Family Violence Protective Orders
Georgia Temporary Protective Orders in Family Violence Cases

Georgia Temporary Protective Orders in Family Violence Cases

family violence lawyer in Cobb CountyWhat is a TPO?

A Temporary Protective Order (TPO) is a legal document issued by a court to help victims obtain protection from persons abusing, harassing, or stalking them. A TPO will generally prohibit contact between parties and may remove or restrict someone from a certain place or residence. The following must occur before a judge will consider issuing a TPO:

  • A recent act of family violence.
  • The victim, or someone acting on behalf of the victim, must complete a petition requesting that a TPO be issued.
  • Once the petition is completed, the victim will speak to a Judge.
  • If the Judge finds that the order should be issued, papers will be filed at the clerk’s office. The sheriff’s office will receive a copy of the order so that the defendant can be served with the order.
  • If the defendant violates the provisions set forth in the order, he/she can be held in contempt of court and possibly be arrested for a criminal violation. Any violation of the order should be reported to law enforcement and the courts.

AnchorConditions for Application
Under Georgia Law, an application for a TPO can be made without the assistance of an attorney and there are no fees involved. An application for a TPO can be made if an act of family violence has occurred in one of the following situations.

  • Past or present spouses
  • Parents of the same children
  • Parents and children
  • Stepparents and stepchildren
  • Foster parents and foster children
  • Persons living or formerly living in the same household. NOTE: Dating relationships where there has been no cohabitation or no common children generally will not qualify for a TPO. 

Where do I get a TPO issued?
Generally, a TPO is issued through the Superior Court of the County in which the perpetrator or defendant lives. If the perpetrator is not a Georgia resident, the order may be issued in the Country where the abuse occurred.

How long will the TPO be in effect?
Both the perpetrator and the victim will have to appear before a Judge within 30 days of the original order to determine whether or not the TPO should be extended for up to six months.

What if the TPO is violated?
A criminal violation of a protective order pursuant to Georgia Law (O.C.G.A. 19-13-6(b)) may occur only if the order states that the defendant has been evicted or excluded from the residence of the victim. Violations of other orders, generally referred to as “no contact” orders, will be handled through civil contempt actions. However, violations of TPO provisions can possibly lead to other criminal charges.

If you believe a violation of a TPO has occurred, contact law enforcement and the judge’s office to report the violation. If the responding law enforcement agency determines that a criminal violation has occurred, the defendant may be arrested. If no criminal violation has occurred, the judge may place the case or the calendar for both parties to appear at a contempt hearing.

What protection can this TPO give me?
Pursuant to Georgia Law (O.C.G.A. 19-13-4), a TPO can:

  • Direct a party to refrain from family violence acts.
  • Grant a spouse possession of the residence or household of the parties and exclude the other spouse.
  • Require a party to provide suitable alternate housing for a spouse and his/her children.
  • Award temporary custody of minor children and establish temporary visitation rights.
  • Order the eviction of a party from the residence or household and order assistance to the victim in returning to it, or order assistance in retrieving personal property of the victim if the respondent’s eviction has not been ordered.
  • Order either party to make payments for the support of a spouse as required by law.
  • Order either party to make payments for the minor children as required by law.
  • Provide for possession of personal property of the parties.
  • Order a party to refrain from harassing, interfering with, or contacting the other.
  • Award costs and attorney’s fees to either party.
  • Order either or all parties to receive appropriate psychiatric or psychological services as further measure to prevent the recurrence of family violence.

Is the TPO good out of the county or state?
The Full Faith and Credit Provision on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA U.S. Code Section 2265) requires states and Indian tribes to enforce valid protection orders issued by foreign states. Whatever the implications of violating a TPO are in the new state or Indian land, these apply to enforcement of the order from the old state or Indian land.

REMEMBER:

  • Always keep a copy of the order with you. Keep copies of the order at other places you frequent such as school, daycare, relative’s home, work. etc. If you believe a TPO is being violated, report this violation to law enforcement immediately.
  • Keep all evidence of violence such as photos, caller ID information, phone records, cards, and letters and document each contact or violation.
    If you are being followed, contacted, or harassed, contact law enforcement immediately.
  • Don’t let the defendant violate the order, which means do not contact him/her once the order is in effect. This type of contact may invalidate the order.

IF YOU FEEL YOU ARE IN DANGER CALL 911!

