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Protective Orders and Stalking Conjunctions in the State of Utah

protective-orders-and-stalking-conjunctions-in-the-state-of-utahInterviewer: What is a protective order?

Danielle Hawkes: There are actually 5 different types of protection orders that people don’t really know about. The basic protective order, which protects an adult or children, then there’s actually a children specific protective order, a restraining order, and stalking injunction, and a dating violence order. All of those can be used to protect somebody who’s experienced violence, physical violence or stalking harassment, those sorts of things.

The Adult Protective Order Will be based on Harm that has occurred or Fear of Imminent Harm that Might Occur to an Adult

Interviewer: What kind of situation would constitute getting an adult or children protective order? Is it eligible for all children or one child?

Danielle Hawkes: The adult protective order will be based on harm that actually occurred to the adult or fear of imminent harm to the adult. Then within that adult protective order, if there are children involved, the adult should list those children, so the court can deal with custody and those sorts of things. Those are going to be impacted once there’s a protective order in place. Once the 2 adults can no longer speak to one another, the court has to deal with custody and visitation. The adult protective order will actually deal with those issues for the children as well.

Now the child specific protective order is when the child has been harmed or there’s an imminent danger of being harmed. The adult brings the protective order on behalf of the child. The adult is actually not protected at all; it’s just the child that is being protected.

The Difference between a Protective Order and a Restraining Order

Interviewer: What’s the difference from those in a restraining order?

Danielle Hawkes: A restraining order is a lot more squishy. A restraining order is something we do inside of another case. In order to have a restraining order, you have to already have another case open. For example, you would have already a divorce case pending, or a custody case pending, or some other type, or some other type of case that’s open. The good thing about restraining order is that we can put in them whatever terms we need to. We can get very specific in restraining orders, such as you cannot call me more than one time a day, you cannot talk to me over text, or you can only talk to me via email and you can only send one email per day. We can get extremely specific in a restraining order, and really nail down the terms of what conduct is not allowed.

A Restraining Order is Enforceable By a Court, Not Law Enforcement

You can really restrain any conduct within an already open case. The trick is if you don’ already have a case open of some sort, then you can’t do a restraining order. The other problem with a restraining order is it’s enforceable by the court. If someone violates it, we can schedule a hearing and go in front of the court, but it’s not going to be enforced by law enforcement. Whereas, protective orders and stalking injunctions, those are enforced by law enforcement. If someone violates them, you don’t need to call your attorney, just call the police. The police will enforce that protective order, and they can go so far as to issuing criminal charges for violating the protective order. Whereas, there’s not going to be criminal charges in the restraining order situation.

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