Protective Order

A protective order is a form of legal protection that shields the petitioner (individual who is filing the protective order) from harassment or abuse from the respondent (individual being served with the protective order – usually related to the respondent) for a set period.

Protective orders are for individuals facing: stalking, assault, rape, sexual offense, mental injury to a minor, false imprisonment (the act of being imprisoned without consent from a legal authority) and acts that place the petitioner in physical harm or in fear of impending physical harm.

If you are a present or past spouse, have been cohabitants for ninety days in the past year, related by blood, marriage or adoption, share a child, have had a sexual relationship within one year of filing the petition, are a parent, stepparent, stepchild (circumstantially applies) to the respondent or are a susceptible adult then you qualify for a protective order.

There are three steps to the process:

  1. Interim protective order: provides immediate protection when the courts are closed.
  2. Temporary protective order: provides immediate protection when the courts are open during normal business hours.
  3. Final protective order: provides long term protection. The order can be filed with either the District or Circuit court and at any time after the incident occurred. After having a meeting with a Commissioner, upon submitting an interim petition, the Commissioner with provide relief however he or she deems fit to protect you from abuse.

Protective Orders can curtail a person’s freedom, ability to engage in certain types of employment and restrict someone’s right to bear arms.  If you or a loved one is in need of a protective order or to defend against a protective order please contact COHEN|HARRIS LLC at (888) 585-7979 or or