New Orleans Domestic Violence and Orders of Protection Lawyers
Experienced protective order lawyers in New Orleans
Many spouses, children, and other members of a household are victims of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. If someone in your household, or someone you’re having a relationship with, is abusing you, you have the right to stop the abuse now. There should be zero tolerance for domestic abuse. Your security and freedom are priorities in any relationship. Your rights include obtaining court orders to stop the abuse and force your abuser to leave your home.
At the Law Office of James A. Graham, our New Orleans family lawyers work quickly to file for protective orders and to explain your legal and practical options. We’ll explain the different types of protective orders, how long the orders last, and what protections they offer. We also represent those accused of abuse, which helps us fully understand how courts are likely to rule in your specific case. Contact us in New Orleans for help.
How can we help?
- Who is entitled to file a protective order for domestic abuse in New Orleans?
- Can same-sex partners and minors file protective orders in New Orleans?
- What are the different types of protective orders in Louisiana?
- What protections does a temporary or long-term protective order provide in New Orleans?
- Who pays for the court costs for a protective order in New Orleans?
- What happens if the abuser violates the protective order in New Orleans?
- Can a protective order be modified or extended in New Orleans?
- How does a protective order affect insurance coverage?
- Do you have a protective order and domestic abuse lawyer near me?
Who is entitled to file a protective order for domestic abuse in New Orleans?
Louisiana law defines domestic abuse and those who can file as follows:
“Domestic abuse” includes but is not limited to physical or sexual abuse and any offense against the person, physical or non-physical, as defined in the Criminal Code of Louisiana, except negligent injury and defamation, committed by one family member, household member, or dating partner against another. “Domestic abuse” also includes abuse of adults as defined in R.S. 15:1503 when committed by an adult child or adult grandchild.
The statute defines the following groups in this way:
- Family members means spouses, former spouses, parents and children, stepparents, stepchildren, foster parents, foster children, other ascendants, and other descendants. Family member also means the other parent or foster parent of any child or foster child of the offender.
- Household members means any person presently or formerly living in the same residence with the defendant, and who is involved or has been involved in a sexual or intimate relationship with the defendant, or any child presently or formerly living in the same residence with the defendant, or any child of the defendant regardless of where the child resides.
- Dating partner means any person protected from violence under R.S. 46:2151. Additional definitions involving adult children and grandchildren apply.
Our attorneys can help you with this process. We offer a safe and secure location in which to discuss your needs, and will treat you, your children, and your case with dignity and discretion. We can also assist you in a legal name change if this is a step you wish to take.
Can same-sex partners and minors file protective orders in New Orleans?
Current or former same-sex partners are also protected by Louisiana’s domestic abuse laws provided the above definitions are met.
Minors (someone who is under 18) need to have someone file for domestic abuse protection on their behalf. This someone can be a parent, an adult member of the household, or a District Attorney.
What are the different types of protective orders in Louisiana?
Victims of abuse have the right to seek prompt protections. They are also entitled to seek long-term protections.
At the Law Office of James A. Graham, we seek the following types of protective orders:
- Emergency Temporary Restraining Orders. The local court may grant an emergency temporary restraining order (TRO) if there is an “immediate and present danger of abuse,” after courthouse hours or on the weekend. The judge will consider any prior history of abuse and any threats of abuse in making his/her decision. An emergency TRO only lasts until the close of the next day of business that the court is open. When the court opens, our New Orleans protective order lawyers will request a Temporary Restraining Order.
- Temporary Restraining Orders. Normally, when we file a request for a long-term protective order, we also file a request for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). We also request a TRO after an emergency TRO has been filed.
- TRO can be granted “ex parte,” without the abuser being present, if there is an “immediate and present danger of abuse.”
- The abuser will be notified of the TRO. A date for a full hearing will be set – normally within 21 days.
- Long-term Protective Orders. At the hearing, the petitioner and the person accused of abuse will have the opportunity to tell their side of the story. A long-term order can last for up to 18 months – though the order against the abuser to stay away from the petitioner’s residence, place of employment, minor children, or anyone else on behalf of the petitioner can be indefinite.
The Judge will consider, for all types of orders, any and all past history of abuse or threats. There is no requirement that the abuse itself be recent, immediate, or present.
Victims of sexual abuse may also be entitled to file protective orders.
What protections does a temporary or long-term protective order provide in New Orleans?
The temporary order may include but is not limited to the following:
- Ordering the person accused of abuse to “refrain from abusing, harassing, or interfering with the person or employment or going near the residence or place of employment of the petitioner, the minor children, or any person alleged to be incompetent on whose behalf a petition was filed.”
- Ordering that the petitioner has exclusive possession of the home or residence – subject to certain conditions. If the abuser is the sole owner or lessor, then the abuser generally can’t be asked to vacate that residence unless there is a legal duty of support to a spouse, parent, or children.
- Ordering that the petitioner has possession of cars and other jointly owned or leased property and that the abuser can’t sell, give away, or destroy any mutually-owned property. Most marital property in Louisiana is community property.
- Ordering that the petitioner has temporary custody of the children.
- Providing other protections, such as ordering that the abuser stay away from schools and giving you possession of your pets.
The long-term protective order provides the temporary protections and:
- A visitation schedule.
- An order of temporary child support and spousal support.
- Possession of a residence that is shared – even if the abuser owns the residence – under certain conditions.
The long-term order can also order that the abuser attend counseling and receive a mental health and/or medical evaluation.
Who pays for the court costs for a protective order in New Orleans?
Generally, the costs for the court proceedings, legal fees, and costs of enforcement are paid by the abuser if the defendant is found to have committed abuse. The costs include “all costs of medical and psychological care for the abused adult, or for any of the children, necessitated by the domestic violence.”
What happens if the abuser violates the protective order in New Orleans?
You can call the police immediately by dialing 911. If a law enforcement officer has reason to believe the protective order was violated, the police should arrest the abuser. Possession of a firearm or carrying a concealed weapon will likely also be considered a violation of the protective order.
Even if the police don’t arrest the abuser, you should file a police report and consider filing a criminal complaint. This written documentation helps support any requests for an extension or modification of the protective order. You can also file a civil contempt complaint, which the Judge assigned to your case should review.
Can a protective order be modified or extended in New Orleans?
A modification request can include new protections or remove one or more of the existing protections, depending on the request and the positions of the parties. A petition to extend an existing protective order must be filed before the current order expires.
How does a protective order affect insurance coverage?
Generally, domestic abuse victims should continue to be covered if their spouse or parent has health insurance coverage that includes a spouse or child. We’ll explain any insurance coverage issues, whether the marriage continues, or there is a divorce. This includes notifying the health insurance company about any protective orders or changes in your marital status.
Do you have a protective order and domestic abuse lawyer near me?
The Law Office of James A. Graham is located in New Orleans and serves all of South Louisiana.
For clients who are unable to travel, we can schedule phone or video conferences when needed.
Don’t wait. If you’re being abused, contact our experienced New Orleans protective order lawyers now
You have a right to feel safe. Your children and your family members have a right to feel safe. If abuse isn’t stopped, it can escalate. At the Law Office of James A. Graham, our family lawyers are skilled at filing protective orders when domestic abuse occurs. We’ll explain your rights and take prompt legal action to protect your safety and the safety of those you love. Call us or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation with a respected New Orleans domestic abuse attorney.