Protective Order Tips
- If your order prevents the respondent from contact with any children you might want to get additional certified copies of the order and give it to any school or daycare providers.
- If you are comfortable, talk to your employer and/or office security and provide a certified copy of your protective order. You might also find that your employer has access to other support services.
- Always keep a certified copy of your protective order on your person. It will help expedite assistance from law enforcement if you can show them a copy of your order.
- If the respondent violates any portion of the order, there can be either civil (contempt of order) or criminal (violation of a TPO, aggravated stalking, criminal trespass, harassing phone calls, etc.) consequences.
- Petitioners should consider calling all their utility companies, if the respondent’s name is attached, to briefly explain the situation and ask to have their accounts coded for security. This takes away the ability of the respondent to have utilities shut off.
- Do not fall into a false sense of security. A protective order is only a document, albeit a powerful one. However, you must continue to focus on your daily security and not take it for granted because you have a protective order. A protective order should be viewed as only one of several tools available to help keep yourself safe.
- Never hesitate to call 9-1-1 if you feel in danger.
- Carefully re-consider initiating contact with the respondent because you feel safer now that you have a protective order. Contact initiated by the petitioner can be manipulated to try and show that you are not really afraid of the respondent. Your credibility will become questionable.
- There is no fee to file a protective order.
- Full faith and credit provides that every county in every state will honor any certified order.
- Every county is a little different in its procedures. The best first step if you are filing in another county is to call the Superior Court Clerk’s Office (Civil Division) to confirm the procedures. Another contact is the Victim Witness Advocate or Local Shelter Advocate in that area.
- Senate Bill 57 (2001 Legislative Session) created the Family Violence and Stalking Protective Order Registry Act. This is a centralized database for protective orders maintained by the Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) Network. It provides for standard forms for protective orders, electronic transmittal, and maintenance of records. It allows law enforcement immediate access to verify the authenticity of protective orders across the state of Georgia.