Local Attorney Discusses Legal Process Of Protective Orders

We talked about protective orders with local attorney Lashandra Peoples-Johnson. She offered information about what protective orders can and cannot do, how to get one, and what kind of legal process you should be prepared for.

Wednesday, February 21st 2024, 9:56 am

By: News On 6


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We talked about protective orders with local attorney Lashandra Peoples-Johnson.

She offered information about what protective orders can and cannot do, how to get one, and what kind of legal process you should be prepared for.

Who can get a protective order?

"So this is a recent change in law. Like you said, it used to be where you had to be in a domestic relationship in order to receive a protective order in some scenarios. However, the law has recently changed, which allows for anyone to file a protective order against another adult, as long as you file a police report," Peoples-Johnson said.

How do you file a protective order?

"So a protective order is a quasi criminal proceeding that is established by Oklahoma's Protection from Domestic Abuse Act. And the way it happens is a protective order is issued in two stages.

So the first stage deals with the emergency protective order. So a plaintiff or the person requesting protection files a petition along with accompanying paperwork. And this is done ex parte, which means that at this time, the defendant is not able to give their side of the story. Based solely on this paperwork, the judge will decide if an emergency protective order should be granted. If it is granted, then the sheriff will serve the defendant.

And we move into stage two. This is the hearing stage. And so a hearing, is it is held about two weeks after the initial petition is filed. And at that time, both the plaintiff and the defendant can present evidence as to whether this emergency protective order should be continued. If the judge decides it should be, then a final protective order is given. And the judge will decide how long that should last," Peoples-Johnson said.

What are some consequences of having a protective order filed against you?

"Although an attorney is not necessarily needed in the petition phase, if you're the defendant, you should definitely have an attorney for the hearing phase. Because there are consequences. You can lose your access to firearms. You could have to surrender the firearms you have. You could have to pay the fines, costs and fees associated with a plaintiff's case. And ultimately, it could go on your permanent record. And this is quasi criminal," Peoples-Johnson explained.

What happens if someone breaks a protective order?

"So it is a civil proceeding technically. However, there are criminal consequences if it is filed against you. If the court issues a protective order and there's a violation that's reported, so someone continues the behavior. Then law enforcement gets involved, and you can go to jail. So that's the criminal piece to it," Peoples-Johnson said.

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