Because of the unique and highly emotional nature of domestic violence, Missouri courts have Orders Of Protection available to protect both children and adults who are victims or potential victims of abuse. Sadly, statistics show a high repeat rate by offenders and victims need immediate help from the court in order to stop the abuse before it becomes life threatening.
Bezler Law Firm is located in Columbia, MO and has the expertise to help victims obtain immediate, court-ordered protection. We also help keep the Order Of Protection in place as long as necessary. If an action for a protection order has been wrongfully brought against you, we can assist you in getting it dismissed.
What is an order of protection and how do you obtain one?
- An Order of Protection is an order of the court granting a victim of domestic violence protection from their abuser. An Order of Protect is often referred to as a “restraining order,” but is actually a more comprehensive tool for the Court to protect victims of domestic abuse.
- A victim of abuse must first file a Complaint. Typically when filing the Complaint, it is necessary to request an Emergency Ex Parte Order. (Ex parte means that the defendant is not present.) The Ex Parte Order is temporary and is usually submitted the same day the Complaint is filed. The Order will include a date, within 15 days, to appear in Court.
- The defendant must be served with the Order Of Protection. (Orders of Protection are usually served by the sheriff.)
- Both the victim and the abuser are ordered to attend the hearing. (If the defendant has not been served by that date, the Court will usually continue the case to another date and enter another ex parte order.) The purpose of the hearing is to decide whether a Full Order of Protection should be kept in place and extended for up to one (1) year.
What to expect once an order of protection is in place:
- The order of protection will likely prohibit the defendant from being a certain distance from the alleged victim. The defendant might be ordered to stay 500 feet or more away from the victim. The defendant might be prohibited from being in his or her home. That means the defendant has to make arrangements to live somewhere else.
- More than likely, the defendant will be ordered to turn over all his firearms to the law enforcement agency.
- It will likely require both the children and spouse be protected.
- It will likely require that the defendant not interfere with the household. For example, the defendant must continue to pay utility bills and take care of other matters even though he or she is no longer in the home.
Orders of Protection also allow the Court to:
- Order the cost of any services or treatment provided to the victim and affected children of the victim; and
- Order the defendant to obtain and satisfactorily complete treatment or therapy in a licensed domestic violence treatment program, unless the court finds that there is no licensed program reasonably available or that the treatment or therapy is not necessary.
Additionally, Orders of Protection allow the Court to:
- Prohibit adults from having contact with children under certain circumstances, even their own children.
Your Columbia, MO Family Law Resource
Bezler Law Firm is a Columbia, MO based law firm that specializes in family law which includes divorce, legal separations, annulments, child support, custody arrangements, mediation, prenuptial agreements, domestic partnerships, paternity testing and adoption to name a few.
When selecting a family law attorney to represent you, you need a professional who is willing to listen and to help you realize your immediate priorities and to anticipate your needs into the future. Bezler Law Firm takes time to show clients the big picture. We successfully represent family law clients in a variety of life stages and financial conditions. Our goal is to help make your family life as solid as possible regardless of the situation you are facing. If you have any family legal questions or concerns involving family law matters, we are a law firm who cares, will listen and help you realize your immediate and long-term needs. Call Bezler Law Firm today for an initial consultation.