At the Law Office I investigate the allegations made by the petitioner. Although these hearings take place on an emergency basis, you are entitled to have an attorney that is completely prepared for the hearing. I can help you avoid getting ambushed.
In certain cases, I take the following actions in a restraining order case so that I am prepared for the return hearing:
- By requesting a continuance I will be able to complete a thorough investigation and prepare for the hearing.
- If a temporary injunction was originally issued, then the restraining order stays in effect during the continuance (in some cases the court will set a hearing on the petition without issuing an interim temporary injunction).
- At the upcoming scheduled hearing ("return hearing") I often request a continuance so I can consider if I need to take the petitioner's deposition, subpoena any relevant witnesses, and/or investigate the prior difficulties between the parties to show whether the claims are false or exaggerated
- I talk with the petitioner's attorney about other ways to address the petitioner's concerns. The protective order is a drastic remedy that should be reserved for only the most serious cases that involve a true act of violence or threat of violence. Injunctions should not be used to harass the respondent or gain an advantage in a divorce or child custody case.