In the event that a motion for a protection order is filed against you, it is important to act as follows:
* Contact a lawyer immediately.
* when, if a protection order is issued ex parte against you, a hearing will be held in the matter at the court within only 7 days from the date of the order, and your affidavit in response should be submitted to the court before the hearing is held. It is important to contact an attorney engaged in the field of family law, since in general a motion for a protection order is an inseparable part of an overall family dispute.
* In the event that no other proceedings are initiated between the parties, the filing of various claims relating to the domestic dispute should be weighed promptly before these are filed by the counter party, so that the claims are heard at the court that is most advantageous for you (see the “jurisdiction race”) and on these grounds too it is essential to contact a lawyer immediately.
* It is important to reconstruct in writing, as soon as possible to the event, the details of the event for which the motion has been filed as well as previous events likely to prove relevant.
* The wording of the protection order should be examined carefully as well as in whose favor the order was entered and what are the restrictions arising therefrom.
* The provisions of the protection order should be complied with meticulously, even where the protected family member has contacted you, asked to speak to you or meet with you – in contravention of the provisions of the order. This is so since, under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Law, the behavior of the protected party cannot release you from your duty to act in accordance with the protection order, which is a judicial order in all respects and the violation of which constitutes a criminal offense.
* In the event that – within the framework of the protection order – you are barred from your home but not from your children who reside at home, it is important to act to schedule visitation arrangements with the children (outside the home). This can be done via a lawyer or someone to mediate from your family or friends, or via the court, the support unit or the welfare officer appointed by the court to this end.