How do I get a temporary order of protection dropped?
Recently on our legal forum a user asked, “I have had a protection order filed against me. I do not think there was valid reason to file the order. What can I do to have the order lifted?”
What is a protection order?
Protection orders are generally filed against individuals to keep them from doing or not doing some specific action. Protection orders can differ, but they are most commonly filed to keep someone injuring or abusing another person.
Abuse can include any action which causes bodily injury, rape, involuntary sexual intercourse performed while unconscious or by threat of force, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault (vaginal or anal penetration), incest, false imprisonment, physical or sexual abuse of a child, stalking, harassment or placing another person in reasonable fear of serious bodily harm.
You did not mention the specifics of your case, but if someone alleges that you performed any of the above actions they can go to court and request a protection order against you.
What type of order can be filed against you?
As mentioned above, there are a variety of different types of orders. For example, if someone believes there is an immediate threat of violence an Emergency Protection Order may be filed. Other orders can include Temporary Restraining Orders, Domestic Violence Restraining Orders, Civil Harassment Orders, Workplace Violence Prevention Restraining Orders, Juvenile Restraining Orders, and Dependent Adult or Elder Abuse Orders.
The process for obtaining orders and how long they will remain in effect will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.Now, you did to have rescinded
How long does the protection order last?
You mentioned that a temporary restraining order has been filed. If, after the hearing, the court determines the order is valid, state laws will determine how long a specific protection order will be enforced. For example, if an alleged victim files a protection order of abuse against you in Maine, it will last for two years, although it may be extended if the plaintiff requests an extension and has evidence to suggest they are still in danger. The plaintiff will have to appear in court and present their motion.
Can the defendant have the order terminated or modified?
Unfortunately, from the information available, it looks like after a permanent restraining order has been issued the process to get it terminated can be very complicated. This is true even if the courts issued the order without following the requirements of the law.
For example, abuse orders in Massachusetts should only be issued if the one or more of the following actions occurred between family or household members:
- Attempting to cause or causing physical harm;
- Placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm;
- Causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat or duress.
Getting the order lifted, regardless of whether or not it was issued correctly, however, may be tough. For example, in Texas, only a court order or its expiration will terminate the order.
The good news for you is that so far only a temporary protection order has been filed. The best way to fight the protection order and make sure the court does not issue a permanent order is to talk to a lawyer before the hearing and make sure you have help to present the right evidence at the hearing. Specifically, you will need to do the following:
- Show that you did nothing to place the alleged victim in serious, imminent, or physical harm
- Be prepared to show proof to refute the alleged victim’s testimony
- Have evidence that the alleged victim had an ulterior motive for getting the order that had nothing to do with fear of abuse
- Read the alleged victim’s affidavit and make sure you understand why they have requested the order.
It’s important to take the right legal steps now, especially if you have done nothing wrong. A protection order is a serious legal request and can limit your rights.
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