TEMPORARY PROTECTIVE ORDERS
Restraining Order For Addressing Domestic Violence Problems
What Is A TPO?
A TPO is your protection against domestic violence.A TPO (Temporary Protective Order) is what most people would refer to as a restraining order. A TPO is a formal court order that may be granted to a person to protect them, and their children, from the real or perceived threat of physical abuse, harassment or other harm. Your TPO can be obtained in approximately 24 hours. The formal TPO is usually served on the other party within hours of being granted. The protections afforded by a TPO go into effect immediately upon papers being served on the other party.
A TPO is usually in effect for two to three weeks while a court hearing is scheduled. The purpose of the hearing is to learn about the situation and determine if the order should be dropped or extended for up to 12 months. The petitioner and respondent are both required to attend the hearing and each may present their case for extending or dropping the order. If the court decides to extend the protective order it could be for several months, or given a permanent status in extreme situations.
Protection Provided By A TPO
A temporary protective order generally forbids the alleged abuser from having any direct or indirect contact with the person(s) provided protection under the court order. Common stipulations are requiring the respondent to stay at least 1500 feet from the persons protected, no forms of communications between the parties and other similar requirements to block contact.
How To Get A TPO
Obtaining a restraining order in Georgia is a two step process. First, you must visit with an advocate to complete an initial screening which documents the reasons and evidence for requesting a TPO. Upon completing the screening you are required to swear an oath that the information provided is real and accurate. Your request is then prepared to be handed to a Superior Court judge for consideration. Second, you are required to appear before a judge in court, briefly summarize your situation and answer any questions the judge may have for you. If the TPO is granted the TPO can include directives on temporary child custody, child support, spousal support, and possession of the marital property.
If your request is granted you will be escorted to another area of the courthouse where the protective order will be prepared, stamped and handed to you. The court system will have the TPO served on the alleged abuser by a sheriff’s deputy within hours of the order being granted.
You should familiarize yourself with every detail of the order. Also keep a copy of the TPO on your person at all times in the event police are called. The police will need to read the order to handle any issues in an appropriate manner.