This is the next post in our series on how Temporary Protective Orders impact family law matters in Little Rock, Arkansas. Our last article discussed when Judges may grant a TPO. It is important to understand that, while Judges will typically err on the side of caution, a Protective Order will typically not be granted unless there is a legitimate reason to be believe that one is, or is in danger of, being stalked, harassed, or harmed. To understand whether you may have a legitimate claim for a TPO, it is strongly suggested that you speak with an attorney immediately. In this article we will discuss the process of filing for an Order of Protection. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance then contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.
The process of obtaining a TPO begins by filing an application with the Court. The application must provide information stating why there is a threat to your safety. It is important to provide as many specifics, and as much supporting evidence, as possible. Evidence typically included with an application may include phone records, emails, police reports, photographs, or sworn statements from witnesses. The completed application will be filed with the Court and the Judge will review it. After this initial review, the Judge has several options. First, the Court may issue a short duration Protective Order and schedule a hearing, to be held shortly thereafter, in order to determine whether the Order should be extended for a longer period of time. Second, the Court may decline to immediately issue an Order, but may still schedule a hearing to determine if an Order should be issued. Finally, the Court may simply deny the application. How a Judge will rule, in any given matter, will always depend on the specific facts of the case.
The initial hearing, which is held after the Court reviews the application, will be relatively brief. The Court will listen to arguments from the lawyers for each side. The Court will not typically hear testimony at the hearing. After listening to arguments, the Judge will decide whether the Order (if one has already been granted) should be rescinded or extended. It goes without saying that one party is likely to be unhappy after the hearing. Each side will have an opportunity for an expedited appeal of the Judge’s ruling.
One point we cannot stress enough is that it is best to have an attorney assist you with the aforementioned process. It is important that your evidence be presented to the Court in a manner that is clear, concise, and easy to understand. Having experienced counsel, who is familiar with the process, can help you to present the matter to the Judge in a way that will help to protect your interests. Our Little Rock protective order lawyers understand the serious nature of such situations and our firm is ready to assist you. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.
We also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff and throughout the rest of Arkansas.