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The Order for Protection Process

A Tubman advocate can appear in court with you if you are trying to get an Order for Protection (OFP). If the abuser is served with a notice for an OFP and shows up for the court date, they can admit to the allegations, deny the allegations but agree to the OFP, or contest the OFP. If they contest the OFP, then the case will go to an evidentiary hearing. An evidentiary hearing may happen on the same day or could be scheduled for another day. At an evidentiary hearing, the judge will listen to each side of the case and decide to either issue or dismiss the OFP. If the abusive partner has been served with the notice for an OFP and does not show up for the court date, the OFP will be issued. If the abusive partner has not been served with a notice for an OFP, the court will issue a continuance for the case, meaning the case will be postponed. Depending on the judge’s preferences, the notice for the OFP may be sent by certified mail, or printed in a legal newspaper.

After someone has filed for an OFP, a Tubman advocate will bring the order to the judge by the next business day. The first court appearance is scheduled no longer than seven days after the judge receives the OFP. If the abusive partner shows up for court and accepts the OFP, the OFP is granted. If the abusive partner does not show up and has been notified about the OFP, the OFP is granted. If the abusive partner has not been notified, then the case is continued, or postponed, for approximately two weeks.