Domestic Violence Protective Orders

Were you served with a civil petition for a protective order? If so, contact the attorneys in Salt Lake City at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP. Call to discuss the best ways to defend yourself against false or exaggerated allegations contained in the petition. We also represent clients in other types of cases involving a protective order including a Domestic Violence Injunction, Civil Stalking Injunction and a Child Protective Order.

Being served with a protective order is a serious matter. While the order is in place, you cannot use or possess guns or ammunition. The order might make it more difficult to find a job. Although criminal charges can sometimes be sealed or expunged, no such process is in place to hide the fact that the petition for a protective order was filed, even if the allegations are later found to be unfounded.

Additionally, unlike a criminal charge for domestic violence, the charges do not have to be proven beyond all reasonable doubt at the hearing for a protective order. For all of these reasons, you need the services of an experienced attorney to protect you at every stage of the case.

Attorneys for DV Protective Orders in Salt Lake City

If you were served with a "Request for Protective Order" and notice of hearing, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Salt Lake City at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP. If the allegations are false or exaggerated, an attorney can help you defend yourself against the false allegations.

The most important thing to remember is that you must follow the letter and spirit of the order and not have any contact with the petitioner for any reason. An attorney can also help you if the petitioner is attempting to contact you while the case is pending.

The petitioner might try and trick you into violating the protective order. Even if the petitioner is attempting to contact you, you should ignore those attempts and make sure that you do not violate any provision in the order.

With offices in Salt Lake City, our attorneys represent clients served with a protective order in Salt Lake County and the surrounding counties of Summit County, Morgan County, Tooele County, Utah County, Wasatch County, and Davis County, Utah. From our offices in Beaver County, we also represent clients throughout the western portions of Utah including Millard County, Iron County, Sevier County and Piute County.

Read the order carefully and then call (801) 532-5297 to discuss your case with an experienced attorney.


Overview of Domestic Violence Protective Orders in Utah


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What is a Protective Order in Utah?

After an allegation of domestic violence, the alleged victim will often file a Protective Order Petition with a local district courthouse. After the petition is filled out, a judge will review the petition and decide whether a temporary "ex parte" protective order should be issued. The court can either grant or deny the request for a "Temporary Protective Order."

If the request is denied, then the Petitioner can still request that a hearing. At the hearing, both the Petitioner and the Respondent can present evidence. Although the "Temporary Protective Order" is not in place during the time before the hearing, a Protective Order might be issued at that hearing. If the request is granted, then the court clerk will then set a court hearing within 20 days.

On the other hand, if the request for a Temporary Protective Order" is granted, then the court clerk will then set a court hearing within 20 days at which time both the alleged victim (petitioner) and the accused (respondent) are given notice to appear in court.

In the request, the petitioner can ask the judge to do any of the following:

  1. order the Respondent to go to a court hearing;
  2. make temporary (ex parte) orders; and
  3. after the hearing, make permanent the protective orders.

If a protective order is issued by the court, the court will deliver the order to the appropriate law enforcement agency to have it personally served on the person accused of domestic violence or stalking.

At the court hearing, the judge decides whether to extend the protective order and determines how long it will be in place. A protective order can require the petitioner to:

  • Immediately leave the alleged victim's home;
  • Not harm the alleged victim or any other family members;
  • Avoid any personal, telephone, written, or indirect contact with the alleged victim; or
  • Stay away from the alleged victim's employment. 

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The Temporary Protective Order in Utah

The Temporary Protective Order requires you not to have any contact with the Petitioner and not to abuse, or threaten to abuse, anyone protected by this order. The Temporary Protective Order will warn you of the following:

  • This is a court order. No one except the court can change it. You can tell your side when you go to court. If you do not obey this order, you can be arrested, fined, and face other charges.
  • This order is valid in all U.S. states and territories, the District of Columbia, and tribal lands. If you go to another U.S. state, territory or tribal land to violate this order, a federal judge can send you to prison.
  • No guns or firearms! Under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, 18 U.S.C. Sect 2265, 2262, 18 U.S.C. Sect 922(g)(8), you are not permitted to possess a firearm or ammunition while the temporary protective order is in effect. 

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Violation of a Protective Order in Utah

If you are accused of violating the protective order, then you can be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor that is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine. A second or subsequent violation can result in more severe penalties.


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Motion to Amend or Dismiss a Protective Order

The court may amend or dismiss a protective order after one year if it finds that the basis for the issuance of the protective order no longer exists and the petitioner has repeatedly acted in contravention of the protective order provisions to intentionally or knowingly induce the respondent to violate the protective order, demonstrating to the court that the petitioner no longer has a reasonable fear of the respondent.


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The Request for a Protective Order involving Domestic Violence

The Petitioner can file a "Request for Protective Order." In the request, the Petitioner must acknowledge that it is a serious crime to lie to get a Protective Order and that if the Petitioner lies, that he or she can be charged with a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison. The Petitioner must acknowledge that the Petitioner is not using the request to harass the Respondent or to abuse the judicial process.

The Petitioner is the person asking for protection. The Respondent is the person that the Petitioner allegedly needs protection from. The petitioner is not charged for filing the petition, having it issued, having the order served on the respondent or obtaining certified copies of the order.


