Orders of Protection

Amanda Thornton Attorney At Law has  helped many clients with protection orders.  The order of protection process can be a frightening experience for both the Petitioner and Respondent.  An order of protection is a civil order signed by a judge that restricts someone from hurting or scaring another person.  It provides legal protection for victims of sexual assault, stalking, and domestic abuse.

Who May Obtain an Order of Protection?

If the basis of the order of protection is domestic abuse, Tennessee law requires that the Petitioner have some sort of special relationship with the Respondent.  In these types of cases, the Petitioner and Respondent must be:

  • Adults or minors who are current or former spouses;
  • Adults or minors who live together or who have lived together;
  • Adults or minors who are dating or who have dated or who have or had a sexual relationship;
  • Adults or minors related by blood or adoption;
  • Adults or minors who are related or were formerly related by marriage; or
  • Adult or minor children of a person in a relationship that is described above.

If the basis of the order of protection is sexual assault or stalking, the status of the relationship between the Petitioner and Respondent does not matter.  Both men and women may be eligible for an order of protection.  Minors can get an order of protection, but there are some special rules.

Orders of Protection Consequences

If someone is attempting to take out an order of protection against you, contacting Amanda Thornton immediately is a critical first step in protecting your rights.  An order of protection, if granted, can have serious consequences.  An order of protection could include the following:

  • order you not to communicate or contact the Petitioner;
  • order you not to stalk the Petitioner;
  • require you to pay spousal and/or child support;
  • award temporary custody of, or establish temporary visitation rights with regard to, any minor children born to or adopted by the parties;
  • award the Petitioner sole possession of the residence or force you to provide alternative housing for the Petitioner;
  • require you to attend counseling programs;
  • forbid you from possessing, owning or buying firearms;
  • make decisions regarding any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by either party or a minor residing in the household;
  • require you to pay court costs; and
  • order you to do a variety of other things.

Order of Protection Durations

Typically, an order of protection can last up to one year, although the Petitioner can ask for the order to be extended beyond one year.  The court may extend the order of protection up to five years if the Respondent is found to be in violation of the order of protection.  The court may extend the order of protection up to ten years if the respondent is found to be in a second or subsequent violation of the order of protection.


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