Temporary Protective Order Georgia: A Comprehensive Guide
For Educational Purposes Only: Protection order related content is provided solely for educational purposes and is intended to offer understanding and knowledge in this specific area of law. Our law firm does not represent individuals or entities in obtaining protective orders.
Temporary protective orders or family violence protective orders may be necessary due to domestic violence or any act or threat of harm. Even though a piece of paper does not solemnly stop a person from hurting you, police have the authority to arrest such a person for violating the order, which usually deters the subject from making further contact.
What Is a Temporary Protective Order in Georgia?
A temporary protective order (TPO) is a person’s protection against domestic violence. A formal court order is granted to a person to protect them, their children, and sometimes other relatives from a perceived threat of harassment, physical abuse, assault, stalking, and other harm. The order also extends to your workplace (employee or employer protective orders), home, car, and your kid’s school or childcare facilities.
Every state has different forms of restraining orders. In Georgia, in addition to employer protective orders, there are two more types of orders available: family violence protective orders and stalking protective orders. It is essential to know the laws of Georgia on the differences between the charges and how you can obtain one.
It’s also important to understand your legal options if you have been unfairly served a temporary protective order (TPO) from your present or past spouses in Georgia. No matter your circumstances, consulting a skilled and compassionate lawyer like Holly Waltman of The Waltman Firm is your best course of action.
How Do I Get a Temporary Protective Order in Georgia?
You might be experiencing domestic violence at home and wish to acquire a temporary protective order against your partner. Developing an emergency protective order is a two-step process if you are in Georgia. First, it is advisable to file your petition in your county court. For example, you can petition the county’s Superior Court clerk’s office in Georgia.
Remember that it’s essential to know and identify which type of protective order you are petitioning for. For example, a stalking temporary protective order can be filed against someone who has surveilled, followed, or threatened your safety. Victims of workplace violence can seek protective orders against an employer who has threatened or committed an act of violence against them.
Finally, family violence protective orders can be issued when there have been one or more acts of violence between:
- past or present spouses,
- people who are parents to the same child,
- parents and children,
- stepparent and stepchildren living in the same household,
- foster families,
- current or former roommates.
However, you will want to visit a lawyer from a reputable law firm before taking action. The right legal advocate will evaluate your situation and guide you through your rights and options to ensure your safety.
1. Initial Screening
Once at the court, you must complete an initial screening that documents the main reason and valid evidence why you request a temporary protective order in Georgia. For instance, if you are a victim of domestic violence, you can present evidence of the physical injuries you may have obtained. Your attorney can help you obtain this evidence.
2. Swear an oath
After completing the screening, you will swear an oath, agreeing that the information provided is accurate and true. Once that is done, your request is prepared to be headed to a Superior Court judge for consideration. You will, after that, need to appear before a judge in a court of law to briefly summarize the situation and answer any questions a judge may have.
3. Order Status
If the temporary protective order is granted, you will be taken to another courthouse area while waiting for the order to be prepared and stamped.
In family violence cases, for instance, the TPO may be granted without informing the other party or holding a hearing. An initial hearing may occur on the same day individual files a protective order petition. The judges may grant a temporary ex parte order that will be in effect until the full hearing. The court will then have the temporary protective order served to the alleged abuser by the deputy sheriff within the first few hours after the order has been granted.
If you happen to be the accused and end up receiving a restraining order to stay away from someone, you also stand a chance to be represented by a lawyer.
Temporary Restraining Order Requirements
In Georgia, to obtain a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) or a Temporary Protective Order (TPO), specific requirements must be met:
- Jurisdiction: The incident that justifies the TRO must have occurred in Georgia for a Georgia court to have jurisdiction over the case.
- Relationship: For a family violence protective order, the parties must be current or former spouses, parents of the same child, parents and children, stepparents and stepchildren, foster parents and foster children, or other persons living or formerly living in the same household.
- Abuse or Threat of Abuse: The individual seeking a TRO must show that they have been the victim of family violence, stalking, or other forms of abuse or harassment or that there is a credible threat of such harm occurring.
- Filing a Petition: The individual seeking the TRO must file a petition with the appropriate Superior Court, which includes details about the abuse or threats, the relationship with the accused, and what kind of relief is being sought.
- Hearing: After the petition is filed, a judge will review it. If the judge determines that the petitioner is in immediate danger, they can issue a TRO without a full court hearing (temporary ex parte protective order).
- Extended Order: For the TRO to be extended beyond the initial period, a formal hearing will be scheduled where both parties can present evidence and testify. If the judge is satisfied that the petitioner needs continued protection, the TRO may sometimes be extended up to 12 months or longer.
- Service: The TRO is not effective until it is served on the other party, meaning they have been officially notified of the order.
The specifics of the legal process and the requirements may vary somewhat depending on the exact circumstances and the local court rules. Therefore, it’s best to seek the advice of a legal professional when dealing with such matters. The Waltman Firm, located in Marietta, Georgia, has experienced lawyers who are well-versed in this area and can help you get your restraining order as soon as possible.
How Long Does a Temporary Restraining Order Last?
Temporary restraining orders are mainly short-term pre-trial temporary injunctions. These types of orders cannot be issued for more than twenty-one days. This gives room for a court hearing after the restraining time has collapsed.
The other party, the accused, is also entitled to have a hearing within that period. If you are the other party within these restraining days, you can file or get your lawyer to file in court to modify or dismiss the order. After that, the judge may hold a hearing about the issue with both parties present.
What to Do If a Petition for Temporary Protective Order Has Been Filed Against You?
If you are the alleged abuser and have been served with a temporary restraining order in Georgia, you must carefully read it and obey it at all costs. You may feel the need to confront the petitioner, but the court may see this as criminal trespass. You do not want to worsen the matter as whatever you may be used against you.
Get a lawyer right away and inform them about your legal rights. An experienced lawyer will know what to expect at the hearing and how they may help you. Make plans to show up for the hearing on the date stated in the restraining order. If you fail to show up, a judge may go on and make orders about your children, if any, by issuing temporary custody without your input. This also applies to your property and money.
You can reschedule the court hearing if you need more time to get ready or find a lawyer.
Georgia Temporary Protective Order (TPO) vs Family Violence Protective Order
Temporary protective orders are quite different from family violence protective orders. First, a temporary restraining order does not necessarily mean you did something wrong. A family violence protective order is mostly issued after a court hearing after both parties have given their sides of the story along with evidence.
Whether you are the accuser or the accused, having a lawyer to help you every step of the way as you try to solve the matter at hand is crucial. The Waltman Firm in Georgia is an excellent example of a law firm specializing in domestic violence cases. It is positioned to represent you in temporary protective order cases.
Let us help you find protection by helping you file for temporary restraining orders. Alternatively, we can help you if you happen to be accused in such cases.
Be sure to visit our office in Marietta or contact us via our phone number below. You can also email us, and we will be sure to get back to you in no time!