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How can you respond to a protection order that impacts your life?

Protection orders exist to help people in vulnerable situations. Someone who has had to endure intimate partner violence, assault from a family member or stalking could petition the courts in South Dakota for a protective order.

If granted, such an order can limit when and how the other individual can contact them. A protective order can require that someone does not attempt digital communication and that they must maintain a certain amount of distance between them and the person who seeks the protective order. There can also be criminal consequences for the violation of a protection order.

Unfortunately, some people will use protective orders as a tool to gain the upper hand in family law cases or to damage the reputation of a former romantic partner. How should you respond if your ex tries to seek an unnecessary protective order?

You can defend yourself in a hearing

Although the courts may grant emergency restraining orders in the short term, a longer protective order requires a formal hearing that provides the opportunity for you to defend yourself. The person asking for the protective order gets to present evidence and testimony first, but you can count on an opportunity to provide evidence, give your side of events and even present your own witnesses.

Countering the claims that you have threatened, stalked or abused someone can require a lot of documentation and support. If the courts do grant the protective order despite your attempt to defend yourself, you may still have other options for addressing the protective order and any negative impact it has on your life.

You can request a dismissal of the protection order

If you believe the court erred when they granted the protection order or if experiences after that hearing help show that it was unnecessary, you can request a dismissal.

A judge can dismiss the protective order outright or they could allow another hearing. You could show evidence of anything from your ex gloating about tricking the courts on a social media account to proof that they have repeatedly initiated contact with you and violated the protection order through their actions.

Learning more about South Dakota protection orders can help you better respond to one.