When a police officer answers a domestic violence call, they have the option of calling a judge at any time of the day or night for an emergency protective order also known as an EPO against the abuser. An EPO is a type of restraining order that only can be ordered by the law enforcement. These police officers that order the EPO can ask for these restraining orders only by calling a judge.
These judges are available to be called 24 hours a day to issue these emergency restraining orders. These EPO’s then are accessible right away and can be available up to seven days. At the time of these restraining orders the judge can order the abuser to leave the preeminence, stay away from the victims and not return for seven days.
During that time, the victim is provided enough time to go to court in order to file for a longer restraining order than the EPO which is known as the temporary restraining order (TRO).
When making a court appearance for a domestic violence restraining order, the victim must fill out the paperwork that is involved in changing the type of restraining orders. There is no fee to file when it comes to this type of paperwork. After filling out the paperwork, it will be discussed between the victim and the judge of what occurred during the dispute.
There the judge will hear out what happened and the reason why the restraining order is needed. It will then take the judge until the next following day to weigh his/her choices on whether he/she will make the order. However, in some cases the judge can decide sooner. The judge will then give the orders requested; he/she will then create the temporary orders that will last until the next court date.
If the judge agrees with what happened and believes the protection is needed, he/she will then issue a temporary restraining order. These orders will then last up to 20 to 25 days until the next court hearing date.
What is also important to know about is what exactly domestic violence is and what it is considered. Domestic violence is when a current or former spouse, someone you are related to through blood or marriage, boyfriend/girlfriend, a roommate you live or lived with attempts or causes harm toward you or someone else.
This is what is considered domestic violence:
- Physical harm; attacks, hits, uses force, pulling hair, kicking, shoving, pushing and throwing objects
- Sexually assaults or molestation
- Threats, stalking or harassment either in person or through emails, phone calls, letters or text messages
- Destroys your personal property and/or disturbs your peace.
- Harming the family pet
- Keeping the victim from freely leaving the home
Domestic violence is not always physical; it can be verbal, emotional and psychological. By using these forms of abuse, the abuser is using tactics in order to control and have power over the abused. If this is occurring, remember you are not alone and the TRO can and will help you prevent any harm from occurring in the future.