Legal

Ask a Lawyer and Get Answers to Your Legal Questions

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Legal
This answer was rated:

How to obtain court documents when I am a victim of domestic violence?

I have 2 questions: 1. How...

I have 2 questions:

1. How can I obtain court documents when I was a victim of domestic violence?

2. How can I release the protective order?
This is in Pierce County, WA but I live in California.

My father is the defendant.

Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Answered in 3 minutes by:
12/10/2016
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 28,339
Experience: Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
Verified

Hi,
Are you talking about a civil or a criminal protective order?

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 1 year ago

The case is closed and I think there was a plea bargain.

Whats the difference of civil and criminal in a domestic violence case?

He didn't steal anything tangible. He just physically assaulted me.
I was trying to look it up online in Pierce County Superior Court Washington. State v. Terrence Loren Johnson.
I haven't seen or talked to him since that night 2 years ago February.

In a criminal case, the defendant is charged with a crime and either has to fight the case or take a plea. The protective order is issued while the case is still ongoing and for a time thereafter to be determined by a judge if the defendant is convicted by trial or by plea.

You mentioned the defendant taking a plea. That would make it a criminal case. You can also tell it's criminal by the name of the case. The fact that the state is the complainant tells you it's criminal.

In a civil matter, you would just file with the civil court for a protective order. There would be no arrest. You would get a temporary order and then you and the defendant would have to show up before a judge to have a hearing to determine whether the temporary order became permanent.

Now that I know it's criminal, I'll get to the rest of the questions.

Unfortunately, not all documents in a criminal case are public records. Only the defendant and his lawyer can get copies of all the court papers in the file. But you would not be able to look at or copy police reports, orders of protection, probation's sentencing report or other sensitive documents along those lines.

As the complainant, you would have to make a request for them from the DA's Office. The DA represented your interests in the case and would be able to tell you how long the judged ordered the protective order to extend beyond the date of the conviction. Otherwise, if you needed documents from the file for litigation, your lawyer could obtain them via a court order.

If you wanted to lift or modify the order, you'd have to do it through the DA's office since the case doesn't belong to you any more. It belongs to the DA. He could bring the matter before the judge and get the order lifted if it has not already expired.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 12 months ago

I would like to file a motion to obtain those documents please.

You are not a party to that case and can't file a motion to obtain them. You can ask the DA for them, and he may or may not give you them. Or, if you are in litigation where the contents of the file are both relevant and necessary for your suit, you can get your judge sign a subpoena for them. Otherwise, you are not entitled to them.

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 12 months ago

I am not in litigation with the defendant. Although I would like your professional advice on appropriate protocol. Can you advise me on the most effective, professional, and efficient way to ask for the documents. Would I call? Hire an attorney? Would I write a letter? An email? Do I contact the admin office first?

I've given you the protocol. What you want is not a matter of public record. You are simply not entitled to the information unless you need them for purposes of litigation that you are involved in. Otherwise, since you were the complainant in the case, you can call the prosecutor who handled the case on your behalf and simply ask for them. You could also call the police now that the case is closed and see if they will give you the police report.

They don't have to share the defendant's file with you, but they may choose to give you something at their discretion. If they turn you down you would have to make a request through the Freedom of Information Act. Here's a sample letter to get you what you are looking for through FOIA. What's confidential will be edited out so that you will not be able to read it, but you do have the ability to get the documents through FOIA.

There's no protocol and no magic formula. You're asking for a favor from the prosecutor. Just do so respectfully and if you have a good reason for it, present it to him.

In short, tell him you were the complainant on the case and you are interested in seeing some reports in the defendant's case file and why. Then ask if there's some way you can get copies of documents in the file.

Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 28,339
Experience: Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
Verified
Zoey, JD and 87 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask Zoey, JD Your Own Question
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 28,339
28,339 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Active member of the NYS bar since 1989

Zoey, JD is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it.

LeeMichigan

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Tina

Tina

Lawyer

8,775 satisfied customers

JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

24,325 satisfied customers

Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.

INFOLAWYER

INFOLAWYER

Attorney

20,642 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses

JPEsq

JPEsq

Attorney

2,132 satisfied customers

Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor

Law Educator, Esq.

Law Educator, Esq.

Attorney

42,245 satisfied customers

JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law

Ellen

Ellen

Lawyer, Consultant

8,238 satisfied customers

25 years of experience helping people like you.

Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

Attorney

290 satisfied customers

7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.

