Please note that this is not legal advice. See our disclaimer.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? A time of love and forgiveness, a time of good cheer, warmth and healing…a time when you can let bygones be bygones? However, if you are the subject of a restraining or protective order because of allegations of domestic violence, it’s no different than any other time of the year. It can be easy to get caught up in the spirit of the holidays, and try to make contact with a former spouse or partner, or to send a Christmas card or gift. Any one of these actions may be a violation of the court order, and the courts will not be kind, just because it’s Christmas. You may find yourself in contempt and face the possibility of sanctions, including jail time.
The reality is that a court order is a court order. The only permissible way to make contact when prohibited by court order is to obtain permission through the court. While the specific restrictions may be unique to your restraining order, as a general rule, a “no contact” order means that you cannot talk to, call, write to (including letters of apology or contrition), fax, e-mail, text or communicate with the other person in any way. Even if the protected person consents to contact, you can still be in violation of the court order. Even if the other person initiates contact, sending you an e-mail, calling you on the phone or sending you a card, you can be in violation of the court order if you respond, and may be subject to arrest.
A restraining order may have a specific ending date or it may be an indefinite order, which can last forever. Either way, the Order will remain in effect until the ending date, or until the court suspends or terminates it. You cannot change the terms of the order, or the termination date of the order, without seeking and obtaining the court’s permission. To do so, you must file a written request.
Contact the Law Offices of Hornstine Law, LLC
If you have already engaged in conduct that violates a restraining or protective order, you want an experienced lawyer to protect your rights. At Hornstine Law, LLC, we have decades of experience. We work with men and women in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, using our knowledge, skill, experience and resources to help you get the outcome you want. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 215-568-4968 (in New Jersey at 609-523-2222).
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