Temporary Protective Orders
A TPO (Temporary Protective Order) serves to protect you and your children from the threat of domestic violence and stalking.
What is a TPO?
A TPO is a court order that provides protection against stalking and the risk of domestic violence. A TPO (Temporary Protective Order) is commonly referred to as a restraining order. A temporary protective order can be written to protect an individual and/or their children from real or perceived threats of physical abuse, stalking, harassment or similar harm.
How Fast Can I Get a TPO?
In Georgia, a TPO can be obtained in approximately 24 hours. The protections provided by the TPO become effective when the TPO is served (delivered) to the person named in the Order. When a TPO is granted by a judge the paperwork is completed and forwarded to the Sheriff's Department. Deputies of the Sheriff's Department then serve the TPO to the other party (usually within hours). Call 911 if you believe you are in immediate danger.
How Long Does a TPO Last?
As the name implies, the initial protective order is only temporary. The duration of a TPO is usually two to three weeks. During this time the court will schedule a hearing where both parties are required to attend to discuss the matter. The hearing allows the judge to hear both sides ot the situation, and decide whether the order should be dropped or extended for up to 12 months.
How Does a TPO Protect Me?
A temporary protective order forbids the other party from making direct or indirect contact with the person(s) given protection under the Order. Physical protections may include requiring the other party to not come within 1500 feet from the protected persons protected. Other restrictions expand the TPO as a no-contact order to prevent harassment, bullying and intimidation. This means the other party is prohibited from contact via phone calls, text messages, emails or written messages. This includes indirect contact by a third-party acting on behalf of the other party.
How to Get a TPO
Obtaining a protective order in Georgia is a multi-step process.
- You must visit with an advocate to complete an initial screening to document your reasons and evidence for requesting a TPO.
- You will be 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.
- You are then required to appear before a Superior Court judge, briefly summarize your circumstances and answer any questions the judge may ask.
- If your TPO request is granted you will be escorted to another area where your protective order will be prepared and handed to you.
- The court system will coordinate serving the protective order to the other party.
NOTE: Besides providing protection, the Order can include temporary directives on child custody, child support, spousal support, and disposition of the marital property.
You should familiarize yourself with every detail of the protective order. You should carry a copy of the TPO at all times in the event you need to contact law enforcement. Making it available to police will assure that they can manage any violations in an appropriate manner.
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