Injunctions and protective orders are orders of the court that are issued to prevent harm pending future hearings. If you are afraid that your spouse will beat you, take your money out of the bank, or run off with your children, the court can enjoin or prohibit these things by issuing an injunction. In all cases the court will issue a standard injunction when the case is filed. In other cases where other relief is requested such as removing someone from the home, the court may require a hearing before deciding on that relief.
The standard injunction provides as follows:
- Transferring, assigning, borrowing against, concealing or in any way dissipating or disposing, without the consent of the other party or an order of the court, of any marital property.
- Expenditures from current income to maintain the marital standard of living and the usual and ordinary costs of operating a business are not restricted by this injunction. Each party shall maintain records of all expenditures, copies of which shall be available to the other party upon request.
- Voluntarily canceling, modifying, terminating, assigning or allowing to lapse for nonpayment of premiums, any insurance policy, including but not limited to life, health, disability, homeowners, renters, and automobile, where such insurance policy provides coverage to either of the parties or the children, or that names either of the parties or the children as beneficiaries without the consent of the other party or an order of the court. “Modifying” includes any change in beneficiary status.
- Harassing, threatening, assaulting or abusing the other and from making disparaging remarks about the other and from making disparaging remarks about the other to or in the presence of any children of the parties or to either party’s employer.
- Relocating any children of the parties outside the state of Tennessee, or more than fifty (50) miles from the marital home, without the permission of the other party or an order of the court, except in the case of a removal based upon a well-founded fear of physical abuse against either the fleeing parent or the child. In such cases, upon request of the non-relocating parent, the court will conduct an expedited hearing, by phone conference if appropriate, to determine the reasonableness of the relocation and to make such other orders as appropriate.
- Hiding, destroying or spoiling, in whole or in part, any evidence electronically stored on computer hard drives or other memory storage devices.
If you disobey an injunction or a protective order, the court can put you in jail. Even if the judge does not put you in jail, you can be fined and the judge may have a hard time trusting you later when you testify. The police do not want to get involved in problems between spouses; but if you show them an injunction, they may run the other party off, and they have to act if you have a protective order.
If you are under an Injunction or Protective Order you must follow the order. Failure to follow the order can result in your being put in jail. A Criminal Court judge can put you in jail for years for an assault on the person protected by the order after a protective order or possibly an injunction has been issued.
If you are under and Injunction or a Protective Order after being found to have commited domestic violence, you are the same as a felon as far as the Federal Firearms Act is concerned. Being a felon, receiving or possessing a firearm is a serious federal crime. If you have guns and are under a protective order, get them out of your possession and do not acquire any while the order is in effect.
A protective order deals with domestic violence and is stronger than an injunction, but you need a more complex legal process to get a protective order. If you need protection, I will get you an injunction. However, if you feel you need the extra protection of a protective order, ask me, and we will start the steps to get it issued.
If you are under a protective order, any assault on your spouse is an aggravated assault, which is a serious criminal felony. You must obey protective orders and injunctions even if your spouse tells you it is all right to ignore the order. That spouse may be setting you up for a trap. You must obey the order until the court modifies or vacates the order.