A protective order issued in Tulsa, Oklahoma can have lasting legal consequences beyond the actual order itself — it can also have a dramatic effect on parenting rights. This is why it is so important to challenge a protective order that was issued based on misstatements, exaggerations, or evidence that is less than the truth.
If you have been served an unfounded protective order, contact my office at 918-986-7724 to learn how you can challenge an improper order. This is an important step toward protecting your legal rights as a father.
How Are Protective Orders Issued?
The Criminal Procedures title of the Oklahoma Statutes sets the procedure for obtaining a protective order. Okla. Stat. tit. 22 § 60.2
The process starts when the petitioner files a petition for the order. This petition can be filed in the district court in the county where the victim resides, where the defendant resides, or where the alleged abuse occurred.
The petition is filed without court costs, filing fees, or other mandatory expenses. The low threshold makes it easy.
Oklahoma family law statutes allow the court to issue a protective order if it finds that the petitioner is in immediate and present danger of domestic abuse, stalking, or harassment. Minor children can also be protected by an order filed by one parent against the other. Once the protective order has been issued by the court, it is served upon the defendant (again, at no cost to the petitioner).
It is important to understand that the defendant has no rights in the initial process of petition and hearing. Protective orders are issued ex parte, which means that the defendant is not present. The defendant has no opportunity to contradict the petitioner’s testimony, make their own statements, or present any evidence of their own. When minor children are included in the protective order, the defendant parent can lose parenting rights, at least temporarily, without any prior chance to be heard in court.
To protect the rights of the accused, Oklahoma statutes allow for a full hearing on the protective order within 14 days of the initial order being issued.
At this full hearing, the defendant has an opportunity to attend and has the right to present his or her case. The defendant can — and probably should — be represented by an attorney.
Evidence can be presented. Testimony can contradict the alleged victim’s version of events. An attorney can also argue that the accuser’s allegations do not meet the legal requirements for a protective order.
A permanent protective order hearing is a very important event that can preserve or undermine your parenting rights. A permanent order is not absolutely permanent, but can remain in place as long as five years.
When a divorce, paternity, or child custody dispute is involved, courts often combine protective order hearings with related family law cases. In such circumstances, a temporary protective order can remain in place for weeks, months, or even years.
Whether a protective order is granted, denied, or subsequently overturned, abuse allegations can dramatically affect a divorce or custody case. Such cases determine your parenting rights for years to come.
Therefore, is important to fight all unfounded allegations of abuse. A family court judge making custody determinations needs to know when allegations of abuse are false.
Failure to fight unfounded allegations of abuse can be viewed as an admission of guilt.
Consult a Tulsa Fathers’ Rights Attorney Today
As you can see, protective orders can dramatically affect your parenting rights. Some can even restrict your visitation rights without you having any opportunity to present your side of the case.
Don’t face this situation alone. Call 918-986-7724 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with an experienced Tulsa fathers’ rights attorney.
Challenging an unfounded protective order can both protect your legal rights as a father and spare your children the trauma of unnecessary separations.