Is There Any Relief Judges Can Grant?
Okay, so what relief can a judge grant in a protective order case, what authority does the judge have? If we look at the Oklahoma statute, it’s very wide. Basically, it says at the hearing the court may impose any terms and conditions in the protective order that the court reasonably believes are necessary to bring about the cessation of domestic abuse against the victim of stalking or harassment.
What can the court grant according to this? Anything. However, there are exceptions listed in the statute and there are also some exceptions granted by the constitution that limits the authority in the statute.
The exception specifically listed in the statute is that the court cannot require any kind of marital counseling, mediation that requires both parties to be together, therapy, joint therapy. The court cannot do anything that would require the alleged victim of the protective order to have to be in the same place at the same time as the alleged perpetrator relevant to the domestic violence, or harassment, or whatever the case may be. Parties can mediate if there’s a mutual agreement to mediate.
We’ve done that. But the one party, the plaintiff cannot be ordered to mediate or do therapy or anything like that. Other than that, the statute is wide open.
What are the typical things that we see? Obviously it’s keep a hundred yards away or 300 yards away, or removing the party from the house if the parties are residing together, or requiring the confiscation of firearms, or allowing the plaintiff to take the party’s dog or other pet. Those are all commonly things that are done.
The law also allows requiring the defendant to complete domestic violence counseling or something along those lines. But there are limits that are not in the statute. The statute says anything but this. But in reality, there’s constitutional concerns, as well. The judge could not order the defendant to attend church or do other things that would violate that party’s constitutional rights.
But other than that, it’s pretty wide open, and from occasion to occasion, we’ve seen some creative solutions from the judge, but generally it’s stay away. No communications, get out of the house, give up your firearms. Those are the general relief that is ordered by the judge.
But don’t take my general information and word for here. Talk to an attorney about your specific circumstances. If you want to talk to me, give me a call. 918-879-1681 or go online, wirthlawoffice.com.