By Joseph E. Cordell, J.D., C.P.A, LL.M
Principal Partner, Cordell & Cordell
In this article, I’ll give you seven tips on how you can fight an order of protection.
Tips for fighting a protective order:
- Get the documents. In order to be prepared to fight the order you need to know exactly what is being said about you. These documents are public record and are available at the court house.
- Know the law in your state. Know the timelines for contesting these orders, and take action immediately when you are informed that there may be an order against you.
- Do not violate the order. Even if you believe the temporary order was wrongfully entered, it is still an order from the court and violation of it could result in criminal charges and jail time. Violation of an order will also send a message to the judge that the order is needed, because you cannot even behave with it in place.
- Look for impossibilities and get objective proof. Take a good hard look at what is being said about you and gather any proof you can that it did not occur or that it could not have occurred. If you are accused of doing something while you were at work, obtain your timecard to show the judge that you could not have possibly done it. If the petitioner is alleging that you are harassing her on the phone, get your phone records to show that you have not called her.
- Put on your game face. When you walk into court, all the judge knows is what the other party has written in their petition. Go to court dressed nicely, be respectful, and be calm the entire time you are there. First impressions with the judge matter and will help you during the hearing.
- Testify. If you get the chance to testify, take it. Spend your time explaining your relationship with the petitioner and what actually occurred during the times she alleges you were harming or threatening to harm her. Do not throw mud! Judges are not more sympathetic toward you if you show how crazy she is. Stick to objective facts and steer clear of making her personality an issue.
- Hire an attorney. You have the right to have legal representation if a protective order is entered against you. It is important to have someone advocate for your rights and to hold the other party to their burden of proof. Cordell & Cordell has men’s divorce lawyers located throughout the country.