How to Prove a Violation of a No-Contact Order

By John Zaremba - Updated June 20, 2017
Woman receiving text messages on her cell phone

A no-contact order means the court has forbidden one person to communicate with another. It is a common part of many legal proceedings, including divorce cases, cases of violence and cases of stalking or harassment. Proving violation of a no-contact order can be difficult, but victims can protect themselves by saving any potential evidence of contact and taking it to the court with the help of a lawyer or the police.

Save your text messages, emails and instant-messenger sessions. Text messaging and email have become common ways to communicate. As a result, they've also become common ways of violating a no-contact order. Text messages, emails or instant messages from the offender to the victim are a clear violation. So are text messages or emails to the victim from friends or family of the offender speaking on the offender's behalf.

Watch your social-networking sites. Just like email and text messaging, social networking sites are popular ways for people to talk to each other. A message, comment, friend request or any sort of communication from the offender to the victim, even through a third party, violates the no-contact order.

Save voicemail messages. Even though the offender or third party does not speak directly to the victim, voicemail is a means of communication and violates the no-contact order.

Watch your caller ID. If the offender calls the victim but does not leave a message, even the attempt to communicate with the victim violates the order. It is more difficult to prove a violation if the offender does not leave a message but uses someone else's phone, a prepaid phone or pay phone, or blocks the telephone number from appearing on caller ID.

Save any written communication you suspect comes from the offender or third party. Because violating a no-contact order is illegal, it's unlikely an offender would sign a letter. But the offender may identify him or herself another way, depending on what the letter says.

Bring evidence to the police in a criminal case or your lawyer in a civil case. Violating a no-contact order is a crime when it is part of a criminal sentence or a condition of bail or probation. Police can make an arrest when they suspect the offender has violated the order, and hard physical proof only helps them make their case.

Tip

If the offender violates a no-contact order in person, remove yourself from the situation and call the police immediately. Print any electronic communication and make several copies--at least one for yourself, one for the police and one for your lawyer.

Police can arrest someone if they suspect a crime, but getting the accusation to hold up in court largely depends on the quality of the proof.

Warning

Do not violate the no-contact order yourself. If you must discuss the case, do so through the police, the prosecutor or your lawyer. Calling the offender may cause the court to lift the order. It may also get the offender in trouble, even an offender who is trying to obey the order.

About the Author

John Zaremba began writing professionally in 1997. He has worked at some of the country's finest small daily newspapers, including "The Beacon News" and "The Patriot Ledger." Zaremba is a graduate of the University of Illinois.

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