Oftentimes, family clients will come in with not just a divorce proceeding, but with a restraining order and domestic violence charge. It seems one case goes hand in hand with the other. Other times, the divorcing parties are getting along so well that there is no need for the “packaged deal.” But when one partner gets out of hand, all of the issues boil over and the results are three cases rather than one. In order to better illustrate these issues, we will use the example of Brian and Jane.
This boil over usually starts when one partner becomes physically violent, or just refuses to accept the relationship is over. That partner, Brian as we will call him, is then arrested for domestic violence against the other, Jane as we will call her. When Brian, now called a defendant, appears for his arraignment, usually one business day after the occurrence, the Magistrate will issue a “No Contact Order.” This criminal “No Contact Order” prohibits contact between Brian and Jane for a period of 72 hours. The Court will also issue a criminal restraining order, which prohibits Brian from harassing, molesting or intimidating Jane throughout the course of the criminal proceeding. This continues even after a plea has been entered and throughout the period of deferred sentence or probation.
However, Jane may still feel uneasy about having only a criminal restraining order. That is when Jane obtains a civil protective order. This is the type of restraining order most people are familiar. Jane requests a restraining order through the court, and is generally granted a Temporary Protection Order. The Court then sets the matter for a hearing to determine whether the Order will become Permanent.