Protection from Domestic Violence

Victims of domestic abuse often find it difficult to address the matter and may be unsure of where to turn for help. A group legal plan can provide the legal assistance victims need to feel safe.

One of the early steps to seek protection should involve meeting with an attorney to discuss restraining orders. A temporary order is often granted by a judge who has determined that the petitioner is in danger and needs protection until the time of the court hearing, when a permanent order is issued.

Temporary orders include:

  • Emergency Protective Order (EPO): An EPO can be issued after police have responded to a domestic violence call. A police officer can call a judge and request an EPO at any time, effective immediately, if he or she believes a person is in imminent danger.
  • Temporary Restraining Order (TRO): This short-term order can be obtained if a victim has been threatened, stalked or abused. A TRO is typically issued at the time a person applies for a restraining order. Its purpose is to provide protection until a court hearing is held and a restraining order is issued.

Permanent orders are issued after a court hearing in which both sides have a chance to present evidence:

  • Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO): A person must have a close relationship to the restrained party, such as a family member, spouse or former spouse, or current or past dating relationship. Generally, a DVRO can only be obtained if a victim was harmed within the last 3-6 months.
  • Civil Harassment Order/Civil Protection Order: This type of order is similar to a DVRO in that it can usually only be obtained if an individual has already been threatened, stalked or physically harmed. Unlike other types of restraining orders, no specific relationship to the restrained party is required.

While all orders prohibit an individual from contacting the protected party, a legal professional can help assess the situation and decide on the best action to obtain protection and reach a satisfactory resolution for the victim. Contact Hyatt Legal Plans at 800-821-6400 to find an attorney who can help.

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