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Common Misconceptions Regarding Protective Orders and Stalking Injunctions

Interviewer: Is there anything that a client believes that you have to dispel that they know that’s not true?

Danielle Hawkes: I think one thing that clients don’t understand is how well prepared you have to be for the hearing of the protective order. Protective orders, they set a hearing very quickly. Usually you have about 2 weeks to prepare. The judges are going to expect you to prove the harm in some way. That harm needs to be proved through either your statement or through photographs, a police report, audio recording, video recording, something. I think clients appreciate the help moving forward in gathering that evidence, and putting it together in a way that makes sense to the court.

It has to be very quickly. I think it’s difficult. I think sometimes when I see people show up without an attorney at the hearing, I think they underestimate the preparation that was expected of them.

Common Examples of Protective Order Violations in the State of Utah

Interviewer: What are some ways that people violate protective orders? What are some examples of the way they do that?

Danielle Hawkes: A bunch of different ways. Some people violate protective orders just bluntly violate them. Some folks have a complete disregard for someone else’s comfort. A complete disregard of a protective order might come in the way of phone call, leaving messages, driving by someone’s house, things like that. The good thing about a protective order is the second that something like that happened, you can call the police, and the police will take care of it. No matter what the conduct was, if it violated the protective order, it’s a problem, and needs to be nipped in the bud.

One of the tricky ways that people violate a protective order is that Let’s say a protective order was entered against you. Now the person who wanted the protective order is calling you, and saying “Hey, let’s go hangout. Let’s try and mend the relationship.” It can be a real trap. Whether they meant it to be trap or not, the person who has the protective order has the duty to stay away. They really need to be careful about those invitations to violate the protective order.

Public Knowledge of Acquiring a Protective Order in Utah

Interviewer: If I received a protective order, how public is it going to be? Will work find out? Will they find out?

Danielle Hawkes: It’s not as public as if you were to receive charges, criminal charges. If your work gets scanning for criminal charges, especially people who have jobs in the public sector. This is not one of those things. It is public in the sense that there is a public hearing on it. The documents are public just as most other civil lawsuits are public information. People can find the information.

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