Civil Protection Order Attorney: Anti stalking and civil protection orders in Washington, DC

Navigating anti-stalking and civil protection orders in Washington, DC

Civil Protection Orders (CPO) and Anti-Stalking Orders (ASO) serve similar purposes but have different legal requirements and terminology. Both aim to protect individuals from unwanted contact, injury, or harassment by another person. In some cases, parents will file a protection order on behalf of a minor. Please note that CPOs and ASOs are different than restraining orders.

A CPO typically encompasses a broader range of behaviors and may be issued when the court finds that the respondent committed any act punishable as a criminal offense against the petitioner. This includes domestic violence, sex abuse, threats, and destruction of property. If granted, a CPO can be put in place for up to two years. Violating a CPO is punishable as criminal contempt.

An ASO in Washington DC deals with allegations of stalking in which the parties are not related or in a domestic relationship and the respondent has engaged in at least one occasion of conduct in the last 90 days prior to filing his or her petition. Violating an ASO is punishable as criminal contempt.

Do you need to file a CPO or ASO?

We understand that this can be an exceptionally stressful time. If you need to file a Civil Protection Order against someone, it is crucial to bring in an experienced DC protection order attorney who can guide you through the court process. Too many times individuals attempt to file a CPO or ASO and find the court dismissing their case due to the parties’ failure to properly state a claim or establish jurisdiction. This not only leads to fear for their safety but also a sense of hopelessness. Do not do this alone. Work with a specialist who will handle the drafting of the petition, negotiations, related investigations, and trial.

If the judge approves your petition for a civil protection order, they could tack on extra conditions, like allowing you to stay in your home, providing you with custody of your children, mandating the respondent to get alcohol, drug, or mental health treatment, footing the bill for your attorney’s fees, or other fair remedies.

Ready to discuss your case with an experienced civil protection order attorney in Washington DC?

Has someone filed a CPO or ASO against you?

Has someone filed a CPO or ASO against you?

Due to the severe and immediate consequences, being the subject of a CPO or ASO is a very stressful situation. Not only can a CPO remove you from your home, job or take your children away, it could endanger your security clearance and even make it illegal for you to have a firearm. Plus, if the person who filed the CPO claims you violated it, you may face charges for criminal contempt.

With all these potential headaches, it is important to bring on a skilled DC civil protection order lawyer.

Stop delaying. Find out what you are facing in a complimentary consultation with a top CPO attorney and rest easier tonight!

Frequently Asked Questions

A stay-away no-contact order is a court directive requiring one person to keep their distance from another and refrain from any form of communication or contact. It is typically issued to protect someone from potential harm or harassment by another individual. Many times, you will see the Court issue this order in a domestic violence matter or any criminal matter involving some form of violence or threats. Many CPO’s and ASO’s have this condition within the Court’s order.

A stay away no contact order mandates that the person subject to it must stay away from the specified individual and avoid any form of contact, whether in person, by phone, text, email, or through a third party. Violating this order can lead to legal consequences, including potential contempt charges or in criminal matters a change in release conditions.

Do you need to discuss a stay away no contact order?

A “NO HATS” order is narrower in scope, and prohibits the subject from Harassing, Assaulting, Threatening, or Stalking an individual. The Court will often issue this order in a domestic violence matter or any criminal matter involving some form of violence or threats. Usually, this is issued when parties live together or when the victim is not requesting a stay away. The person under this order is allowed to have contact with the opposing party or victim. However, if the party under the order commits any harassing, assaulting, threatening, or stalking behavior they may be charged with criminal contempt or be held in jail while their case is pending. It is common for a NO HATS order to be issued when children are involved, or when one of the parents wants to maintain contact with the other, but with boundaries in place.

Do you need to discuss a stay away, no contact or a “NO HATS” order?

Here is a simplified breakdown of the process for filing a CPO or an ASO including getting a temporary protection order: The petitioner initiates the procedure by submitting a written request (a petition) to the court. In this petition, the Petitioner may request a temporary protection order (TPO) prior to their hearing date for either a CPO or ASO. If a TPO is requested, the Court will conduct a hearing that same day to determine if a TPO should be issued. More often than not, the Court grants the TPO. If a TPO is issued against the respondent, the respondent may be required to leave their home, job, or children that same day.

