A Temporary Protective Order (TPO) is a legal document issued by a court to help victims obtain protection from persons abusing, harassing, or stalking them. A TPO will generally prohibit contact between parties and may remove or restrict someone from a certain place or residence. Once there has been a recent act of family violence the Superior Court of your county can direct you to the agency or office that will help you complete a TPO application if you cannot afford an attorney. Once this is complete you take this application to the court and the clerk will assist you with the filing and there are no costs.

The Judge will decide if there is probable cause and issue an ex parte temporary order, which can demand that the parties have no contact. There will be a hearing date set and the parties will present their case before the judge. The threshold of proof is merely by a preponderance of the evidence so don’t worry, this merely means the judge believes the person filing the petition a bit more than the defendant, which is usually the case. After the hearing the abuser can be restrained from contact with the abused for a year and forced to pay support, which gives the victim time to complete the expected divorce. This order can be made permanent if necessary. Rembember you do not have to suffer continued abuse as there are resources and protection and this office can guide you through the process.