuser or “respondent” can be devastating even if he or she has done nothing wrong. For example, if you have a security clearance or must carry firearm as part of your employment, are a professor or teacher, or even a student, your career or education can come to a screeching halt. The attorneys at DeCaro Doran have handled hundreds of Peace and Protective Order Hearings.
Please contact us immediately if served with an order. This is one area of law where seconds count. Additionally, if you have prevailed in a previous Peace or Protective Order Hearing, please contact us to see if you are eligible to have the matter Shielded. Remember, even if you’ve never been in trouble, Peace and Protective Order Petitions carry with them the same
stigma as being charged with a crime. We look forward to assisting you in maintaining the reputation you have worked so hard to build.