Limitations of a TPO

A TPO is a court document ordering someone to stay away, but is not a bulletproof vest that can prevent danger or some force that will physically keep a person from harming you. Other things that can be done to ensure your safety:

  • Make a safety plan detailing where you and your children will go and what you will do in the event of an emergency.
  • Keep a bag packed and safely stored away with items you will need.

SOURCE: Haven House

Domestic violence | It’s not just physical abuse

Yesterday, John P. Tassinari shot his wife, Barbara, multiple times with two 45-caliber handguns in the driveway of their Quincy, Massachusetts home. She died at the scene. She left two children, one son who is 10 and a 1-year-old from the marriage to Tassinari.

John Tassinari was described as follows by Barbara’s family:

  • He was a control freak who used a cellphone to keep tabs on his wife.
  • He was also "infamously obsessive. He would need his hair shaved every Friday, he would wear shorts every day throughout the year."
  • He made sure his wife did not have any cash, and would demand to see receipts for every purchase she made.
  • He called her frequently – dozens of times during the day – to ask her where she was and when she’d be home.

Barbara’s family said that she was planning to leave her husband, but not for another man. They said that she wanted out of her marriage because of his obsessive, controlling ways. Her father stated that he had never seen any signs of domestic abuse and that he’d have removed his daughter from the home if he’d seen abuse.

Domestic abuse isn’t just physical violence

Unfortunately, not enough people realize that domestic abuse is not always physical abuse. Barbara’s story is one that can help others to understand, to recognize and to protect themselves and their loved ones from domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse can be physical abuse or it can be the type of conduct that Barbara Tassinari experienced. The following has been defined as domestic abuse: [NOTE: The abuser is usually, but not always a male. However, to avoid repeated "him/her" construction, I have used female pronouns below.]

  • Using economic abuse (e.g., making her ask for money, giving her an allowance, taking her money, making her account for even minor purchases)
  • Using coercion and threats
  • Using intimidation (e.g., making her afraid using looks, action, gestures)
  • Using emotional abuse (e.g., belittling her, calling her names, making her feel guilty)
  • Using isolation (e.g., controlling her activities, limiting her contacts with others)
  • Using the children (e.g., threatening to take the children away, making her feel guilty about the children)
  • Using male privilege (e.g. treating her like an inferior, making all the big decisions)
  • (Minimizing, denying, blaming (e.g., denying that abuse happened, blaming her for causing the abuse)

For greater detail, see the Power and Control Wheel developed by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, Duluth, MN. This Wheel from the same source shows the detrimental effects that domestic violence has on the children living in the household.

Lawyers, family members and friends can help

Those in closest contact with a victim of domestic abuse need to know that research shows that a woman is most at risk of harm when she is planning to leave an abusive relationship. These are some helpful ways lawyers, family and friends can help a woman recognize domestic abuse in a relationship or marriage:

  • Show her the materials on this Blog
  • Talk with her and help her identify specific behaviors that constitute domestic abuse
  • Help her devise a safety plan for leaving
  • Help her get a secure email address and learn how to use the Internet safely. (See earlier posts on this Blog about Internet security)

Earlier articles on this Blog concerning Domestic Violence are found here.

Other resources

Handbook: A handbook to assist lawyers to identify and help clients who are domestic violence victims from the American Bar Association

Also from the ABA: Tips on Devising a Safety Plan

To read the Boston Globe article about Barbara Tassinari (also reprinted below)

SOURCE FOR POST: Updates in Michigan Family Law by Jeanne Hannah

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Georgia, South Carolina Make Top 10 Most Violent States Against Women

Dreamstime_4038158 One day after a domestic violence murder in South Augusta, the Violence Policy Center has unflattering statistics for our area.

The center says South Carolina is number six, and Georgia is number eight in the country for the number of women murdered by men.

Domestic violence counselors are calling on the community for help.

Yellow police tape surrounded the home where investigators say Calvin Foster Senior shot his wife, Daphne, five times Tuesday morning – killing her in a fit of rage.

It’s logged as another statistic downtown, but one of rising concern to domestic violence counselors, like Rae Brammer who’s disappointed with what she calls "lackluster efforts" to stop the problem.

"What are we telling people," Brammer asks, "that we can look the other way and it’s not our problem? I think Augusta’s looked the other way too long."

Maggie Tucker agrees. As Assistant Director of a shelter for domestic violence victims, she’s worried about the increasing number of people who don’t act when they should.

"Always a friend knew," she says of past victims who died at the hands of their domestic attacker. "There was some person that knew. So I think it’s every body’s responsibility."

