Domestic violence is treated in Rhode Island as much of a heinous crime as in other states. But it's typically broken down to different categories within the generalized term of domestic violence. During these cases, you'll frequently see more specific terms of assault, stalking, or even violation of protective orders. It's the latter where you also have different categories for specific situations.
When you obtain a protective order, the terms may differ depending on what Rhode Island county you live in. Nonetheless, certain domestic violence situations are going to correlate to particular protective orders the court can issue. Where you get that protective order will also depend on who it is you're trying to be protected from.
Which Court Will You Use to Obtain a Protective Order?
If you're trying to get away from an abusive family member, then a protective order will have to be requested in a county family court. The court will determine what defines domestic abuse in these situations, and it has to include attempts at physical harm, harassment, or stalking. The family court will issue a protective order if those relationships are in your family--either blood related, through marriage, or as a step relation. It also can include someone you've been seriously dating or in a relationship with for a year.
Any abusive relationship beyond the above scope will have to be filed in a district court. This would include cohabitants who've lived together for at least three years and have no children.
Gaining an Emergency Order
One of the most terrifying situations is being stalked or abused by someone and needing an immediate protective order. In those cases, an emergency order can be done in Rhode Island. The police can usually help in these cases, including getting help from a judge over the phone when courts are closed. Your only drawback with these is that they expire the next day. You'll need to visit the court when they reopen to get a regular protective order.
The above only last three weeks, even if that gives you some extra time to for a full hearing in obtaining a protective order that lasts much longer.
Gaining a Temporary Order
Another term for the above three-week order is a temporary order that lasts roughly 21 days. These are given out the same day if the court is open and the judge is convinced you'd suffer harm in the immediate term. These orders can also be extended if the court thinks it's necessary. You would basically be protected until your full court hearing takes place.
The Final Order
While you can get the above two protective orders without the accused abuser telling their side of the story in court, it's a different story with a final order. These orders last for three years once given by the judge. They can also be renewed if necessary. However, the judge has to listen to both sides to determine if there's really abuse going on. You'll have to present compelling evidence you're dealing with domestic abuse or you may not get the protective order you want.
It's during those times when you need a good lawyer to help you through a final order hearing. Consider Rameaka Law Offices Inc. in Rhode Island as a trusted law firm dealing with all domestic abuse cases.
Contact us and we'll review your case to make sure you have the best evidence. We have a long track record of gaining successful final protective orders against abusive spouses or family members. Never let domestic abuse keep you from fighting toward gaining the peace and security you deserve.