If you are a citizen of Memphis, TN, and your safety is in danger, you might want to seek a restraining order to protect yourself. Restraining orders are court orders that protect anyone who is a victim of domestic abuse and other forms, such as sexual assault, stalking, etc., from their abusers. If you want to learn how to file a restraining order in Memphis, TN, keep reading for tips and more.
Types of Restraining Orders Available in Memphis?
In Tennessee, there are two types of protection orders victims can obtain.
1. Temporary Protection Orders (TPOs)
Temporary protection orders can be issued for “good cause,” which usually means that the judge believes there is an immediate and present danger of abuse. Temporary protection orders are short-term orders designed to protect you until you are issued an extended protection order.
The order can be granted ex parte, which means that it is issued without prior notice to the abuser and without them being in court. You can ask for a temporary protection order simultaneously as you ask for an extended protection order. A temporary protection order lasts up to 15 days or until the final hearing for your extended protection order.
2. Extended Protection Orders (EPOs)
Extended protection orders are issued after a full court hearing where both sides can appear. A symbolic protection order lasts up to one year and can be extended for one-year periods. It’s possible, however, that you can get a lifetime order of protection if the abuser was convicted of committing a felony crime against you related to assault, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or sexual assault.
How To File a Restraining Order in Memphis, TN?
Filing for a restraining order isn’t as difficult as you might think. Here are the steps you need to take to get a restraining order and what you can expect next.
- Get the necessary forms to file for the restraining order. You can go to the courthouse or get the forms online through Tennessee’s court website.
- Fill out the forms with as much detailed information as possible about the abuse. Make sure to include dates, times, locations, etc.
- The judge will review your forms and claims of abuse and decide if you need a temporary restraining order to protect you until your final hearing.
- Your final hearing will occur, and the judge will decide whether or not you can have an EPO. If you are absent in court, your TPO will expire, so be sure to be present. If your abuser is absent, the judge can order an EPO or reschedule the hearing.
Helpful Resources and Support
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, there are people and organizations here to help. Here are some helpful resources and support available in Memphis.
The Memphis Police Department’s Domestic Violence Unit investigates domestic abuse cases. The unit also provides resources and referrals to victims of domestic abuse. The Memphis Police Department can be reached at 901-636-2950.
The Family Safety Center is a one-stop shop for victims of domestic abuse and their families. The center offers various services, including crisis counseling, legal assistance, and medical care. The Family Safety Center can be reached at 901-222-4400.
Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic & Sexual Violence aims to end domestic and sexual violence in Tennessee by educating the public and providing resources. They can be reached at 615-386-9406.
We can all do our part to ensure that those living in Memphis have the safety they need, and you can help by educating yourself or someone else on how to file a restraining order. This is the first step in empowering people to protect themselves and their families against abuse.
Following these steps could give individuals the protection they deserve and enable them to live without fear of abuse or harm. Along with the helpful information provided here, many agencies throughout Memphis are available to provide additional support when filing for a restraining order. Providing additional resources to those affected by abuse has proven beneficial as it allows victims to take control of their safety and gives them more power to achieve peace in their lives.
Please reach out for help if needed — you don’t have to go through this alone! To learn more about how to file a restraining order in Memphis, TN, please refer to your local courts today!
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