Civil Stalking Injunction Attorney in Salt Lake City, UT
If you were served with a Request for Civil Stalking Injunction, then contact a lawyer in Salt Lake City, Utah, to discuss the allegations and the best ways to protect your rights.
An attorney can help you prepare for the hearing to show why a civil stalking injunction should not be entered against you. A lawyer can help you dispute the evidence against and bring evidence to refute the allegations including police reports, witnesses, audio or videotapes, other records, photos and letters.
An attorney can help you contest the case on jurisdictional grounds. Other defenses include a showing of a lack of corroborating evidence or insufficient evidence to show stalking because:
- the behavior was not repeated;
- you did not maintain and visual or physical closeness to the petitioner;
- you did not make any threats; and
- no threats were implied by your conduct.
If you were served with an "ex parte" stalking protective order then you only have ten (10) days to request a hearing to dispute the order. If the allegations are false or exaggerated, then you can retain an experienced attorney to help you requests a hearing within that ten (10) days period. The attorney will then represent you at the hearing date to show that the stalking protective order should not be granted. At the hearing, the judge will listen to both sides and then will decide whether to dismiss the civil stalking injunction or not.
If you do nothing to contest the allegations, then the stalking protective order will stay in place and the temporary injunction automatically becomes a civil stalking injunction. Under Utah law, the civil stalking injunction will be in effect for three years from the date of service of the temporary injunction. The respondent does not receive any additional notice that the temporary order has turned into a civil stalking injunction.
If it is alleged that you disobeyed a civil stalking injunction may be arrested and prosecuted for the crime of stalking or you could be held in contempt of court.
The Petitioner's Request for Civil Stalking Injunction
If the petitioner alleges that he or she believes that they are the victim of stalking, the petitioner may file a request for a civil stalking injunction. A minor child with his or her parent or guardian may file a request on his or her own behalf, or a parent, guardian, or custodian may file a petition on the minor child’s behalf.
To initiate the process, the petitioner will file documents with the district court of the county in Utah where either the petitioner or the respondent reside, or where the events occurred. The judge will review the request for the civil stalking injunction and supporting evidence. The court can either grant a temporary civil stalking injunction or deny the request based on the one-sided allegations.
If the court finds that there is a basis for granting the injunction, the court will issue a temporary or "ex parte" order. The sheriff or constable will then serve a copy of the order to the respondent. The order becomes effective once it is served on the respondent.
After being served with the “ex party” order, the respondent only has ten (10) days to request a hearing to dispute the order. If the respondent requests a hearing within the ten (10) days, then the court will notify the petitioner and the respondent of the hearing date.
Respondent's Ten (10) Day Request for a Hearing to Contest the Civil Stalking Protective Order
Within 10 days of being served, if the respondent requests a hearing to contest the civil stalking injunction, then the petitioner must prove to the court why the stalking injunction is needed. The petitioner must bring to court whatever evidence they think supports the allegations. The respondent can also bring to court evidence to show that the allegations are false and that the stalking protective order is not needed.
At the hearing, the judge will listen to both sides and then will decide whether to dismiss the temporary stalking injunction, make the temporary injunction a civil stalking injunction which will last for three years, or modify (change) the temporary injunction, and make it effective for three years.
Contesting the Civil Stalking Injunction After Ten (10) Days
Although the respondent may ask for a hearing at any time after the ten (10) day time frame, it then becomes more difficult to contest the allegations because then the respondent has the burden to prove to the court why the stalking injunction should be dismissed.
Motion to Dismiss the Civil Stalking Injunction
The petitioner can ask the court to dismiss the temporary or permanent stalking injunction at any time. The respondent can ask to dismiss the temporary or permanent by requesting a hearing.
What is a Civil Stalking Injunction?
A civil stalking injunction is a court order that tells the respondent that they may not stalk the petitioner, may not contact or go near the petitioner, and may not go near others who are listed in the injunction.
If the petitioner and respondent have children together, the order may also address child custody and parent-time issues to ensure the safety of the victim and any minor children. If the court issues a stalking injunction but decides not to address custody and parent-time issues, a copy of the stalking injunction shall be filed in any action in which custody and parent-time issues are being considered, and that court may modify the injunction to balance the parties' custody and parent-time rights.
A person who disobeys a civil stalking injunction may be arrested and prosecuted for the crime of stalking or may be held in contempt of court.
What Behavior Constitutes Stalking under Utah Law?
A judge will grant the order that tells one person (respondent) to stop stalking another person (petitioner) if the respondent committed certain acts that constitute stalking. Under Utah law, the respondent had to do the behavior two or more times, and in a way that would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress or to be afraid for the person's own safety or the safety of someone else. See Utah Code Section 76-5-106.5 and 77-3a-101 to 103. The prohibited conduct towards the petitioner would include either:
The respondent directly, indirectly, or through someone else did one of the following acts using any action, method, device, or means;
- communicated to or about the petitioner; or
- interfered with the petitioner's property.
The respondent engaged in or caused someone else to engage in any of the following acts:
- approached or confronted the petitioner;
- appeared at petitioner's workplace or contacted petitioner's employer or co-workers;
- appeared at petitioner's home or contacted petitioner's neighbors or entered property owned, leased, or occupied by the petitioner;
- placed an object on or delivered an object to property owned, leased, or occupied by the petitioner or to petitioner's place of employment with the intent that the object be delivered to the petitioner;
- used a computer, the Internet, text messaging, or any other electronic means; or
- sent material to the petitioner by any means for the purpose of obtaining or disseminating information about the petitioner to a family member, household member, employer, co-worker, friend, or associate.
Utah's Stalking Statute at Section 76–5–106.5 - Visit the website of the Utah Legislature to find out more out the definition of stalking. Also find the definition of "emotional distress" which “means significant mental or psychological suffering, whether or not medical or other professional treatment or counseling is required.”
Civil Stalking Injunction - Visit the website of the Utah Courts to find information about civil stalking injunctions, the respondent’s request for hearing, what happens if the respondent does not request a hearing, and motions to dismiss the injunction or appeal from an adverse ruling.