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Questions in the Request for a Protective Order

The Request for Protective Order asks the following questions:

  1. Has the Respondent used weapons or been violent in the past?
  2. Is the Respondent on probation or parole?
  3. What is your relationship to the Respondent?
  4. We are married now.
  5. We used to be married.
  6. We live together as a couple.
  7. We used to live together as a couple.
  8. We live or used to live in the same home.
  9. We are relatives, in-laws, or related by adoption.
  10. We are expecting a child now.
  11. We have or had a child or children together.
  12. Describe the most recent abuse including when and where it happened and whether the police came to investigate the incident.
  13. Describe the abuse or domestic violence.
  14. What did the other person do or say to make you afraid?
  15. Did the other person use or threaten to use a gun or other weapon?
  16. Were any children present when this happened?
  17. Who else was there?
  18. Was anyone hurt?
  19. Describe past abuse including when and where it happened and whether the police came to investigate the incident.
  20. Are you or the Respondent on probation now for domestic violence?
  21. Have you or the Respondent ever been involved in any other court case involving either of you or your children?

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Provisions in the Protective Order

The request for a protective order against domestic violence can ask the court to order any of the following:

  1. Personal Conduct - Order the Respondent not to commit, try to commit or threaten to commit any form of violence against me or any person listed in item 1 of this form. This includes stalking, harassing, threatening, physically hurting, or causing any other form of abuse.
  2. No Contact - Order the Respondent not to contact, phone, mail, e-mail, or communicate with me in any way, either directly or indirectly.
  3. Contact for Mediation - Order that the Respondent may contact me only during mediation sessions for our divorce or custody case that are scheduled with a Court Qualified Mediator.
  4. Stay Away - Order the Respondent to stay away from by current or future vehicle, job, school, home, premises or property or the school or childcare of the children listed in the request.
  5. No Guns or Weapons – Order the Respondent not to use, possess, have, or buy a gun or firearm or any other specified weapons.
  6. Property Control – Order that only the petitioner can use, control and possess the home, car, truck or other essential personal belongings described in the request.
  7. Property Control  - Order the Respondent not to interfere with or change my phone, utility or other services.
  8. Child Custody & Parent-time - Give the petitioner custody of the minor children listed in the request while giving the respondent a schedule for parent-time and designate a person who can communicate only parent-time information to the Respondent.
  9. No Alcohol or Drugs - Order the Respondent not to use alcohol or illegal drugs before or during visitation.
  10. Supervised Visitation - Provide the Respondent with supervised parent-time.
  11. Travel Restrictions - Order the Respondent not to take the children listed above out of the state of Utah.
  12. Child Support, Spousal Support and other Expenses -- Order the Respondent to pay child support, spousal support, the minor children’s childcare expenses, the minor children’s medical expenses or the petitioner’s medical expenses related to the abuse. 

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Mutual Protective Orders in Utah

A mutual proactive order can violate the Cohabitant Abuse Act's limitations in Utah. Under Section 78B-7-108 of the Utah Code provides:

  1. A court may not grant a mutual protective order or mutual protective orders for protection to opposing parties, unless each party:
    (a) has filed an independent petition against the other for a protective order, and both petitions have been served;
    (b) makes a showing at a due process protective order hearing of abuse or domestic violence committed by the other party; and
    (c) demonstrates the abuse or domestic violence did not occur in self-defense.
  2. If the court issues mutual protective orders, the circumstances justifying those orders shall be documented in the case file.

The Cohabitant Abuse Act provides that a hearing on a party's objection to a commissioner's protective order “shall” be held “within 20 days of the filing of the objection,” see Utah Code Ann. § 78B-7-107(1)(f).

Protective orders include orders issued under Subsection 77-36-5.1(6).


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Protective Orders Issued in Criminal Cases in Utah

In addition to the civil protective orders, some types of protective orders are issued by the courts in connection with a criminal case, usually for a violent crime or a charge of domestic violence.

Under Utah law, a “pretrial protective order” means a written order:

  • specifying and limiting the contact a person who has been charged with a domestic violence offense may have with an alleged victim or other specified individuals; and
  • specifying other conditions of release pursuant to Subsection 77-20-3.5(3), Subsection 77-36-2.6(3), or Section 77-36-2.7, pending trial in the criminal case.

The term “sentencing protective order” means a written order of the court as part of sentencing in a domestic violence case that limits the contact a person who has been convicted of a domestic violence offense may have with a victim or other specified individuals pursuant to Sections 77-36-5 and 77-36-5.1.


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Additional Resources

Protective Orders in Utah- Visit the website of the Utah Courts to learn more about protective orders. Find out more about how to prepare for the return hearing on the request for a final protective order. Also, find the sample forms to file, modify, vacate or move to dismiss a protective order. The website also contains information about elder abuse and stalking injunctions. Also, find information on other types of protective orders including the Civil Stalking Injunction and the Child Protective Order.

Utah Code 78B-7-105.  Forms for petitions and protective orders - Visit the website of the Utah State Legislature to learn more about Protective Orders under Chapter 7, the Cohabitant Abuse Act under Part 1, and the forms for petitioners and protective orders under Section 105. Also find information on Child Protective Orders, Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act, and the Dating Violence Protection Act.


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Finding an Attorney for a Protective Order Hearing

The attorneys in Salt Lake City, UT, at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP are experienced in representing respondents at hearings on a request for a protective hearing (sometimes called a "no contact order"), often make in conjunction with an allegation of domestic violence, dating violence, or sexual violence.

We also represent clients in civil stalking injunction hearings or in cases requesting a child protective order. We also represent clients in an action to modify, vacate, or dismiss a previously entered protective order against domestic violence. 

Let us put our experience to work for you. Call (801) 532-5297 today to discuss your case.


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