How do I defend myself from an absolutely frivolous Stalking Ex Parte TPO and obtain attorneys fees from the petitioner?

Asked about 1 year ago - Atlanta, GA

A frivolous Stalking Ex Parte Temporary Protective Order was filed against me by a disgruntled former business associate. The Petitioner alleges that I "knowingly and willfully committed acts in violation of O.C.G.A. 16-5-90 et seq., and that the petitioner is in fear of their safety ... and that probable cause exists to believe similar events will occur in the future". The truth is that I have not seen, emailed, spoken to or sent a text message to this person in 5 months. I have NO idea where she lives or works. Her friends and family contacted me on Facebook and I responded. That's it. She did not like my side of the story so she filled this TPO to prevent me from sharing with them what really occurred in our business relationship. I am greatly offended and I want justice.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Daniel Ellis Rice

    Contributor Level 18

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    Answered . I advise hiring an attorney to represent you at the 30-day hearing. The burden is on the petitioner to show why the TPO should be extended, and usually that requires more than just a "he said, she said" presentation. You may want to try obtaining a copy of your conversations from Facebook showing the context of what you allege was your only communication with "the other side".

    Generally, evidence of stalking would include witnesses talking about alleged wrongful behavior of the "stalker", documents such as phone statements showing repeated calls to a certain number, emails including harassing or threatening statements, maybe police reports filed by the alleged victim, documented past instances of alleged stalking prior the conduct alleged to be the basis of the current TPO, etc..

    Keep in mind that TPO 30-day hearings are usually a "he said, she said" type situation where especially the petitioner tries to make the other person look bad, though that's not to say there aren't legitimate instances where TPOs are fully justified and necessary for personal protection. I only caution you that it is better with these types of court cases to try maintaining the "higher ground" re: not portraying yourself as a saint, but sticking only to the facts if possible and avoiding name calling. If you have possible evidence of true wrongdoing by the petitioner that is relevant to the hearing, while not trying to rehash a lengthy period of knowing them, that may be good to present at the hearing in your defense. Good luck.

  2. John Arnold Steakley

    Contributor Level 19

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    Lawyers agree

    Answered . How do you defend yourself? If you want justice, hire a lawyer and fight for it. Court cases don't win themselves.

  3. Mindy L. Hitchcock

    Contributor Level 10

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    Answered . I agree with my colleagues. You need an attorney to defend you in this case. If you win the case in a "slam dunk," then you may want to ask for attorney fees. I often represent men in custody cases who are the subject of a PPO that was obtained solely to manipulate. Due to the bias in favor of women in these cases, defeating the PPO is a victory in itself. To expect a judge to go "over the top" and punish a woman who lied to get a PPO (politically incorrect, since women are the perceived victims) by ordering attorney fees is, in my experience, unrealistic. If you defeat the PPO, be glad, go home, and stop posting things on Facebook.

    If you think my answer best responds to your question, please mark it "best answer." Thank you.

Related Topics

Criminal charges for stalking

Stalking is the crime of unwanted and obsessive attention by an individual or group toward another person, including the tracking of movements or activities.

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