Family & Juvenile Law Section “Top 10’s”

Top Ten Tips For Protective Orders
By: Dorothy Lennig, Esquire and Christopher Van Roden, Esquire

  1. Get subpoenas out immediately to Police and any witnesses.
  2. If there is a divorce or custody case pending, ask that the protective order case be transferred to the Circuit Court – file the motion before the final hearing, or at the final hearing.
  3. If there is no custody or divorce case pending, file one if it is appropriate and then refer to #2 above.
  4. Make sure that your client realizes that even if he consents to the Entry of a Protective Order, the effect will be the same insofar as the requirement to surrender firearms is concerned, and may affect security clearances and employment.  This is NOT something that any Judge has the power to modify – it is Federal Law!!
  5. Attempt to work out a Consent if the only issue is staying away and having no contact.
  6. Testify about the incident of abuse specifically and accurately (do not exaggerate or down play the abuse)
  7. Have a respectful and professional demeanor in court
  8. Preserve any evidence i.e. take pictures of any existing injuries, save threatening messages, bring evidence of income etc.
  9. Be sure to bring up any evidence of past abuse between the victim and the abuser.
  10. Do not consent to go to a Final Protective Order hearing at the Temporary Protective Order stage unless you have all of your evidence and witnesses with you and you are prepared to go forward that day.