My Application for a Domestic Violence Order (DVO) was Denied, What Can I Do?
Protective orders are the legal remedy by which victims of domestic violence can petition the court and seek protection from their abusers. Domestic violence cases are an area in which family law and criminal law can become intertwined. A domestic violence case begins as a civil case in family court when the petitioner asks the court for a protective order. If the protective order is granted and the respondent violates the order, however, it becomes a criminal offense.
What is a Protective Order?
A protective order, also known as a restraining order, is a court order that forbids contact or communication between the petitioner and the respondent. Protective orders can be temporary or permanent. In Kentucky, there are four different types of protective orders:
- Emergency Protective Orders (EPOs): An EPO is a temporary protective order that is placed on a family member (such as a spouse or ex-spouse, parent, child, or stepchild, or grandparent or grandchild) or members of an unmarried couple who live or have lived together or have a child in common. EPOs are effective until a hearing is held, which is usually within 14 days of the date of issuance. Hearings may be delayed if the respondent cannot be served, and an EPO must be reset every 14 days until service is made on the respondent.
- Temporary Interpersonal Protective Orders (TIPOs): A TIPO is similar to an EPO in that it is a temporary order that goes into effect until a hearing can be held. The main difference is that a TIPO is used when individuals do not have a domestic relationship, but they may have or have had a romantic or intimate relationship. TIPOs can also be used by victims of stalking or sexual assault. In this case, no relationship is required.
- Domestic Violence Orders (DVOs): A DVO is issued after a formal hearing is held and a judge determines that domestic violence has most likely occurred in the past and is more likely than not to occur in the future. Like EPOs, domestic violence orders are only available in cases in which the petitioner and respondent have a domestic relationship. DVOs can last up to three years.
- Interpersonal Protective Orders (IPOs): IPOs are the permanent version of TIPOs, and they are issued after a formal hearing in cases when there is a romantic or intimate relationship between the individuals or in cases of stalking or sexual assault. IPOs can also be in effect for up to three years.
Why are Protective Orders Denied?
To obtain a protective order, you must have a qualified relationship, and you must prove that there is a real threat of imminent danger to you or someone close to you. This may include proving, by a preponderance of the evidence (i.e., “more likely than not”) one or more of the following:
- The respondent committed an assault;
- The respondent caused physical injury;
- The respondent threatened physical injury or assault;
- The respondent committed sexual abuse;
- The respondent stalked or harassed the petitioner;
- The respondent committed any other act that placed the petitioner in fear of serious physical harm or sexual abuse.
There are several reasons why a protective order may be denied. Some of the most common include:
- Inability to show a valid relationship for the order in which you are applying;
- Lack of sufficient information about what happened, where it happened, when it happened, etc.;
- Lack of sufficient evidence that the alleged wrongful conduct has occurred and is likely to continue occurring;
- Any evidence of lying, exaggerating, misrepresenting facts, withholding facts, or any other attempt to deceive the court.
What Can I Do if my Application for a Domestic Violence Order was Denied?
If you are denied a DVO or any other type of protective order in Kentucky, you still have some options. First of all, it is a good idea to connect with some local domestic violence and sexual assault victim agencies to obtain support and guidance on how to stay safe. You may also be able to apply again for a domestic violence order if you have additional evidence you can present to the court and/or additional incidents have occurred since your order was denied.
If you fear for your safety or the safety of a loved one and you were previously denied a domestic violence order, it is best to get in touch with an experienced attorney. A skilled attorney can thoroughly review your case and help determine if the issues that resulted in your original denial can be effectively addressed so you can bring the case back court.
Attorney Ron Aslam is a Kentucky native who has extensive experience with both family law and criminal law. Ron has an in-depth understanding of protective orders and what is necessary to prove to the court in order to obtain one. He can meet with you discuss your situation and advise you of your legal rights and options.
To schedule a confidential and discreet consultation with Attorney Ron Aslam, call our office today at 502-581-1676. You may send us a message through our online contact form or stop by our Louisville office in person at your convenience.