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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 25891
Experience:  18 years of litigation experience.
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My husband used a protective order to have me removed from

Customer Question

My husband used a protective order to have me removed from our house. All the reasons he used to get it are a lie. Everything I own is still in the house including my beloved cats. How can I prove to a judge that he used a protective order to evict me and that he lied to get it? I'm afraid he's going to clean the bank accounts out and dispose of everything I own. This all happened tonight and I am feeling very ill. I've never been so scared in my life. He knew I have no relatives near here and only one friend to help me. I really have no place to stay. I have the clothes on my back, a tooth brush and paste and a hair brush. By the way, we would have been married 20 years at the end of December. What am I to do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

If this was a civil protective order, your husband's order is only temporary. The papers you received will give you a hearing date. At that hearing, he will have to produce evidence of the acts he alleges so that he can establish by clear and convincing evidence that he needs such a protective order to be safe from you. You, in turn, will be able tp produce what evidence you have -- testimony, witnesses, text messages, emails, phone records, whatever you've got, to show that you are no threat to his safety and that a protective order is unnecessary. After the judge hears all the evidence, he decides whether or not to lift the protective order.

Meanwhile, you can talk to the police, show them the order, let them know that all you have is the clothes on your back and that you don't want to violate the order but you need to get your clothes and other basics of yours. They can make arrangements with your husband to go with you and pick up your things or to have someone else pick up your property. If the police won't do that, you can get an order from the judge at the hearing.

You do, however, need a Family lawyer. He or she can step in quickly here to prevent him from disposing of any assets. And, ideally, you would want that lawyer at the hearing for the protective order as well. If you can come up with the funding for a lawyer but don't know where to find one, you can try the Arizona Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service. They charge a fee of around $50 for the referral which includes a free half hour consultation with an attorney.

If you are unable to pay for an attorney, you're going to need pro bono assistance pronto. Here's a link to the agencies that provide free legal help in your state. You may have to make a lot of phone calls but you should be able to get some hands-on assistance somewhere. Another source of low cost legal help is law school clinics, where law students take on clients for course credit under the supervision of a lawyer/professor. Many law schools have family law clinics like this and their service is free or on a sliding fee scale.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This order of protection has no hearing date. It is in force for a year. Also, I found while trying to pay for this, he cancelled most of my credit cards already.
I don't understand how a judge can keep you out of your own property. Don't they know what a hardship it is?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What happens if I go into the house when he isn't there?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.

Sorry for the delay. I left the computer to get my breakfast.

You should have had the opportunity to be heard, and I don't know why that didn't happen. Your rights can't be taken away from you without due process of law. With a civil order, you should have been served with notice of a temporary order and there would have been a hearing date. The final order would have only been granted if you didn't show up for that hearing and the complainant did, or if you lost the hearing. If that never happened, something is wrong and you should be able to challenge this order. Again, you need to contact a local lawyer. He may have falsified proof of service if you never received anything and that could be helpful to you.

Generally, protective orders tell you to keep away from your husband, his home and his place of work. If so, even if you go to the home when he isn't there, you are in violation of the order. That means you can be arrested for violating the protective order, and you could also be charged with crimes for the actions you took to violate the order. That would be at best trespass, because you have no right to be on the premises because of the order. At worst if you took items that arguably also belonged to him, you could be charged with a burglary offense.

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