July 18, 2014 “Everything is about to change We face tomorrow and say goodbye to yesterday A chapter ending but story’s only just begun A page turn for everyone Wherever I, Wherever I Go” Miley Cyrus, Wherever I Go The lives of some celebrities are on display for the world to see and many think that it just comes with the territory. The public just can’t seem to get enough, but news of restraining orders show that sometimes fans go too far. Everything did change (to borrow Miley’s lyric) for an Arizona man who was allegedly stalking Miley Cyrus according to this story. Chances are if you suspect you may be served with a restraining order, it would be for very different reasons. Still, let’s talk about what changes you can expect to face and how you may be able to fight the order. Were You Properly Served? If someone claims they fear imminent bodily harm, they may be able to speak with a judge (when you’re not there) to request what’s called an ex-parte order. If this happens, you will need to be officially served notice of the restraining order. If you are properly served, in 10 days you’ll have a hearing. Of note, legally speaking, you’re not able to violate an order that you have not been officially served. Who Petitioned For The RO? This matters too. The person who actually filed the restraining order against you must have a certain relationship with you, according to law. Here are some questions you can ask to know whether the person claiming to be in fear of imminent danger had a legal right to file the restraining order in the first place. Was it my spouse? Was it a significant other? If so, how long were we in relationship? How much did we actually interact during the relationship? How long has it been since we broke up? Was it my child’s father? Was it my child’s mother? Was it a blood relative or in-law? Was it someone living with me? Do You Have An Attorney? When you appear in court, you don’t have to have an attorney, but in order to present your best possible defense, we would recommend you consider it. An experienced Seattle area restraining order attorney can help you cross-examine the person who asked for the restraining order. We may be able to show that this person is not legitimately afraid of you. One of the best ways to fight this thing in the interim is to do whatever the restraining order says do, and don’t do whatever the restraining order says don’t do. (Note: Even if the person who filed it tells you it’s okay, don’t do it.) Prepare For Court When you show up for the hearing, here are a couple of things we recommend. Be on time. You’d hate for the hearing to go sideways because you were late. Look nice. Come well groomed and dressed appropriately for court. Shows you care and that you’re taking this very seriously. Save the drama. Come in calm and collected and know that whatever buttons you have will be pushed and have a plan not to react emotionally. Work with your attorney ahead of time as to the kinds of things you should and should not say. Restraining orders can be a good thing for victims seriously in danger of violent crimes. However, when things go wrong in the courtroom, a restraining order can be given without legitimate cause. If you suspect your spouse is trying to manipulate position in a divorce for the sake of custody, you have an obligation to stand up for your rights on behalf of your kids. The Nahajski Firm Can Help You Fight Your Restraining Order Speak with one of our experienced restraining order defense attorneys today. Take a moment to reach out to us online. Schedule your free consultation today!