How to Get a TPO in Georgia
How to Get a TPO in Cherokee County GA
Restraining Order to Counter Domestic Violence
What Is A TPO?
A TPO is your protection against domestic violence. A TPO (Temporary Protective Order) is what most states call a restraining order. A TPO is a court-issued protective order that may be granted to a person to protect them, and their family members, from a perceived or real threat of physical abuse, harassment, stalking or similar harm. A TPO generally serves to block a person from having contact or being near persons protected by the order.
If You Are In Harms Way Now, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY !
How Long Does It Take to Get a TPO?
A TPO can be obtained within approximately 24 hours of filing. Per the Cherokee County Clerk-of-Court website page, "If the Court grants your petition, you will initially receive an Ex Parte Temporary Protective Order. If the Court grants your Ex Parte Temporary Protective Order, you will receive a court date to return for a hearing at which time you may ask the Court for a 12-Month Protective Order." 1
The formal court order is usually served on the other party within hours of being granted. The protections afforded by a TPO go into effect immediately upon papers being served on the other party.
How much does it cost to get a TPO in GA?
There is no cost for an individual to seek or obtain a protective order if you do it yourself. If you hire a family law attorney, there will be fees for their services.
The person who is the subject of the TPO has a right to fight the order. If they hire a lawyer to fight the TPO, you may need to hire a lawyer to better assure the order remains in place.
How Long Does a TPO Last in Georgia?
A TPO is usually in effect for two to three weeks while a court hearing is scheduled. The purpose of the hearing is to learn about the situation and determine if the order should be dropped or extended for up to 12 months.
When a protective order is first issued it will be for a brief time and include a hearing which must be attended by the petitioner (victim) and respondent (aggressor). At this hearing and each party may present their case for extending or dropping the order. The judge will make the ruling to drop or extend the order. If the court decides to extend the protective order it could be up to 12 months.
How a Protective Order Helps You
A temporary protective order generally forbids the alleged abuser from having any direct or indirect contact with the person(s) provided protection under the court order. Common stipulations are requiring the respondent to stay at least 1500 feet from the persons protected, no forms of communications between the parties and other similar requirements to block contact.
Process to Get a Protective Order
Obtaining a restraining order in Cherokee County is a relatively easy process.
First, you must visit with an advocate to complete an initial screening which documents the reasons and evidence for requesting a TPO. Upon completing the screening you are required to swear an oath that the information provided is real and accurate. Your request is then prepared to be handed to a Superior Court judge for consideration. Second, you are required to appear before a judge in court, briefly summarize your situation and answer any questions the judge may have for you. If the TPO is for a couple living together, and is granted, the TPO can include directives on temporary child custody, child support, spousal support, and possession of the marital property.
If your request is granted you will be escorted to another area of the courthouse where the protective order will be prepared, stamped and handed to you. The court system will have the TPO served on the alleged abuser by a sheriff’s deputy within hours of the order being granted.
You should familiarize yourself with every detail of the order. Also keep a copy of the TPO on your person at all times in the event police are called. The police will need to read the order to handle any issues in an appropriate manner.
Do you need assistance in obtaining a TPO in Georgia or have questions? If so, please call our law firm at 770-956-1400 to schedule a confidential appointment with a lawyer.
CREDITS and FOOTNOTES
- 1 Patty Baker, "Family Violence Temporary Protective Order (TPO)", May 3, 2020, Available from Cherokee County Clerk of Cort
- Photo by Nino Carè, available at Pixabay