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Protective and Emergency Court Action

Also known as a restraining order, it is put in place to protect a person that is targetd in a hostile situation usually involving harassment, stalking, domestic violence, or sexual assault. This order is issued by a judge or magistrate to protect the individual. Note, to be awarded a permanent protective order, you must show that the harassing conduct violates a law. This often leads to "criminal" trials, but with the burden set at "preponderance of the evidence instead of beyond a reasonable doubt.

Often, protective orders are used proactively in family law cases to obtain a restraining order which keeps one party away from the children or assets. This often can be viewed as unethical conduct when prompted by the attorney filing the divorce. Be alert to conduct that could cause a protective order to be filed against you, and seek legal counsel if you are in a hostile or combative family situation.

There are 2 types of general protective orders in family law:

1. TEMPORARY PROTECTIVE ORDER (TPO) - This order lasts for 15 days or until a full hearing has been held. You must file a petition with the court to acquire a preliminary protective order to be filed.

2. PERMANENT PROTECTIVE ORDER (PPO) - After both of the parties have received notice and are both heard in court you may receive a protective order for up to two years.

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