If a law enforcement officer presents you with a protection order, you may have a lot of questions. A protection order lists certain prohibited activities towards the individual who requested the order, known as the petitioner.
If you are in possession of this order, or you receive notice of a hearing, there are some important things you need to know.
Follow all terms of the order
The Indiana University Bloomington Maurer School of Law discusses some of the common prohibited activities the protection order may include:
- Stalk, harass or abuse the individual listed on the order
- Enter the property or place of work of the petitioner
- Contact the petitioner in any way
- Destroy the petitioner’s property
The order may demand that you move out of the property, if you share it with the petitioner, or give up child custody, temporarily. You must follow all terms listed in the order or face legal consequences.
You have a chance to present your side
If you receive an ex parte order, you have the chance to respond and request a hearing within 30 days of receiving it. According to the Indiana State Government Public Courts, you may also receive notice of a hearing in which a judge will decide to grant or deny a protection order.
During this hearing, you have a chance to stand in front of the judge and state your case. If you have witnesses or evidence to support your side, this is the time to present them. The judge will also hear from the petitioner. After hearing both sides, the judge will grant or deny the order and determine its length.
Consequences associated with violating terms of the order
During the duration of the protection order, you must follow every term. If you violate even one of them, consequences may include arrest and jail time, fines or both.