What is the order of events in the courtroom?

1. At the hearing, everyone who will testify will swear or affirm to tell the truth.

2. Since you are the petitioner, you will tell your side of the story first.

3. The judge and your abuser may ask you questions. If you are scared to answer any of them, tell the judge.

4. When you are done, your witnesses may speak. You may ask them questions, and then the judge and your abuser will have a turn to ask them questions.

5. The respondent will tell his or her side. It may be very different from yours. The judge will ask questions, and you may also.

6. The judge will make a decision after hearing both sides and considering the evidence.

7. If the judge decides in your favor, the judge will sign your Family Violence Protection Order. There will be boxes checked or things written in by the judge that the respondent (your abuser) has been ordered to do. The judge can make the Family Violence Protection Order be effective for as long as 12 months. (Before the time is over, you may apply to the court to have your Order extended. You will have to go to a short hearing to tell a judge why you need it extended.)

8. If the respondent is present, he will sign and take home a copy of the Family Violence Protection Order.

9. You will be given a copy of the Temporary Protection Order. Review it carefully before you leave the courthouse. If you have ANY questions about it, be sure to ask the judge.