The TPO requires that the petitioner demonstrate an immediate and pressing need for court protection due to imminent danger.

The TPO hearing is held ex parte, meaning the respondent is not present. During this hearing, a magistrate judge will assess the allegations and decide whether a TPO should be granted. If possible, a petitioner should have his or her lawyer present to assist with this hearing. Failing to convince a judge that a TPO should be granted can have dire effects on the future success of your CPO or ASO. After a TPO is issued, the petitioner is responsible for ensuring the respondent is lawfully served with a copy of the TPO and the related service packet. TPOs remain effective until the following court date, where a trial may be conducted to determine whether to issue a civil protection order or anti-stalking order. If granted, a CPO or ASO can remain in effect for up to two years.

Do you need help with a temporary protection order?

Deciding whether to file a petition for a civil protection order or an anti-stalking order is not simple. It may involve a family member, a loved one or a stranger. However, if you or your loved ones are in danger you should absolutely consider this option. Not only will a TPO bring you immediate relief but a CPO or ASO may provide you and your family protection for up to two years.

To receive a protection order you must draft and file a Petition with DC Superior Court. To do this successfully you must establish proper jurisdiction. If you are not able to establish jurisdiction, the Court will not accept your petition and your matter will be dismissed.

After being served with a Petition for a CPO or ASO you should immediately begin gathering evidence for your attorney. Documenting the history of your relationship with the petitioner is incredibly important. Preserve all texts, call logs, voicemails, and emails. If any past police reports have ever been filed, retrieve them. Take note of all witnesses to any of the incidents listed in the petition. Witnesses’ availability may change, so it is important to get names and contact details as soon as possible. Take note of surveillance videos such as ring cameras, MPD videos, or store videos. Generally, these videos are deleted after short periods of time. As a result, your attorney will want to subpoena them immediately. Finally, start recording your timeline of events so that when you and your attorney meet, they can begin crafting your defense. A good defense is a prepared defense.

In a protection order trial, both the person asking for the order (the petitioner) and the person the order is against (the respondent) get to share their side of the story with the judge. Both parties can present evidence and have witnesses testify. The judge listens to everything carefully and decides whether to grant the protection order. Either side can proceed with or without a lawyer. At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge will either dismiss the petition for the protection order or grant it. After granting the order, the judge will then determine what the extent of the conditions should be.

Since these cases are civil, the petitioner has to meet a lower standard of proof compared to a criminal case.

If the person asking for the protection order fails to show the judge usually dismisses the case “without prejudice.” That simply means that the petitioner may file their petition again. If the respondent does not show up, the judge may grant the petitioner a “default CPO.”

If you are going to court for any type of protection order, you need an experienced local civil protection order attorney on your side.

  • Familiarity with the Court: They work in DC Superior Court and have familiarity with the judges and local rules.
  • Investigation: They have handled multiple protection orders and know how to streamline an investigation. They should know how and where to serve subpoenas and how to FOIA government surveillance videos, 911 calls and police body worn videos. They are also skilled in witness interviews and drafting a timeline of events.
  • Negotiation skills: They have experience in negotiating consent orders or out of court agreements. They have drafted out of court contracts related to protective orders and they have assisted parties on both sides of the protective orders in resolving these matters out of court.
  • Courtroom experience: They have experience presenting cases and defending clients in DC Superior court. In addition, they regularly work in front of the same judges.
  • Support and guidance: They provide support throughout the legal process and answer all your questions along the way. There should never be a moment when you feel alone.
Consult with a civil protection order attorney Washington DC

Consult with a civil protection order attorney Washington DC

If you or a loved one are dealing with a civil protection order in Washington DC or Virginia, consulting with an experienced DC CPO attorney is essential. A top CPO lawyer can help you understand your options, build a strategy, and navigate the legal system effectively. Contact Monument Legal today for a consultation and personalized legal assistance tailored to your case.

Why choose Monument Legal as your CPO lawyers?

We have extensive experience handling CPO cases. We will be by your side every step of the way, keeping you informed, answering your questions, and addressing your concerns. Our one goal in every case is to get our clients the best possible outcome. We care about your case, and we care about you.

Monument Legal consistently provides excellent results for their clients, including:

  • Consent Agreements
  • Out of Court Resolutions
  • Trial Success