What is the process for getting a protective order in Oklahoma?
Video Transcribed: What is the process for getting a protective order in Oklahoma? What are the steps? What needs to be done? Hi, I’m Oklahoma attorney James Wirth. I’m about to answer those questions for you. So what are the steps to get a protective order? First step, you’ve got to file some pleadings. Luckily in Oklahoma, unlike in other practice areas in family law, there are form pleadings for you at the courthouse for protective orders. So you can use those forms. Go down there, fill those out, file them. That’s going to be step one.
Step two is you’re going to go before a judge in what’s called an ex parte hearing, ex parte meaning only one party is heard. So if you’re filing for the protective order, the judge is going to hear from you. The judge is not going to wait to hear from the other side before a determination is made. At that stage, the judge can decide whether to grant or deny an emergency protective order. That emergency protective order, if granted would be in place until the hearing on the protective order.
If the emergency is denied, the court can still set it for a hearing on the regular protective order, which is the next step. So I should say the next step is actually going to be service. So once the ex parte hearing happens, if the protective order is granted, then the defendant needs to be served. And in Oklahoma, that’s got to be done by the sheriff. So the documentation will be given to the sheriff, usually by the judge’s clerk or bailiff. And then the sheriff has the duty to get that person served, to give them notice of the protective order, and to give them notice of the next court date. Once that’s served, it is effective against that defendant.
Then at the next step in list there, that is going to be the full protective order hearing. So on that date, you need to be prepared to be put on evidence to testify and to be ready to be cross-examined. If the other side has an attorney or the other side, cross-examines you or the judge asks you some questions.
On that date though, it doesn’t always go on the first setting. It could be continued for a number of reasons. So you’ve got to be prepared for that. Usually, at least in Tulsa County, the general rule is that each party can get one pass. So if the defendant shows up and says, “I want an attorney” it may be passed.
If a family law case is filed, if a divorce is filed that involves the parties or a custody case is filed that involves the party, it may be passed to be consolidated with that. So there are number of reasons that it could be passed, but assuming that it’s not passed, you would put your hearing on that date.
Another reason that it could be passed, because one of the parties submitted discovery. So if discovery goes out, that’s written questions, could be that they’re requesting a deposition, could be requests for admissions, requests for productions, where they’re trying to get documentation of things. They could be subpoenaing records from the phone company that would substantiate either that their protective order should be granted or for defense, that it should not be granted. So that would be the next potential step is is discovery.
After the final hearing though, if the final protective order is granted, that is served, again, if it has different terms than the ex parte protective order or if the defendant is in court, it is served in court. If the defendant fails to appear and it’s granted, and it does not offer any more stringent terms than the emergency, it does not have to be served again. So that pretty much goes through the process of getting a protective order.
Other things that could happen in a protective order case is filing to vacate the protective order. Perhaps it’s continued for a period of time where you have a review on the protective order, perhaps somebody files to expunge the protective order, but that generally covers it. I will have more specific videos regarding each individual stage in the protective order, but as always, don’t take this general advice. If you’re involved in this circumstances, you’re going to want specific advice from an attorney, preferably one that is representing you and can give you a specific circumstances that you need to be aware of in your case. If you’d like to speak with me, give me a call, 918-879-1681 or go to withlawoffice.com.