Protection from Abuse

Protection from Abuse


a plaintiff’s guide to protection from
abuse cases in Maine getting help with the court process hello I’m an attorney at Pine Tree Legal Assistance I help victims of domestic violence when
they are asking the court for orders of protection if you decided to file
complaints to get an order of protection you may be able to get help
from your local domestic violence agency they can help you fill out the paperwork were explain to you what will happen in court and helping make safety plan you can get contact information
about your local domestic violence agency from the clerk at the court or from the
plane she legal assistance website representatives from your local domestic
violence agency can help you file a complaint with the
court to locate domestic violence agency call the statewide domestic violence
hotline 1 866 834 HELP use this link to find a local helpline number or ask your circuit court clerk or Pine
Tree Legal Assistance for a referral filling out the complaint form if you the plaintiff and decided to fill
out a complaint there’s a section where you have to write
down what’s happened you might need protection start by putting down relationship with
the defendant is or was are you married were you partners we living together or did you have a child together or were you in a sexual relationship then right down the incident that led you to ask for protection describe what happened just put that you were physically
abused or threatened, be specific if you will hit or slaped or pushed against the wall or forced to do something against you will
if you were prevented from leaving or prevented him asking for help write that down then put down if you’ve ever been abused by these person past if you are physically abused or threaten you can write
that down but then give some examples either the worst thing that happened on
the most dangerous time you can remember if the defendant has been arrested for
hurting you write that down as well if your children have ever been abused or are present durring the abuse put that damn and get some examples
you don’t have to write down every detail of your relationship for some people a paragraph will do
some people may have to add 1 or 2 pages the important thing is to be clear be specific so the judge can understand what happens
you why you’re asking for protection as you fill out the complaint form
describe your relationship with the defendant be clear and be specific about what
happened to you let the court know if your children
witnessed the abuse or if the defendant has abused the children
let the court know if the defendant has a history of hurting you what to do if you are not granted a temporary order of protection if you are not granted, or do not ask for a temporary order of protection you will still be given the hearing date
within three weeks you can come back to court and ask for
long-term order if you do not get a temporary order of protection responsibility of making sure that the
defendant is served with your complaint and with notice of the
hearing is your responsibility do this you have to go to a local
sheriff’s office give them the paperwork you have to ask them to serve the people
work on the defendent once the sheriffs have serve the defendant they will sign a piece of paper saying
that their service has been made some sheriffs office will return this
directly to the court others will return it to you should asked
the sheriff what will happen with the signed paperwork saying that
the defendent has been served you have to make sure that this paperwork
gets back to the court the court has to know that the defendent has
been served and they have to know that in writing if you do not receive a temporary order
of protection it is your responsibility to bring the
court paperwork to your local sheriff’s office so they can serve it on the defendant make sure that the court receives written confirmation
that the defendant has been served the final order of protection whether the final is agreed to or
granted after hearing the judge will want to make sure that the
plantiff is properly protected and some plaintiffs may want to have no more
contact with the defendent however a final order can be written
take into account particular situation for example if the palntiff and defendent are
married the order can provide visitation safe drop off and pick up and contact
perhaps phone contact between the parties so that they can
talk about the children the order can also provide for child support and some division of personal property the final order class for two years and if circumstances
change during that time either the plaintiff or the defendant can
ask the court to modify or change the water in writing the order of protection can be written
to meet the needs your specific situation it can provide for child support and some
temporary division of personal property it can last for up to two years either the plaintiff or the defendant can
ask the court to modify the order if the situation changes criminal charges against the defendant if the defendant has been arrested there
may be criminal charges pending these charges brought by the stage of Maine
anre are prosecuted by the DA the plaintiff may be witness in this case but
the plantiff is not bringing those charges the protection orders is a civil case the plantiff brings in a civil court the
judge invitation to herein may not know that there are criminal charges pending
against the defendant you should tell the judge the defendant has bail conditions that allow them no contact
between the defendant and plaintiff and there’s a protection order that
allows some contact for example phone content that contact
cannot happen until the defendant’s bail conditions
have either ended or been changed you should tell the judge if the defendant has been arrested
or were subject to criminal charges or if the defendant is subject to any bail
conditions that might affect your protection order

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