Temporary Restraining Orders in Georgia:
What you need to know!
In Georgia, as in many other states, a Temporary Protective Order or TPO, also known as a Temporary Restraining Order, or TRO, is a court order used by many to protect themselves against others. Although TPOs and TROs are similar, the required paperwork and usual reasoning behind the orders are different.
If a person has been the victim of domestic violence, assault or battery, and other crimes that may make them feel unsafe or in harm’s way these Orders are the mechanism used to get the Court to issue an Order to protect them. A TPO can be requested and granted on the same day. Temporary Protective Orders generally stipulate that a person cannot be within a certain distance from you; including at your place of employment and your home. These orders also protect people from being the victims of harassment, given that the order prohibits another person from calling, texting, emailing, or contacting them in ANY way.
To petition your local court for a TPO, all that is needed is the filing of proper paperwork and to appear before a judge. It is important to note that in this initial hearing only one person must be present.
How Long Does a TPO Last?
As the name says, a temporary protective order is temporary. Usually these orders are in effect for 30 days. In fact, the law states (COVID notwithstanding) that most times the Orders automatically expire in 30 days UNLESS the Court has a hearing where both parties appear. After 30 days, both parties must appear before a judge and plead their case. Therefore, having an experienced family law attorney to represent you may provide a favorable outcome. Once the judge has heard both parties involved, an Order can be extended from 30 days to up to 3 years.
When dealing with cases of family violence, a family violence ex parte order can guarantee the victim of abuse a set of very specific court-enforced benefits. For example, this kind of order can provide temporary child custody or temporary child/spousal support. It can also force the abuser to vacate the home or provide adequate housing alternatives. An Ex Parte Family Violence Protective Order can also stipulate that the spouse not interfere with transportation, utilities, or communications. The Ex Parte Order can only last for 30 days as only the alleged victim appeared at the hearing to request it. In Order for the Ex Parte Order to become a Temporary Protective Order, a hearing must be held to give both sides the opportunity to tell the Judge their side of the story.
A TPO / TRO can be a complex proceeding, therefore it is recommended to hire an experienced attorney to assist. For example, according to the Superior Court of Fulton County, “…Consult with an attorney before coming to the Family Division if you are unclear as to whether you need a Protective Order or a Restraining Order…”.
For more information on a Temporary Protective Order or a Temporary Restraining Order, checkout this video by veteran attorney Joy Edwards.
Why work with The Edwards Law Group?
The Edwards Law Group, headed by attorney Joy Edwards and her team, have over 10 years of experience helping people in all areas of family law, including defending protective orders and victims of domestic violence. We pride ourselves in taking on the ‘ugly’ in family law so our clients don’t have to. We understand each case is unique. If you’re considering filing a TPO or have already filed one and are looking for strong representation in your situation, contact us today.