When an adult or child suffers mental, physical or emotional abuse in the East Baton Rouge Parish of Louisiana, state-ordered protections are available through the civil court by obtaining a protective or restraining order. If the abuser is a family member or in a domestic relationship with the victim, she can seek a protective order. If there is no domestic relationship, or if the abuse also includes financial, material, and elder abuse as the result of an ugly divorce, a difficult business agreement or when contesting a power of attorney of an elderly parent, request a restraining order.
Issuing Protective/Restraining Orders
Most often used to protect an individual whose health or safety is threatened by another person, a protective order or restraining order is intended to keep the abuser away from the victim. This includes stalkers. If the order is violated, the person named on the order, also known as the respondent, can be arrested and criminally charged, even though the order was issued in the civil court.
Baton Rouge Parish follows the dictates set by the state. If the abuse took place within the parish, the Baton Rouge Clerk of Court’s Office is the most likely place to file a complaint and a request for a protective/restraining order. However, the marital home, the residence of the respondent, the location of the abuse, or the location where a civil procedure was recorded – all can be used as the place of filing. Therefore, an order issued in the parish needn’t be confined to an abuse that occurred within the parish.
East Baton Rouge Parish also offers domestic abuse help through its Iris Domestic Violence Center, which serves a seven-parish area as the main resource for victims of domestic violence. Through it, paperwork for temporary restraining orders or protective orders can be obtained. The center also work with the sheriff’s office, which provides a means of serving the order on the respondent.
Expanding Types of Restraining Orders
A protective/restraining order can be issued in different stages, depending on the urgency of the request:
- An Emergency Temporary Restraining Order is issued when immediate protection is needed and the courts are not in session. It is effective for 24 hours or until the end of the next day that the court is in session. Once the deadline approaches, you must go to court to request a temporary restraining order.
- A Temporary Restraining Order starts the process of obtaining a long-term restraining order. Obtained in front of a civil court judge, or his assignee, the respondent is notified of a court date once it has been issued, which is usually within two to three weeks. Both sides of the issue are heard before the court issues the final verdict.
- A Long-Term Protective/Restraining Order is issued after you appear in court and state your case in front of the judge. Both parties to the complaint must be in attendance. However, if the respondent fails to appear, the judge will most likely issue the order ex parte, without both sides present. If the respondent does appear, and if he has other complaints against him or demonstrates a tendency toward violence, a long-term protective order is issued. Restraining orders are dealt with in the same manner. Either order can be issued for 18 months, and extensions are possible.
Getting Help From the Parish
The East Baton Rouge Parish has supported a Domestic Violence program for nearly 40 years. It helps guide men, women and children through the process of obtaining a restraining order by walking the request through the civil court system.
A 24-hour hotline is available to all Louisiana residents who are threatened by domestic violence. This is a toll-free line, and you are encouraged to call the crisis line at 888-411-1333.
A writer for many years, Jann has contributed to television programming revolving around legal issues, written for magazines and web sites regarding the law, and her manuals on real estate law specifics are used in real estate schools in Florida.