Orders of Protection in Family/Household Member Abuse Cases

​​​​​​Emergency Protective Order

An Emergency Protective Order is issued by a magistrate or judge at the request of a law enforcement officer. The law enforcement officer must assert under oath that an assault and battery against a family or household member has taken place. If the judge or magistrate believes that there is probable danger of further offense, he/she may issue an Emergency Protective Order. 

The order may require the parties to cease the assaultive behavior, prohibit contact between the parties, and/or grant exclusive possession of the premises to one of the parties. The judge or magistrate may issue an oral order to be later written down. The order remains in effect until 5 p.m. the following day.

Preliminary Protective Order

A petition is filed with the Intake Office. The petition may be heard before a judge without notice to the other party. If the Court believes that there is an immediate and present danger of family abuse, the Court may enter the Preliminary Protective Order. The order may prohibit the abusing party from engaging in further acts of family abuse. 

It may prohibit contact between the parties and abused family or household members. It may grant the petitioning party exclusive possession of the residence occupied by the parties. It may require the abusing party to provide suitable alternative housing for the petitioning party, et cetera. A full hearing must be held within fifteen (15) calendar days from the date the abusing party is served with the order.

Order of Protection

An Order of Protection is issued by the Court after the petitioning party shows, at a full hearing, by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) that the abusing party committed family abuse. In addition to the relief provided by the Preliminary Protective Order, the Court may require the abusing party to seek counseling, pay attorney fees, and may impose any other relief that is necessary to protect the petitioning party and minor children. 

If the petitioning party agrees, both parties may be ordered to participate in treatment designed for rehabilitation and reconciliation. The Court may require the order to remain in effect up until one year.