Protective Order

Protective Orders in Utah

If You Are Seeking A Protective Order: If you have been the subject of physical abuse or threats of physical abuse. the Utah Legislature has provided you with an avenue to seek immediate protection for you and your children. You may approach the Court directly through a Legal Aid office in your County, or come in to my office to see one of our experienced attorneys to assist you with the preparation of the necessary Protective Order paperwork and represent you at the hearing of this matter before a Court Commissioner or a Judge.

If You Are Responding to a Protective Order: As you are aware, if you have been served with an "Ex Parte Protective Order," these Court Orders are entered without the ability of the person served with such an order to provide any input to the Court. This system, which was set up to protect those persons in real danger of physical abuse with a way to receive immediate protection.

This system of immediate protection is, however, often used to force one parent out of the marital residence and gain an unfair advantage in a custody dispute between the parents. It is at this critical juncture that the advise of an attorney can be most beneficial to you, a potential client. I can help you and your children get through this process.

It is important for your case that you bring with you as much information as possible concerning your relationship with your former spouse or significant other. Documents such as tax returns, pay stubs. children school and medical records, the parties criminal history records and other information which will shine a light on the parent's relationship can be extremely valuable responding to an Ex Parte Protective Order. Additionally, a prepared affidavit rebutting the allegations by any witnesses or police reports will aid in your defense.

"Any cohabitant who has been subjected to abuse or domestic violence, or to whom there is a substantial likelihood of abuse or domestic violence, may seek an ex parte protective order or a protective order... whether or not that person has left the residence or the premises in an effort to avoid further abuse." Even if the alleged abuse occurred in the distant past, a court must still consider the above factors in deciding whether or not to issue a Protective Order. 

It is important to remember that even if the Petitioner has enough information to support his/her allegations in support of a Protective Order, an attorney may be able to assist the Respondent in dismissing, or negotiating the terms of, the Protective Order. 

In jurisdictions that have domestic court commissioners, an ex-parte order will issue by the judge, however, the hearing on the Protective Order will be heard before the commissioner.  If the Protective Order is entered against you, you have ten (10) days to object to the commissioner's recommendation and to ask for an evidenciary hearing before a judge. 

For more on Protective Orders see:

Utah Code Annotated 78B-7-101 

Please call my office today with the specifics of your case, as time limits to respond are often short.