Which court do I use? You may properly use the court in any county where the complained of acts occur, in any county where one of the parties resides, or in any county where one of the parties is employed.
Are there court fees? A filing fee of $ 80.00 is required except when the Person seeking a protection order is a victim of domestic abuse, stalking, sexual assault or unlawful sexual contact. You will also need to hire a process server to serve the documents on the other party.
When can I file the paperwork? Contact the court where you plan to file your case for specific days or times when protection order hearings are scheduled and to determine if they have any other filing requirements.
Fill Out All the Appropriate Forms
Contact your court to determine which specific forms need to be completed. Here are examples of some of the forms to be completed.
The "Verified Complaint/Motion for Protection Order." Complete all necessary information on this Verified Complaint. Be specific and provide complete information identifying why you are seeking a protection order. This Complaint/Motion must be signed in the presence of a Court Clerk or Notary Public.
The "Affidavit Regarding Children." If you intend to ask for temporary care and control, interim decision-making, or parenting time for the children or a protection order for the benefit of any minor child, you must complete this form. This Affidavit must be signed in the presence of a Court Clerk or Notary Public.
File the Papers at Your Court
Filing the appropriate documents with the court typically starts the Temporary Protection Order Hearing. Be prepared as you may be asked questions about your request to obtain a temporary protection order and any issues regarding the children, if applicable.
If the Court grants a temporary protection order, you will be provided with a written Temporary Protection Order. When you receive the Temporary Protection Order, you need to do the following: Obtain Certified Copies of the Order. You will need at least one for yourself and one to serve the Restrained Person. If you were awarded temporary care and control, parenting time and/or interim decision-making of the minor children or if the Restrained Person was ordered to have no contact with the minor children, you may need copies for your work, children's school, daycare provider, etc. Remember to carry a copy of the Protection Order and Affidavit/Certificate of Service at all times.
Have the Documents Personally Served
You need to complete personal service on the other party with a copy of the Complaint/Motion, Temporary Protection Order and Affidavit/Certificate of Service prior to your Permanent Orders Hearing or next hearing date set by the Court. The Permanent Orders hearing is usually set within 14 days from your Temporary Orders Hearing or the Court may set a future hearing date to address parenting time and decision-making responsibilities.
Prepare for the Permanent Orders Hearing
This hearing is a lot like a trial except you do not have a jury. These hearings often times have witness testimony, evidence, lawyers and objections. Good for you if you have made it this far without the assistance of an attorney. However, it is advisable that you obtain competent counsel in order to help you navigate the complex legal realm within the hearing itself.