Domestic Violence, Repeat Violence, Sexual Violence, Dating Violence or Stalking
A person can file a petition requesting the court to issue an injunction for protection against violence or harassment. The person that files the petition seeking the injunction is called the petitioner. The person that receives the injunction is the respondent.
There are different requirements for different types of injunctions. If the petition meets the necessary requirements, a judge will set the case for a hearing and may issue a temporary injunction against the respondent. At the hearing, the judge will listen to both sides of the story and decide if there are sufficient grounds for the injunction. The judge can decide to issue an injunction, modify an existing injunction or dismiss it.
An injunction is civil in nature and is not a criminal charge. However, a person may seek a civil injunction at the same time that a criminal case is taking place. Since an injunction is not a criminal charge, the judge cannot sentence the respondent to jail time. However, the judge can order the respondent to do certain things, such as not contact the petitioner, attend counseling, or even leave the family home. If the respondent refuses to follow the judge's orders, then the judge could send the person to jail for contempt of court. If the respondent violates the injunction by having contact with the petitioner, that person could face a new criminal charge for violating the injunction.
The Ford Law Office represents both respondents and petitioners in injunction hearings. If you are seeking an injunction, or someone is seeking an injunction against you, contact The Ford Law Office for a free consultation.