An Ineffable Proposition

Domestic violence is any assault, battery, rape or similar criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of a family or household member by another who is or was living in the same home or apartment. This includes spouses, former spouses, anyone related by blood or marriage, people living together as a family or have lived together as a family in the past, and people that have a child in common even if they we're never married or never lived together.

Anyone who is a victim of domestic violence or reasonably believes he or she is about to become a victim of domestic violence can file for a petition for an emergency or permanent injunction, or both. The law has made it easy to do, but there are a few guidelines the victim should follow:

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- Detail - the date of each act of violence and threat. Provide the time of day and some details.

- Dont get too wordy. The judge doesn't care what you we're eating, wearing, or who won American Idol that evening. Stick with the facts.

- You will have to go to a hearing, and that hearing will be limited to the events you mention in the petition. Dont omit events that you want the judge to hear.

- If there we're witnesses, mention them and make sure they go to the hearing with you. The judge will want to hear from them too.

- When you and your witness go to court, bring a lawyer. You may win without one, but having an advocate will better prepare you. He will also help keep you calm and give you self-confidence.

- Dress appropriately for Court.

- Read your petition before going to Court. You don't want to get confused, and it can be stressful.

- No drugs or alcohol before Court.

- Speak the truth. The judge has seen it all, and you're not smarter than him.

- If you are asked a question by the other attorney, and your lawyer objects, stay quiet. Let the lawyers argue and the judge decide if you need to answer.

- Never speak to the other side, never argue. Speak only to your lawyer and the judge.

- Dont shake your head when you disagree with something the other person says. The judge knows you disagree or you wouldn't be in Court.

- Win or lose, you will not leave at the same time. If you bump into them in the Courtroom, walk away and tell a deputy if he threatens or harasses you. Especially if the injunction was granted.

If you have been served with an injunction, get a lawyer. You'll get your day in Court without one, but you don't understand procedure, you don't know what to ask, and your chances of impeaching a witness are slim to none. Lawyers are expensive. They have staff, rent, utilities and use a lot of paper. Borrow the money if you need to. Dont go to Court alone.

Never consent to an injunction. The time to fight it is at the hearing. Once the injunction is entered, it takes time and money to get rid of it.

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Posted in Law Post Date 09/14/2015


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