If someone officially serves you a protective order, also known as a restraining order, you may be wondering what your rights are. A judge signs a protective order due to accusations by the claimant that irreparable injury or damage would occur without immediate action.
It is imperative that you follow the order’s terms. However, you have the right to defend your case.
Read the details
If you received the order with no advanced warning, it is an ex parte, or temporary, order. According to the Arkansas Judiciary, there must be an expiration date of 14 days. The order will also state the description of the alleged accusation and why the judge issued the order.
There will also be a date for a preliminary injunction hearing. At the hearing, the person requesting the order must give proof of the accusation and ask for a formal protective order. If this individual does not appear at the hearing, the court dissolves the order immediately.
Appear in court to defend position
During the injunction hearing, you, as the defendant, have the right to state your case and prove you are not a threat. You also do not have to wait for the hearing; you can request a motion to dissolve, as long as you give the person who obtained the order at least two days’ notice.
Follow all terms of the order
While the order, either temporary or formal, is in effect, you must follow the orders outlined by the judge. These may include:
- Avoiding direct and indirect contact with the plaintiff
- Moving out of shared residence
- Giving up child custody, temporarily
- Attending counseling or alcohol rehab program
- Paying spousal or child support
Any violation of the order results in penalties. These may include fines, jail time or both.