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DC Protection Order Hearings

Before a judge orders a protection order in DC, a hearing takes place which allows both parties to present evidence before the court. The purpose of a protective order hearing from the complainant’s point of view is to establish that a protective order should be issued through the presentation of evidence. From the respondent’s perspective, the purpose of a DC protection order hearing is to show the judge that a protective order should not be issued because there is little or no evidence to maintain one. For more information about DC protection order hearings, reach out to a dedicated lawyer today.

Pre-Hearing Protection Order Process

When a person files for a protection order, a temporary protection order is granted by a Judge-In-Chambers, which is the office and courtroom that handles various emergency and short-term cases and hearings. People who need a temporary protection order appear before the judge, state the reasons they need a protective order, and their petition is granted almost 100 percent of the time.

Hypothetically, if the respondent found out about the request or that the request was going to be made, they could show up at the Judge-In-Chambers and attempt to contest the protective order. However, this usually does not happen.

Instead, after a temporary protection order is granted, a hearing is scheduled for the respondent in seven days. The time between an initial hearing and an official DC protection order hearing can be extended, and when it is, the effect of the temporary protection order is extended as well.

Who Must Be Present at a Protection Hearing?

Without a petitioner present at a civil protection order hearing in DC, it is almost impossible for the protection to be granted because the evidence needed to present to a judge to have the protection order granted is possessed only by the petitioner. Other witnesses could present the evidence instead, but that rarely happens.

A respondent must also be served for the hearing to go forward. Once the respondent is served, they must be present at the hearing. If the respondent is not served with a civil protection order, the hearing cannot go forward.

Evidence in Protection Order Hearings

Any witness who has personal knowledge of the violation can be used during a violation hearing. Other evidence used in DC protective order hearings include:

  • Text messages
  • Phone calls
  • Voice mails
  • Email
  • Social medial

Electronic evidence is common in protection order cases. This is because often the violation is some sort of contact or attempt to contact the other party.

Judges Who Hear Protection Order Cases in DC

DC judges take hearings on civil protection orders seriously because they are usually the result of domestic issues. The possibility of a violent outcome occurring when a protective order is not issued can often be high. These orders allow situations to settle down so that domestic relationships can be repaired or dealt with respectfully.

A DC judge usually extends a protective order when there is an allegation of additional conduct during the period when a protection order was in place. If a petitioner indicates that they are still in fear of the respondent, the petition may be extended.

If there is evidence to show that a petitioner lied in a civil protection order hearing, that may cause the judge to overturn the protective order and void it. That could lead to criminal charges against the petitioner.

DC protection order hearings take place in the DC Superior Courthouse, #500 Indiana Avenue Northwest.

Contact an Attorney About Protective Order Hearings in Washington DC

If you have had a protective order issued against you, reach out to a lawyer who could advocate for you. An attorney could also guide you through DC protection order hearings. Call today to set up a consultation.

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