In Kansas, the law allows individuals who have been abused, stalked, sexually assaulted, or victims of human trafficking to get a protective order against the person or persons committing those actions. This is done through Protection From Abuse and Protection from Stalking Orders. These orders, commonly known as a PFA or PFS, are different from criminal prosecution or civil orders that may come up in your divorce or family law case. They are intended to provide quick and immediate protection for those in need.
While the intent may be to provide a quick result, oftentimes that is not the case. Your initial hearing will be shortly after the petition is filed. But, the final trial may be weeks or sometimes even months after that. In the meantime, if you were the party served with the restraining order, your life may be affected in huge and lasting ways. That’s why it is important you contact a lawyer immediately to figure out your next steps.
When a person files for a protective order, they are sometimes granted temporary or emergency orders for protection. These orders will be in place until at least the first court date and possibly up until the final trial. As such, temporary orders can impact you for some time. And depending on the specific orders in place, this could have a huge impact on your day-to-day life. It can affect where you live, whether you get to see your kids, whether you have access to your personal belongings, and several other areas of your life. It is possible to modify these orders, but only if you know what you are doing.
Eventually, you will arrive at the day of trial. The plaintiff or person who filed for the protective order, bears the burden of proof, and must meet that burden to get the judge to enter a final order for protection. But the defendant can put on evidence to defend his or herself. Many people often assume that because these proceedings are shorter and appear less formal than a full-blown criminal trial, the rules will be relaxed. That is not the case. The judge will expect you to know and follow the proper rules of evidence, procedures, and local courtroom policies. Without the assistance of an attorney, you can quickly find yourself in over your head. That’s why it is so important, almost even necessary, to have an attorney with you.
Whether you are seeking an order, or you have been served with papers and now need to defend yourself, you will want to proceed with an attorney by your side during the process. You need somebody who understands these laws, knows the court’s policies and procedures, and can help you navigate the process to help you get the right result. Our office can assist you with that.
Continue reading and click the links below for more information and to get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we’ve outlined several items that people often don’t think to ask when they are involved in a PFA/PFS case. These include additional consequences to protective orders, possible penalties or extensions in the future, and what a restraining order can mean to you if you have a corresponding criminal or domestic case.