Protective Orders

What is a protective order? Generally, people who ask this question are asking about a group of papers that are considered “Orders of Protection.” This group includes stalking injunctions, protective orders, and child protective orders. Any of the forms for these “Orders of Protection” are available on-line through the courts at http://www.utcourts.gov/ocap.

 

To better understand what "Orders of Protection" are, we should first look at a few definitions.

 

Petitioner: The person or persons requesting the order on behalf of others or themselves.

 

Respondent: The person that is to respond to and follow the orders of the court.

 

Ex-parte: Temporary orders from the courts that are based only on a verified petition from the petitioner. Usually last for a certain time period or until a scheduled hearing date.

 

Restraining orders: These orders are sometimes confused as orders to protect persons, but are actually to restrain people from disposing of and/or destroying property.

 

Stalking injunctions: Anyone that believes he or she is a victim of stalking may apply for an ex-parte stalking injunction. These are temporary orders based only on the petitioners side of the events. These orders can restrain the respondent from going to certain locations, contacting and/or communicating with the petitioner, or any other relief that the court feels is necessary. The respondent has 10 days to request a hearing. If this is not done, the ex-parte stalking injunction automatically converts to a civil stalking injunction. Violators of either ex-parte or stalking injunctions orders can be charged with violations between “A” misdemeanors and second degree felonies depending on the frequency and/or weapons used.

 

Protective orders: This order is for cohabitants that have been subjected to or have a substantial likelihood of being subject to abuse or domestic violence. This order can be issued on the respondent without prior notice by means of the courts issuing an ex-parte protective order. These orders may include orders to stay away from certain locations, people, and weapons; they also specify who is in control of what property. At the hearing the Judge may cancel or make changes to this order. Then the Judge may continue the ex-parte order or make it permanent. If continued, a new hearing / court date will be issued. Violators of Protective orders are generally charged with “A” misdemeanors. The charges then increase by one degree for each subsequent offense.

 

Child protective orders: These are very similar to Protective orders but are issued on behalf of someone that is a child after a mandatory contact with DCFS. These orders can be petitioned for by any interested person in behalf of a child that is being abused or is in imminent danger of being abused. This order can be issued on the respondent without prior notice by means of the courts issuing an ex-parte protective order. These orders may include orders to stay away from certain locations, people, and weapons and also specify who is in control of what property. The judge may appoint an attorney guardian ad litem for the child to serve the best interest of the child.

 

You can see that the Justice System takes orders of protection very serious since they are willing to issue orders after only hearing the petitioner’s side of the story. This is why court hearings are able to be requested or are given at the time of service. There is no cost from the court or the Sheriff’s Office for processing and serving these papers. As with any paper that the Civil Unit serves, they may appear to be routine. In fact, some of these orders are simple and compel individuals to not abuse, contact, or threaten. This can quickly change to violent and dangerous because of the high emotions that are invoked within some people and the variety of orders that the court can stipulate. More time consuming orders can divide property, remove children from parents, and remove individuals from their homes or work.

 

In the Civil Unit and throughout the Cache County Sheriff’s Office, we are very sincere in expediting the service of these orders. The Deputies of the Sheriff’s Office as a whole help to facilitate these orders by serving them any time of the night or day so that the petitioner can receive the protection and rights afforded them through these orders.