In the crazy world of family law, protective orders are often heard within fifteen days of the case being filed. That being said, a lot people who file for protective orders try to represent themselves at the final hearing.
Unfortunately there is no national study that we are aware of that shows what percentage of protective orders are granted and what percentage are denied. Additionally, there is no national study showing what percentage of people who apply for a protective order hire an attorney to represent them at the final hearing and what percentage of people ultimately end up representing themselves in the court room.
With regard to filing and pursuing a protective order, we strongly recommend that you hire an attorney before you begin the process. If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, we recommend that at a minimum you at least sit down with one for a half consultation in order to better know how to represent yourself at the final hearing.
With regard to the final hearing, we have written a list below that is designed to help you out. The list below contains three mistakes to avoid whenever you represent yourself at the final hearing.
Mistake Number One: Babbling. A lot of people who apply for protective orders make the mistake of babbling whenever they appear in front of the judge for the final hearing. Take our advice: DO NOT BABBLE. Before you appear in front of the judge, give some thought to what you are going to say.
Mistake Number Two: Getting Too Emotional. Numbers two and one kind of go hand in hand. Just like we advise that you do not babble, we also advise that you avoid becoming overly emotional whenever you appear in front of the judge.
Mistake Number Three: Calling Too Many Witnesses. A lot of people who apply for protective orders make the mistake of calling too many witnesses whenever they appear in front of the judge. As a safe rule of thumb, whenever you appear in front of the judge only call two witnesses: count yourself as witness number one and call one other person as witness number two.