Civil Protection Orders are easily one of the most misunderstood and confusing legal matters that I handle in my practice. Its near impossible to cover all scenarios, so as always a comprehensive review of the facts of your unique case is a must.
When a person goes to court and files for a CPO, they are telling the court that they are in immediate need of protection from a person based on whatever conduct they allege. The CPO paperwork will contain a written narrative of this. If the court finds the allegation credible, and they typically err on the side of caution, they issue the order Ex-parte, this basically means one sided. A court date is set weeks out, but the order is in effect immediately. The order is not valid until served on the other party by law enforcement, who as part of service, give several cautions.
When a CPO is in effect, you will typically need to be 500 feet away from the protected party at all times. Random unforeseen contact in a public place such as the grocery store requires the respondent (the person the order is against) to retreat directly. The respondent may not contact the petitioner (the person requesting the order) in ANY way. No phone calls, texts, e-mail, letters, notes, contact through a third party. No contact for any purpose. This leads to a confusing point. Many clients assume that since they are prohibited from contacting the petitioner, the petitioner cannot contact them. This is not the case. CPO’s are a one way street. Someone with a CPO against you can contact you as often as they like. Responding to that contact is a violation of the protection order.
As always, a consultation with my office is the best way to answer questions and determine the specific details of your case and whether or not you are eligible to have a case expunged. Call today.