Nashville Family Law and Protection Orders Attorney
Our Skilled Restraining Order Lawyers Are Here to Assist You in Cheatham, Davidson County, Montgomery County, Sumner County, Robertson County, Williamson County, Wilson County, Rutherford County, and Throughout Middle Tennessee
There is no excuse in modern-day society for using physical or verbal intimidation or abuse to control others. If you find yourself in a home where this has occurred, please know that the skilled attorneys at Brighter Day℠ Law have dealt with this type of criminal behavior for years. In Tennessee, there are different types of restraining orders for different scenarios. An order of protection can be granted by a judge or magistrate upon a sworn petition that a person has been threatened with abuse or abused by a relative, family member in the home, spouse or former spouse. The threatening behavior can include stalking and does not require actual physical injury to the victim. There are certain elements, however, that must be alleged and proven by the victim, making it important that the victim seek the assistance of an experienced attorney.
Table of Contents
- A Walkthrough of An Order of Protection with Our Dedicated Nashville Family Law Attorney
- Restraining Order Lawyers Can Help Protect You and Your Best Interests
- Benefits of Obtaining an Order of Protection
- Our Lawyers are Experienced with Orders of Protection and Will Advise You as to Your Particular Circumstances
- Contact Our Nashville Family Law and Protection Orders Attorney Today
- Frequently Asked Questions
A Walkthrough of An Order of Protection with Our Dedicated Nashville Family Law Attorney
If a sworn petition for order of protection is granted, the magistrate or judge will sign an ex parte order of protection (temporary order) which is immediately enforceable against the other party. A law enforcement officer will act quickly to see that the respondent is served a copy of the order and the petition, and a hearing will be scheduled within 15 days. The hearing may be scheduled in the juvenile, general sessions, circuit, or chancery court depending upon the county in Tennessee. At the hearing, it is important that the correct testimony is provided to the court in support of the order of protection. If the alleged victim proves the petition by a preponderance of the evidence, an order of protection will be granted and left in force usually for one year. In the absence of a divorce proceeding or custody case between the same parties, the court can grant other relief to the injured party, such as temporary custody, possession of the residence, support and attorneys fees. If there is an ongoing lawsuit between the same parties in family court, the order of protection case may be consolidated with the family court case.
Orders of protection are a powerful tool used by the courts to protect victims of abuse. An alleged abuser who has had an order of protection issued against him or her, will be arrested and placed in jail if he or she is alleged to have violated the order by contacting, going around, or asking a third party to contact the alleged victim. Violations of orders of protection are treated similar to a criminal assault case, and the burden of proof is higher. Although there is an automatic restraining order issued upon a divorce or custody filing, an order of protection is viewed as being more powerful, because law enforcement will intervene upon a simple phone call.
There are situations where an alleged victim will exaggerate or even fabricate a person’s behavior in order to obtain an order of protection. If you find yourself being falsely accused, do not attempt to represent yourself but contact Brighter Day℠ Law’s Nashville office for an appointment with an attorney experienced in these cases.
Restraining Order Lawyers Can Help Protect You and Your Best Interests
If you are granted a temporary order of protection, your abuser will be required to:
- Avoid any contact with you and leave your home, if you live in the same residence.
- Cease all forms of communication with you. They are also prevented from contacting you through a third party. Any such communications or contacts should be reported to your attorney and or the police.
- Turn in any firearms they may have to a court approved third party during the pendency of the protective order.
Benefits of Obtaining an Order of Protection
The most obvious and important benefit to having an order of protection against a spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, or other family member is having the power of the court and law enforcement to keep you safe. In some circumstances, especially if the abuser has violated the order of protection during the 12 months it has been in force, the court may extend the order or protection. This will require filing a motion, coming to court, and explaining why the order should be extended.
In addition to having this protection, victims often file assault charges against the abuser, so that the abuser can be held accountable for his or her actions. Other relief the court may award include:
- Possession of a shared residence;
- Suitable housing provided by the defendant;
- Temporary custody or visitation rights of minor children;
- Financial support for the victim if the parties are married;
- Mandating counseling for the defendant;
- Reimbursement of attorneys fees in the event the case is successful.
Our Lawyers are Experienced with Orders of Protection and Will Advise You as to Your Particular Circumstances
The law provides protection for victims of physical abuse, sexual assault, stalking, and threats of this type of abuse. There are legal definitions for each of these crimes, briefly outlined below:
Tennessee’s legal code defines domestic abuse victims in terms of their relationship with the abuser. As such, domestic abuse victims include those who are current or former spouses, people who live or lived together, are dating or dated, have or had a sexual relationship, are related either by blood or adoption, or are or were related by marriage.
These individuals can file for orders of protection based on domestic abuse if they experienced physical or attempted abuse or threats, confinement, physical restraint, and/or the intentional or malicious destruction of their property.
As per the Tennessee legal code, stalking occurs when a defendant repeatedly and intentionally harasses a victim, leading to terrorization, fright, and/or intimidation. Examples of stalking and harassment include following the victim, approaching and confronting them either publicly or privately, repeatedly initiating unwanted contact with the victim, showing up at their home or place of business, or harassing the victim by, for example, throwing trash on their property.
Contact Our Nashville Family Law and Protection Orders Attorney Today
Stalking, harassment, abuse, and violence – including the threat of violence – are serious matters. Contact our restraining orders lawyer today for assistance in obtaining temporary or extended protection orders or restraining orders to help protect yourself from an abuser.
Frequently Asked Questions
Orders of protection are legally binding and enforceable. Violating them can lead to severe consequences, and doing so can lead to an immediate arrest, even without a warrant, imprisonment, and/or fines. Violators can be incarcerated for 10 days per offense proven.
Often, the victim’s testimony alone is all that is required to obtain an order of protection, as long as the testimony seems credible and is consistent with the allegations in the sworn petition. Any corroborating evidence, such as personal statements, call logs, pictures, video, eyewitness testimony, or other forms of evidence is obviously helpful if available.