< Previous | Next >

Related Legal Questions
I was arressted for a domestic violence case against my
i was arressted for a domestic violence case against my spouse and spent 3 days jailed and pleaded not guilty today and im out on bond my husband is trying to explain to the DA and court that i acted … read more
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Juris Doctorate
1,491 satisfied customers
I was arrested for Battery / Domestic Violence on Sunday. I
I was arrested for Battery / Domestic Violence on Sunday. I spent 24 hours in jail. I want to know how to get these charges dropped. I have no other history at all. … read more
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD
Attorney
28,339 satisfied customers
My ex wife has a pending case of domestic violence against
My ex wife has a pending case of domestic violence against her current husband. In addition, he has been charged criminally with assualt with a motor vehicle on her. DCF has visited me to discuss a te… read more
Legal Expert Justin
Legal Expert Justin
Law Degree
223 satisfied customers
I LIVE IN MD. My gf has been charged with domestic violence
I want to know how I can drop the charges against her without getting myself into trouble. I feel bad for her… read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
6,325 satisfied customers
I have a court hearing for Domestic Violence on Nov 13th,
second opinion] I have a court hearing for Domestic Violence on Nov 13th, today, the defendant tried to serve me with a counter TRO ( as his strategy because I never have any contact with him), if he … read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,487 satisfied customers
I have a court hearing for Domestic Violence on Nov 13th,
I have a court hearing for Domestic Violence on Nov 13th, today, the defendant tried to serve me with a counter TRO ( as his strategy because I never have any contact with him), if he is unable to ser… read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
10,370 satisfied customers
My soon to be ex wife filed a domestic violence restraining
My soon to be ex wife filed a domestic violence restraining order on me last week. Claiming I slapped her, bit her on the back and i pushed her down a small flight of stairs causing her to miscarry ou… read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
20,642 satisfied customers
I'm currently filling a domestic violence restraining order
Hi, I'm currently filling a domestic violence restraining order in California against my ex girlfriend. She showed up to my job one day and house the next refusing to leave. I had to call the cops to … read more
Olivia Kent
Olivia Kent
Managing Partner
Doctoral Degree
1,634 satisfied customers
State of Ohio.. Charge of Domestic Violence. Victim claims
State of Ohio.. Charge of Domestic Violence. Victim claims she, her husband, the defendant and the defendant's boyfriend had a verbal confrontation where defendant called her names and made threats of… read more
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq.
Attorney
Juris Doctor
18,102 satisfied customers
I was a trustee/defendant in a probate litigation. The
I was a trustee/defendant in a probate litigation. The plaintiff's attorney accused me of staging a burglary. The police in that jurisdiction conducted a thorough investigation and found that the burg… read more
Olivia Kent
Olivia Kent
Managing Partner
Doctoral Degree
1,634 satisfied customers
Domestic violence and have court on this friday in newark
domestic violence and have court on this friday in newark ohio … read more
TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq.
Juris Doctor (JD)
11,223 satisfied customers
Also what if a lawyer had offered you a plea bargain and
Also what if a lawyer had offered you a plea bargain and then the judge takes the plea away from you… read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
6,325 satisfied customers
Second opinion] advice on domestic violence, rhode island,
Second opinion] advice on domestic violence JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location. Customer: rhode island JA: Has anything been filed or reported? Customer: yes JA: Anyth… read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
10,370 satisfied customers
Advice on domestic violence, rhode island, yes, it was a
advice on domestic violence JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location. Customer: rhode island JA: Has anything been filed or reported? Customer: yes JA: Anything else you wan… read more
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD
Attorney
28,339 satisfied customers
MY BOYFRIEND WAS ARRESTED FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN APRIL;
MY BOYFRIEND WAS ARRESTED FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN APRIL; HIS PRELIM. HEARING WAS LAST WEEK. HE PLED "NOT GUILTY" & NOW THE STATE WANTS TO SUBPOENA ME. I DO NOT WANT TO TESTIFY. I LIVE IN NEVADA. … read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
27,720 satisfied customers
I was arrested for domestic violence in 2010, the case was
I was arrested for domestic violence in 2010, the case was dismissed "nolle prosequi." I have court records. My green card renewal comes up in June 2019, I am worried if this will prevent the renewal … read more
Bill Attorney
Bill Attorney
law
1,477 satisfied customers
Can I change my plea and accept a plea bargaining deal at
Can I change my plea and accept a plea bargaining deal at deposition hearing? … read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
27,720 satisfied customers
Can a domestic violence victim face charges for refusing to
Can a domestic violence victim face charges for refusing to testify even under subpoena … read more
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD
Attorney
28,339 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x