How can you help me if my spouse is abusive?
Atlanta, GA family law attorney Regina I. Edwards talks about the typical process of issuing a protective order against someone who is abusive.
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I get a lot of questions about domestic violence protective orders and that’s on both sides from victims of domestic violence and from people who have been accused of domestic violence. In Georgia we have what is called a temporary protective order or for short TPO. That is for members of a family, a husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend who have lived together there has to be some sort of family connection and you can apply for a protective order.
If a victim of domestic violence is in that relationship they can go to the superior court and get what is called an ex parte order. Ex parte just means one side. So that means the victim just goes to the superior court clerk’s office, swears out a petition saying thsse are my allegations of domestic violence and if the courts sets an order then the order can be executed immediately and the other person removed from the home. And usually, that person will be served within a couple days and removed from the home.
After that point, the person who was served with the protective order has to have a hearing by law within 30 days. And usually the hearing is within two weeks. And at that second hearing the person that is accused of the violence has the opportunity to tell his or her side of the story and ask the court to dismiss the protective order if it was unwarranted. The victim at that point, obviously, has a chance to give his or her side of the story at the hearing as well and can ask the court to extend the protective order for up to 12 months.