If a restraining order has been issued against you, court closures due to COVID-19 can make it difficult to move forward with your life. Keep reading to find out what court closures could mean for a restraining order you are facing. If you have questions and require a free consultation with a dedicated criminal defense attorney, contact Law Offices of Patrick S. Aguirre at 800-572-1252 today.
Understand the Usual Restraining Order Process
When a person believes they are in danger, they can call 9-1-1 and have a police officer request an Emergency Protective Order. This is often done in the case of suspected domestic violence or if threats are being made. Police can also request an EPO if they believe that a person or their child is in danger of stalking or being kidnapped.
After the EPO is given, the alleged victim then must file for a restraining order online or at a courthouse and sign or e-sign the necessary documents.
The Complications of Extending a Restraining Order That Ends During Shelter in Place
Due to the emergency ruling that has been made in light of COVID-19, restraining orders or protective orders that are ending soon must be extended by the court for 90 days. This includes temporary restraining orders, restraining orders, and gun violence emergency protective orders.
An EPO as described above will be extended by 30 days. Other criminal protective orders will be extended by up to 90 days or until a hearing can be held – whichever comes first. In some cases, the petitioner does not even need to file for the extension – courts may automatically do so.
What to Do if a Restraining Order Has Been Issued Against You
First, check your county’s website to find out if it has been extended. Next, find out when and where your new hearing date is. If you miss this date then you could have the order extended every further. Unfortunately, the courts currently make it difficult for you to fight a restraining order that has already been issued against you.
Does that mean that it is impossible to fight a restraining order? Not necessarily. If you are bounded by EPO that is affecting your life beyond the scope of the agreement, such as an order that is preventing you from seeing your children, then an attorney may be able to file an emergency hearing for you.
The best way to find out what your options are is to contact Law Offices of Patrick S. Aguirre at 800-572-1252. Do not assume that you have no options. Do not assume that you will be contacted in the event that something changes. You need an attorney on your side and that attorney can be Law Offices of Patrick S. Aguirre.