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Unique Aspects of DC Protective Orders

There are two different types of protective orders. One order that may be ordered is made without a finding, which is an attractive option for the petitioner. A complainant files a petition for a protective order and instead of litigating the merits of the order, the respondent consents to it without a finding against them of a violation of the law or a concession on disputes to the allegation. In this case, it is recorded by the court as an entry of a protective order without a finding. In other situations, when findings are made, the protective order takes a finding.

If you have had a protective order placed against you, reach out to an attorney who is knowledgeable about the unique aspects of DC protective orders. A seasoned protection order lawyer could help you understand your rights.

Protective Orders Placed Against Individuals Who Live with the Petitioner

An individual who has a protective order issued against them is the respondent. They could be forced to leave the home for the period of time the protective order is in effect. Sometimes, if an agreement is reached, the protective order could specify that the person can live in the home. However, it prohibits harassment, assault, threats or stalking behavior also known as a NO HATS order.

What if the Individual has an Order Against Them and No Other Housing Options?

When an individual has no other housing options and an order is issued against them, their lawyer could make arguments that the respondent should be allowed to stay in the home. They could request an order that requires the person not to harass, assault, threaten, or stalk the complainant be issued instead of an order that requires them to leave the home.

When that is not successful, the respondent must find temporary housing with friends, or stay at a motel or hotel. Their attorney will then file a motion after approximately 14 days to have the judge reconsider the order. Sometimes, the situation is calmer and there are no violations of the order at that point. The respondent’s attorney may be able to convince the judge to reconsider the order and make changes that allow the person to return home.

Whether the deed to the home is in the respondent’s name, the petitioner’s name or both is usually not relevant. If the complainant is a resident of the home and they lived there for more than 30 days, it does not matter who owns the home. People may have the misconception that if the home is in their name, they are not required to move out. That is not the way judges rule and is not what the law says.

Presence of Children in a Domestic Dispute

Protective orders may be issued in domestic disputes. The presence of children complicates these situations, specifically when childcare is shared between parents. Arrangements must be made when children are offered for childcare and one parent does not live in the home during the period when the protective order is in effect. The presence of children is one of the unique aspects of DC protective orders involving spouses or former partners.

Protective Orders Impact on Family, Criminal, and Civil Court Proceedings

A protective order can be implicated in future family, criminal, or civil court proceedings if the order is violated. A contempt charge could be issued against the person in criminal court if a civil protection order is violated. The fact that an order is issued may be considered in family or domestic relations court as well.

Call a legal professional today to learn more about the unique aspects of DC protective orders.

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