A protective order in a Harris County, Texas Domestic Assault Case or in an active Harris County, TX Divorce matter is an Order that is signed by a Harris County, Texas Judge which limits the rights and/or freedom of a person who has been alleged to have committed a crime involving family violence, stalking, and/or sexual abuse. In certain circumstances, child abuse cases may be used as the basis of a “family violence” protective order. An individual subject to a protective order in Harris County, Texas and/or Houston, Texas may be criminally prosecuted if he/she fails to comply with certain terms of the protective order, but not in all cases.
In a protective order case and/or a Harris County, Texas divorce case the Applicant is the person requesting the protective order either for themselves or for their child(ren), or both. The Respondent is the person being accused of improper acts or conduct, and is the person whom the Judge may order to do (or not do) certain things. The specific intent of the Order is to protect the well-being of the Applicant(s).
A hearing on Applicant’s protective order request in a Harris County, TX Court is subject to trial procedure and the rules of evidence, and it is used to present relevant and admissible evidence to the Judge so that he/she may decide whether the requested protective order should be granted. All questioning of witnesses by Attorneys is done under oath, and a Court Reporter will be present to record the testimony, which will be a part of the official record of the Court. At the conclusion of the hearing the Judge will render his/her opinion (or ruling) as to whether the Applicant’s request for a protective order should be granted, and specifically state the terms of the final Order (which will be reduced to a written Order of the Court).
A Harris County, TX Judge will not grant a protective order unless the Applicant meets his/her burden of proof establishing the need for a protective order. In Order to meet this burden the Applicant will typically testify under oath and provide evidence to support his/her claim. The Applicant will also be subject to cross examination by the Respondent’s Attorney. The Respondent will also have the opportunity to provide testimony and evidence to support his/her defense to the request for protective order, and the Respondent will be subject to cross examination by Applicant’s Attorney.
In Texas and Harris County divorce and domestic violence cases different types of Family Violence Protective Orders may include, but are not limited to, a Lifetime Protective Order, a Two-Year Protective Order as to Family Violence, a Magistrate’s Order for Emergency Protection, and Twenty-Day Temporary Ex Parte Protective Order as to Family Violence.
In Texas and Harris County a hearing must be held if the Respondent in a proceeding opposes a Two-Year Protective Order or a Lifetime Protective Order. However, a Harris County Judge may issue a Twenty-Day Protective Order or a Magistrate’s Order for Emergency Protection without a hearing or providing Respondent with advance notice.
If you believe your personal situation requires that you seek a Family Violence Protective Order then contact the Law Office of Daniel E. McCarty, Jr. at (713) 464-7000 to schedule an appointment with an Attorney to have your concerns heard and your case evaluated. Mr. McCarty is an experienced family lawyer and divorce attorney you can trust with over two decades of experience handling divorce and family law matters which concern family violence and protective orders.
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