Dont miss your hearing! If you miss it, your Temporary Ex Parte Protective Order may end and you will have to start from the beginning.
- Fill out a Protective Order before you go to court and bring it with you.
- Bring any evidence you have, like photographs, medical records, torn clothing. Also bring witnesses who know about the violence, like a neighbor, relative or police. The judge may ask them to testify.
- Bring proof of your and the other persons income and expenses, like bills, paycheck stubs, bank accounts, tax returns.
- If the Proof of Service was returned to you, file it with the clerk and bring a copy to court.
Get there 30 minutes early.
- Find the courtroom.
- When the courtroom opens, go in and tell the clerk or officer that you are present.
- Watch the other cases so you ill know what to do.
- When your name is called, go to the front of the courtroom.
What if I dont speak English?
When you file your papers, tell the clerk you will need an interpreter. If a court interpreter is not available, bring someone to interpret for you. DO not ask a child, a protected person, or a witness to interpret for you.
What if I am deaf?
When you file your papers, ask for an interpreter or other accommodations.
What if I need child support or visitation orders?
Call the Family Violence Legal Line before you go to court: 800-374-HOPE
What if I am afraid?
If you dont feel safe, call your local family crisis center or the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE
Practice what you want to say.
Make a list of the order you want and practice saying them. Do not take more than 3 minutes to say what you want.
If you get nervous at the hearing, just read from your list. Use that list to see if the judge has made every order you asked for.
The judge may ask questions.
The other person or his or her lawyer may also ask you questions. Tell the truth. Speak slowly. Give complete answers.
If you dont understand, say I dont understand the questions.
Speak only to the judge unless it is your turn to ask questions. When people are talking to the judge, wait for them to finish. Then you can ask questions about what they said.
What happens after the hearing?
If the judge agrees you need protection, the judge will sign your Protective order.
Take your signed order to the court clerk. Ask for copies of your order (or make extra copies) and keep one with you at all times. Give copies of your order to your childrens day care, babysitter, or school. If the other person violates the order, call the police and show then your order.