Can You File An Oklahoma Protective Order For Someone Else?
Video Transcribed: Under Oklahoma law, can you file a protective order on someone else’s behalf? I’m Tulsa attorney James Wirth and I’m about to answer that question for you. Okay, so can you file a protective order on someone else’s behalf? The answer sometimes is yes. So obviously you can file one for yourself, but also you can file one on other household members if they are a minor or if they are incompetent legally or incapacitated.
So if you have a child residing with you, obviously your child, even if you don’t have custody of that child, if that child is residing with you, you can file a protective order on their behalf. You can put that along with your own protective order if you’re needing one as well, you can put them together in the same form.
Okay. Well, what if a child in the household is not your biological child? Well, oddly enough, the statute does not require that you be the parent in order to file on behalf of the child. Anybody in the same household can file on behalf of the child. Now that leads to some interesting results that we have seen in cases.
So you can file on behalf of, let’s say that you’re married and you have a stepchild in the house and the other person is violent with you or you’re in the reverse of that situation. You can file on behalf of that child that is not yours. You have no legal right, no legal custody of that child, and you can file a protective order for that child taking the child away from the parent that does have the biological relationship, that does have the custody relationship. That’s an interesting result, but the law allows for that.
Also, if the child is 16 or 17 you don’t have to file on their behalf. At 16 or 17 they can actually file their own separate protective order. I’m not sure why the law sets it out differently that way where most things requires you to be 18. But here 16, 17 they can file on their own behalf, or another household member can file for them. So that allows any party that’s in the household to file to protect that child.
But it also has the downside of allowing the rights of a parent from being taken away from somebody who doesn’t even have legal rights to the child. So that is difficult circumstances.
Those cases do need to be treated more carefully by the courts and set more carefully. And some could make the argument that there are constitutional concerns with that. Just because the statute says you can do it doesn’t mean that the constitution allows it.
But practically speaking, judges do have a tendency to follow the state statute unless it’s obviously a violation of constitutional law. But if you’re in that circumstances where your parental rights are being taken away under this, you’re definitely going to want to have an attorney fight that for you. But don’t take my word for it. If you’re involved in protective order case, get information regarding your specific circumstances from an attorney, contact me or contact somebody else. But if you want to talk to me, give me a call, (918) 932-2800 or go online wirthlawoffice.com.