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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35754
Experience:  30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
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I live in Tn. My 2 year olds father & I were never married.

Customer Question

I live in Tn. My 2 year olds father & I were never married. He is on the BC. We have never in court for paternity or visitation. I got an order of protection against him & was fleeing TN to go to Fla where my mom is. He chased me down Sat & i was given papers saying he's asking for a restraining order with my daughter to take my daughter from me to establish paternity, and to gain full custody of her. I was told by a caseworker here at the shelter that he has no legal rights to her yet because we have not been to court and he has not established paternity and that I can still leave. I'm desperate I need an answer today can I leave still?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Tn
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: I found an order of protection against him he was served Saturday. He filed with a lawyer a restraining order against me and is trying to obtain paternity and full custody but nothing has been to court yet
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Filed*
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 2 months ago.

Good afternoon,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. In order to give you a clear and concise answer, I will need some additional information about the circumstances, please.

1. What specifically were the papers that you were given? What are the titles of the documents? Was it a summons and complaint? Or a Petition for a restraining order?

2. Who gave you the papers----the father or a law enforcement officer?

Doug

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I received two sets of papers on the first one it says petition for ex parte restraining order and petition to establish paternity and for custody. II says it's a summons state of Tennessee juvenile court for Bedford County.
It was his cop friend that gave me the papers he verbally told me I needed to be in court on Wednesday which is the court date for my order of protection but then when I called this morning there is no court date for me this Wednesday for the papers that he filed against me
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Bedford County does things the way they want to do them not necessarily by laws. I filed for my order of protection over 2 months ago and they just now served him Saturday but only because he chased me down to try to serve me first. I'm pretty sure the reason his cop friend told me that I have to be in court on Wednesday is because they're trying to stop me from leaving the state
Expert:  LawTalk replied 2 months ago.

Are you in FL or TN now?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Tn
Expert:  LawTalk replied 2 months ago.

Please stop attaching documents. I agreed to answer a question and not to review an entire case for you.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Oh I'm sorry. Just thought it might make it easier for you
Expert:  LawTalk replied 2 months ago.

Thank you.

The problem you have is that you have been properly served in the state of TN. If you flee or try to flee the state with your child, then the law can stop you in TN or seek a warrant for your arrest and extradition from another state back to TN.

While the father does not yet have any legal rights of custody, the fact that the court has ordered that you are not to remove your child from the county is legal and if you try to do so you can be arrested and that could result in you losing custody of your child to the father until the court gets all these issues resolved---and it could harm your right to primary custody of your child.

You are going to have to keep your child in the county until there is a court hearing. There may be a tentative hearing for Wednesday and that the court clerk's office doesn't have it on calendar yet. Check again later today with the court. However, you may not leave the county with your child for any reason unless and until the judge retracts the restraining order---which probably won't be until after at least the first court hearing.

Just don't leave the county now because you could lose your child for quite a while if you do---and you could be jailed for contempt of court as well.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please know that I answer your questions in good faith, providing you with the information that you ask for, and I do that with the expectation that you would act likewise, and rate my service to you. Rating me costs you nothing as you have already paid the deposit for my help. All rating does is ensure that I am paid for my time in working with you. So, please do be sure to rate my service to you. Rating is accomplished by clicking on the rating-stars on your page. Thank you in advance for your positive rating.

I wish you and yours the best in 2016,

Doug

Expert:  LawTalk replied 2 months ago.

Hi,

You do have a scheduled hearing for the 28th of this month. That may be the ONLY hearing presently set and any suggestion of an earlier hearing may be inaccurate.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please remember to rate my service to you so that I can be compensated for helping you. Thank you in advance.

I wish you and yours the best in 2016,

Doug

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I'm not understanding your response where you said that the court has ordered that I do not remove my child. The officer said he was just making me aware of the court date. He said he was not serving me with the restraining order, that if he was he would've took my daughter. They left my daughter in my custody.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Also I'm not in Bedford county now. I have been in a domestic violence shelter in another county since I left. I don't know if that makes a difference or not.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Would I be in contempt of court if I left but still went to the court hearing?
Expert:  LawTalk replied 2 months ago.

Hi,

I'm not concerned what the officer told you. I looked at the signed Restraining Order against you signed by the Judge on the 7th of the month. That Restraining order is against you and that I why I said you have to remain in the county with your child.

And the Restraining order requires you to return to the county if you are served after you already departed the county.

You are facing a complex legal situation and you really should consider asking for a phone call so that I cand iscuss this at length with you. I have several ideas that may help you reach your goal but ferreting out all the facts really only makes sense in a phone call. I do not put arbitrary time limits on my calls either.

You can request a call by clicking on the "Call Me" button on your page.

Doug

Expert:  LawTalk replied 2 months ago.

Hi,

Is there anything else I can assist you with today?

Doug

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I'm trying to get my daughter down for a nap. When she wakes I may try calling. Thank you for all the info so far but I do feel like I need more info.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Also I'm not sure if it makes any difference but the judge that signed my order of protection against him is the same judge that signed off on the restraining order against me for him. I'm not sure how that can even be done since my daughter was already protected against him in my order of protection and now his restraining order is supposed to take her from me and give her to him. They are conflicting orders
Expert:  LawTalk replied 2 months ago.

Hi,

I'm a parent too, and I understand putting your daughter down for a nap.

His retaining order only is to prevent you from leaving the county with your daughter. But if you do leave---or in your case you are out of the county----law enforcement may at any time come and remove your daughter from you. While I would argue that you were served with the restraining order, the cop may not have taken your daughter only because you are in a shelter with her----but he could have enforced the order had he chosen to do so. If she is taken from you, they may not turn her over to the father if he has a protective order preventing him from seeing your daughter, but if she is taken from you she may be placed in a foster care system until the court deals with all these issues.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please remember to rate my service to you so that I can be compensated for helping you. Thank you in advance.

I wish you and yours the best in 2016,

Doug

Expert:  LawTalk replied 2 months ago.

Hi,

Is there anything else I can assist you with today?

Doug

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