Navigating a Cobb County Restraining Order: A Complete Guide
Whether you’re on the filing or receiving end of a restraining order, it’s essential that you know how to navigate the process and protect your rights. Get the facts here.
The Basics of a Restraining Order in Cobb County
Domestic violence is endemic. According to statistics, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men in the United States are victims of family violence in one form or another. As these numbers illustrate, just about anyone, including women, men, and children, can become victims of domestic violence and may need protection by the court.
Many people assume that domestic violence only occurs between current intimate partners or spouses. However, the perpetrators of domestic violence are much further reaching and can include past or present spouses, parents and children, stepparents and stepchildren, foster parents and foster children, siblings, or other close family members, as well as non-related co-inhabitants such as roommates.
If you or someone you love is being tormented or abused, you can file a restraining or protective order against the abuser. A restraining order seeks to protect a person from domestic danger, family violence, and stalking. It generally does so by prohibiting the accused from having any form of contact or relationship with another person from the same household.
To get a restraining order, the petitioner must file detailed information at the court and also attend a hearing. For legal advice on how to get a restraining order, read on or contact the trusted domestic violence lawyers at The Waltman Firm today.
Temporary Restraining Order Cobb County GA
Although most domestic violence victims can eventually obtain a more permanent restraining order through a court hearing, sometimes a victim of family violence may face an imminent danger of further abuse and may need immediate protection from the court.
The law allows victims of family violence to file a petition for a Temporary Protective Order (TPO), stating that they are likely to suffer another abuse at the hands of a family member or other persons living with them. In other words, temporary protective orders seek to protect people in certain relationships from abuse.
How Is a Temporary Protective Order Issued?
In this county, a Superior Court Judge issues a Temporary Protective Order (TPO). That is a civil order for the protection of a victim of family violence restraining the accused person from having any contact with the petitioner.
Petitioners must file for the temporary protective orders in the county courthouse where the respondent lives. The petitioner must satisfy the court that there is a record of a recently reported act of family violence. That means family violence has occurred in the past and it’s likely to happen again by the respondent towards the petitioner. Since there is a burden of proof to meet here, it’s usually a good idea to seek legal counsel before filing for the order.
Spouses or former spouses, parents and children, step-parents or foster-parents, as well as step-children and foster-children, including people living now or formerly living in the same household, are eligible to apply for a Temporary Protective Order (TPO). The Superior Court may order such temporary relief if it determines probable cause exists.
The court will subsequently issue a temporary restraining order (TRO), and the sheriff will serve the respondent with the order.
The court may grant a TRO without notice to the accused person. Due to its short-term nature, a Temporary Protective Order does not last for over 30 days.
A judge can make a protective order as the circumstances necessitate. A judge can:
- Order an accused to provide temporary accommodation for the petitioner.
- Order an accused to stop further violence or stalking.
- Grant temporary possession of the residence to the plaintiff.
- Order the respondent’s eviction from a property.
- Establish temporary visitation rights.
- Award temporary custody of minor children to the petitioner.
- Order either party to provide child support to minor children.
- Award costs against either party.
- Order the accused person to cover the cost of the protected person’s attorney’s fees.
- Order either party to provide for the other spouse.
- Order temporary possession of the personal property to the petitioner.
How to Have a Restraining Order Issued In Cobb County for Family Violence
As mentioned above, to have temporary protective orders issued in Georgia for domestic violence, victims must file the required documents in the county of residence.
When a temporary order elapses, the court will hold a hearing where both the petitioner and the respondent will present their cases. Petitioners must provide evidence that a family violence protective order, which may last up to one year, is required to protect him/her from the respondent.
The following acts against one’s spouse, children, stepparents, stepchildren, or another family member may constitute grounds for a restraining order:
- Physical violence.
- Psychological abuse.
- Financial abuse.
- Criminal trespass.
- Unlawful restraint.
Take note that in the state of Georgia, physical violence differs from a reasonable discipline administered by a parent or other person to a child, such as corporal punishment.
At the end of the hearing, the judge will decide if the order will be sustained and whether any further action will be taken. Otherwise, the order will be removed based on the evidence before the court.
How to Get a Restraining Order for Cobb County Georgia
The procedure and guidelines for protective orders under Georgia family law are provided in O.C.G.A. §19-13-3 as follows:
(b) Upon the filing of a verified petition in which the petitioner alleges with specific facts that probable cause exists to establish that family violence has occurred in the past and may occur in the future, the court may order such temporary relief ex parte as it deems necessary to protect the petitioner or a minor of the household from violence.
(c) Within ten days of the filing of the petition under this article or as soon as practical thereafter, but in no case later than 30 days after the filing of the petition, a hearing shall be held at which the petitioner must prove the allegations of the petition by a preponderance of the evidence as in other civil cases.
How to File a Restraining Order In Cobb County GA
You can file a protective order only in the Superior Court. Petitioners must complete the application papers by providing the information required by the Cobb County Superior Court.
You can file a restraining order either by yourself or with the help of an attorney. However, having a domestic violence attorney on your side will generally lead to a more favorable outcome.
Obtain A Restraining Order Cobb County GA
When you obtain a protective order, it can go a long way in protecting you and your loved ones from violence and danger. Once the court makes a restraining order, it binds the respondent, who will face arrest and criminal prosecution for breaching the order.
How to Protect Your Rights as a Respondent in a Cobb County Protective Order Hearing
Although domestic and family violence is a serious problem, mistakes or misunderstandings can happen, sometimes resulting in an unjust restraining order being filed against an accused individual. If you have found yourself in this situation, criminal defense attorney Holly Waltman is prepared to protect your rights.
A hearing for a restraining order holds within 30 days of the filing of a petition. The petition informs the respondent of the new court date for the hearing. You, the respondent, must then prepare and respond to the allegations against yourself.
The onus is usually on the petitioner to prove the facts alleged on the preponderance of the evidence. As the respondent, it will be your duty to show that the evidence provided by the petitioner does not prove the allegations against you. This can be a heavy burden to carry, especially when you are likely dealing with the fallout of the Temporary Protective Order, which is why it is crucial that you hire a criminal defense lawyer to represent you.
At the end of the hearing, the court determines probable cause against the respondent. If the judge is satisfied that the petitioner has made out a case on the preponderance of the evidence, the court will make the necessary orders.
Defending Against a Restraining Order Violation
If a restraining or protective order has already been issued against you, you must follow the conditions mandated by the order. If you are accused of violating the order, you will be charged with a criminal offense, and you could be convicted of either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on your unique circumstances and the nature of the violation. Some consequences of violating a restraining order include:
- Jail time.
- Losing custody of your children.
- Losing possession of your property.
No matter what you are going through, if you need protective order assistance, The Waltman Firm is here to help. Based in Marietta, GA, we have the skills, resources, and experience to guide you through each step of your restraining order hearing or your restraining order violation proceedings. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and begin moving forward.