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The Role of Social Media in Regards to Protective Orders and Stalking Injunctions

Interviewer: How have you seen social media come in to play?

Danielle Hawkes: Social media can come in to play on either side of the coin. I’ve used social media to prosecute a protective order, to show that the harm was being committed, that the person admitted it, or was bragging about it, or knew that the other person should be nervous. Saying things like “I hope they’re shaking their boobs”, or something like that, shows that they know the other person should be nervous. Social media can also be used to defend against the protective order in a number of different ways. It can show that someone was and actually asked to help when they said they were. It can show that the aggressor is not the person, not the respondent, but is actually the petitioner who’s the aggressor.

Again, if that’s the scenario, a special process has to happen. You can’t just go in the court and say “it’s not me, it’s her”. You have to follow a specific process to tell the court in a very careful way that “it wasn’t me it was her.” We can use social media to do that, but we have to follow that process.

A Stalking Injunction or a Protective Order May Be Acquired in Case of Internet Bullying

Interviewer: Let’s say I have a child that’s maybe a junior high or a high school, they’re claiming to be victim of internet bullying. Is that a threat? Can I file for protective order against that other individual?

Danielle Hawkes: Yeah, you could. If the child is over 16, they can file stalking injunction against that or a protective order.

The Benefits of Hiring an attorney to File for a Protective Order in Utah

Interviewer: If I wanted to file for protective order, why would it be beneficial to hire an attorney?

Danielle Hawkes: The reason why it’s beneficial to hire an attorney for protective order is because the process is quick, and it involves such a complicated story. An attorney can help organize the story and present it to the court in a way that makes sense to the court. Those presentations come through written materials, through gathering, and organizing the evidence, and then ultimately at the hearing, through an oral presentation.

The Evidence Required By the Attorney to File for a Protective Order or a Stalking Injunction

Interviewer: What are some of the materials that you would recommend I gather for you to prepare at an initial Consultation?

Danielle Hawkes: The initial consultation, you’re definitely going to want to meet with me right away. The nature of these cases are that I push everything aside to meet with these clients because they’re in a very dangerous situation, and they need to be helped right away. If you’re defending against one, your hearing is very soon, and we need to meet right away. I really make every effort possible to expedite these initial consultations. When you come in to meet with me, don’t worry about what you’re going to bring. You don’t need to bring everything to my office if you already have evidence gathered, feel free to bring it.

Bring any court document that you already have. Bring any photographs, audio, any copies of text messages and emails, and things like that. Really you don’t need to gather to meet with me, just come meet with me, and then together we’ll work on a list of what to put together. That way, I can be working on the case while you’re gathering the evidence. The timeline is so short that we really want to get to work on it right away, even if you’re occupied elsewhere. I’ll help you get your ducks in a row.