But both Brammer and Tucker agree – helping a victim leave a bad situation is both difficult and dangerous.

"That’s when the batterer will go into a rage," Tucker admits. "That’s when a lot of women are killed – after they leave."

Still, they say, reporting domestic problems is the only way to stop a cycle of violence that Brammer says is passed from one generation to the next.

"If you care about children and if you care about the next generation, it’s your problem."

In the report, 90 women were murdered in Georgia in domestic incidents. 90% of them knew their killer.

South Carolina saw 47 women murdered by men. 91% were killed by someone they knew.

Rankings are based on murders per 100,000 people. Georgia’s population is larger than South Carolina’s. That’s why South Carolina is ranked higher.

SOURCE: NBCAugusta.com in a story by Joshua Quinn

Georgia Temporary Protective Orders

Dreamstime_3260264 What is a TPO?

A Temporary Protective Order (TPO) is a legal document issued by a court to help victims obtain protection from persons abusing, harassing, or stalking them. A TPO will generally prohibit contact between parties and may remove or restrict someone from a certain place or residence. The following must occur before a judge will consider issuing a TPO:

  • A recent act of family violence.
  • The victim, or someone acting on behalf of the victim, must complete a petition requesting that a TPO be issued.
  • Once the petition is completed, the victim will speak to a Judge.
  • If the Judge finds that the order should be issued, papers will be filed at the clerk’s office. The sheriff’s office will receive a copy of the order so that the defendant can be served with the order.
  • If the defendant violates the provisions set forth in the order, he/she can be held in contempt of court and possibly be arrested for a criminal violation. Any violation of the order should be reported to law enforcement and the courts.


Conditions for Application
Under Georgia Law, an application for a TPO can be made without the assistance of an attorney and there are no fees involved. An application for a TPO can be made if an act of family violence has occurred in one of the following situations.

  • Past or present spouses
  • Parents of the same children
  • Parents and children
  • Stepparents and stepchildren
  • Foster parents and foster children
  • Persons living or formerly living in the same household. NOTE: Dating relationships where there has been no cohabitation or no common children generally will not qualify for a TPO.

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Domestic Violence Victims Are Not Always Women

Dreamstime_505331 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, domestic violence affects more than 32 million Americans (more than 10% of the U.S. population). Also, in the United Stated, 20% of all crime experienced by women are cases of intimate partner violence, compared to 3% of violent crime experienced by men.

Men Can Be Victims, Too

Very little is known about the actual number of men who are in a domestic relationship in which they are abused or treated violently by their male or female partners. Few of these incidents are ever reported to the police, so data is limited. However, approximately 23% of men who had lived with a man as a couple reported being raped, physically assaulted and/or stalked by another man, while 7.4% of men reported violence by a female spouse or cohabitant.

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Russian Brides: Abusers Need Not Apply

On January 5, 2006, President Bush signed the International Marriage Broker Act of 2005 ("IMBRA"), found at Title VIII, Subtitle D of Public Law No. 109-162 which itself reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act. 

IMBRA imposes certain requirements on Internet dating services that primarily focus on matching American men with foreign women.  Before allowing an American to communicate with a foreign woman, an Internet dating service must conduct a criminal background check on the man, a sex-offender check on him and require him to complete a questionnaire detailing his previous arrests, convictions, marriages, divorces, children and all states of residence since he turned eighteen.

As one might imagine, IMBRA has been unpopular with American men who claim that it unfairly presumes they will abuse their future foreign spouses.

Why did Congress pass this law?  A court that ruled on IMBRA’s constitutionality explained:

The rates of domestic violence against immigrant women are much higher than those of the U.S. population as a whole and have in common with women brokered through international marriage brokers a number of factors, including the dependency of the immigrant woman on the U.S. citizen for her legal status.  An estimated 70% of abusive U.S. citizen spouses, including those who consummate relationships through [International Marriage Brokers], withhold the filing of the proper paperwork necessary to validate the legal status of their immigrant female partners to cause them to fall out of legal status and to hold the threat of jail or deportation over the woman.  Estimates by the National Institute on Justice are that over 73 percent of domestic violence cases go unreported.

An international marriage broker called European Connections & Tours, Inc., sued to have IMBRA declared unconstitutional.  European Connections contended that IMBRA posed an impermissible prior restraint on European Connections’ free speech rights.   A federal district court in Georgia upheld IMBRA’s requirements.

SOURCE FOR POST: North Texas Divorce & Family Law Blog