An Order of Protection is a legal document granted by a judge. It protects victims of abuse (referred to as the “Petitioner”) by applying certain rules to abusers (referred to as the “Respondent”) that they must obey and will face arrest if they violate.
If you are in immediate danger, you can file for an Ex-Parte, which means "emergency". An Ex-Parte will be filed in conjunction with an Order of Protection.
Ex-Parte's are effective as soon as the Respondent is served and are valid until the set court date.
You may be granted an Order of Protection if someone is:
You can ask the court for an Order of Protection against someone who meets a relationship requirement such as:
No relationship is required to file an Order of Protection on the grounds of stalking or sexual assault.
Orders of Protection offer enhanced legal protection against abuse, threats, or harassment. They also allow the police to arrest the abuser without a warrant. With an Order of Protection in place an abuser cannot
The Order of Protection can also grant temporary emergency custody of minor children, possession of the family home, control of family pets, court costs to be paid by the Respondent, financial support to be paid by the Respondent, and wireless service transferring rights to the Petitioner.
An Order of Protection can be filled out by UCFJC staff at one of our offices and will be filed at the Circuit Court Clerk's office in the county in which the abuse occurred or the Respondent lives.
*Orders of Protection can be completed at your local Sheriff's Office outside of UCFJC business hours.*
Once the Order of Protection is filled out, you will be given a court date that will be within 15 days of petitioning.
The Order of Protection will be heard by a Judge in General Sessions court. You may represent yourself or seek legal counsel. The Judge will either grant or deny the Order of Protection, and if granted, it will be in effect for one year (unless otherwise stated).
Once the Temporary Order of Protection or Permanent Order of Protection is in place, the Respondent must abide by the Order. Violating an Order of Protection is a Class A Misdemeanor and holds civil and criminal penalties according to Tennessee Code §39-13-113.
No warrant is needed to make an arrest.
Upper Cumberland Family Justice Center
269 S Willow Avenue Suite E Cookeville, TN 38501 • 112 S Church Street Livingston, TN 38570
This project was supported by Award No. 2019-V2-GX-0043 awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice through the Tennessee Office of Criminal Justice Programs.
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