Restraining orders protecting Louisiana victims
It’s difficult to put into context what domestic violence and abuse can physically and psychologically do to the victims. Being abused by someone you love is a life-altering event which can trap the victim in a vicious cycle where they believe they are somehow at fault and can’t get out. If this applies to you or someone you care about, a simple protective order may be the difference in saving a life.
Contacting a New Orleans family law attorney is the first step in filing a protective order against an abuser. Let your family law attorney guide through this difficult process and set your life back to normal.
What types of restraining orders are there in Louisiana?
A restraining order or protective order is a legally issued request by the state of Louisiana which one person is prohibited from making contact with another. Louisiana courts will grant protective orders for a victim of any of the following:
A victim of domestic violence or a close friend/family member can file a petition for a domestic violence protective order. In order for a Louisiana court to hand down a domestic violence protective order, the relationship between the abuser and petitioner (victim) must be one of the following:
- Family member (spouse, former spouse, parent, child, stepparent/child, grandparent/child)
- Household member (the victim either currently lives or has previously lived with the abuser and was involved with the abuser in a sexual or intimate relationship)
- A representative on behalf of minor child(ren) or an adult who is incompetent to act in his/her own behalf
In addition to a restraining order, the court may order temporary child custody, financial support, and use of the property to the victim in order to ensure safety. This is especially the case if there are children involved.
For a victim of violence from an abuser who they did not live with, the dating violence protective order extends all the same protections as a domestic violence protective order.
If you’re being stalked by a former or current sexual partner, you can file a domestic violence restraining order. However, if the stalker is merely an acquaintance or a stranger then a stalking protective order will be put in place.
Sexual Abuse or assault
If you’re being sexually abused/assaulted by a current sexual partner, you can file a domestic violence restraining order. However, if the abuser is an acquaintance or a stranger then a sexual abuse protective order will be put in place.
The good news for victims is there is no cost to file one of these petitions. However, when it comes to filing a petition there are different acts and statutes you can file under like the Domestic Abuse Assistance Act or the Children’s Code. A New Orleans family law attorney can help you sort out these differences so there are no hiccups in the filing process.
How long can a Louisiana restraining order be?
Protective orders in Louisiana have a wide range of duration. Most of the time a protective order will last for one year with the option to renew the next year. Depending on the offense of the abuser/stalker, a protective order can last 90 days or even three years.
How do I drop a restraining order in Louisiana?
Either party can ask for a protective order to be dropped. In the case of the abuser, they can make the case they’ve gone through significant life changes and rehabilitation to lift the order. In the case of the victim, they may simply no longer feel threatened or believe the order harms any children involved.
No matter what the parties think — even if the two are in agreement the order should be lifted — a Louisiana judge has final say in whether or not an order can be dropped. The judge may also see the order modified in certain cases to fit the current needs of both parties.
Keep in mind, if the abuser has been charged with the crime of domestic violence, sexual abuse or stalking this process becomes much more difficult. The judge will not only have a say in this but the prosecutor who oversaw the conviction will have to agree with the judge’s decision.
How do I enforce a protective order in Louisiana?
The state of Louisiana requires the transmission of all protective orders to local law enforcement — including New Orleans and Metairie. Louisiana also keeps an updated registry of all protective orders which can be accessed through the internet.
Courts can order law enforcement to within its jurisdiction to protect you and your family who either live with you or reasonably close by. If the abuser does not follow the order call the police immediately. The state of Louisiana does not take the violations of protective orders lightly. Punishments for violators can include fines of up to $1000 and prison time of up to six months.
A New Orleans family law attorney can protect your family
If you are a victim of any type of the aforementioned abuse or know someone who is, contact a New Orleans family law attorney today. Attorneys like Candice Bennatt are passionate about protecting New Orleans and Metairie families from abusive predators. Call 504-777-3500 for a free consultation today.