Georgia residents have options when seeking protection from a person who has threatened danger. Just as Rihanna’s recent restraining order against a stalker requires a predator to keep his distance, a Temporary Protective Order (TPO) offers a small oasis of calm in the middle of emotional upheaval for singles, couples, and families.
It is not necessary to have lived together or to be related in order to petition the court for a TPO, nor does the petitioner need to have known his or her harasser. The Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) 16-5-90 defines a stalker as one who “follows, places under surveillance, or contacts another person at or about a place or places without the consent of the other person for the purpose of harassing, and intimidating the other person.” While Rihanna’s stalker never actually broke into her home (according to TMZ), many victims aren’t as lucky. The price they pay may include a hospital visit, or, even worse, the morgue.
Family violence, pursuant to O.C.G.A. 19-13-1, is established as “battery, simple battery, simple assault, assault, stalking, criminal damage to property, unlawful restraint, or criminal trespass” or any felony. Family violence may include spouses, past or present, parents and stepparents, children and stepchildren, foster parents or children, as well as past and current residents of the household.
Family members sometimes make excuses for the batterer, such as blaming alcohol or drug use, and hoping that the abuser will change. Oftentimes only arrest and prosecution will deter the wrongdoer. Whether a stalking victim is being pursued by a stranger or abused by a family member, it is important to seek immediate help from law enforcement. Domestic violence shelters are a safe alternative to the streets and support groups help bolster confidence and offer solutions to problems.
Hire an Atlanta Family Law Attorney for Legal Protection
Once out of immediate danger, Georgia residents should hire a skilled metro Atlanta family law attorney for expert guidance in filing TPO paperwork. Pursuant to O.C.G.A. 19-13-4, a temporary protective order establishes guidelines that restricts the offending party’s behavior, awards housing, support, and custody/visitation rights, and may include an order for eviction or return of personal property.
Contested divorce issues sometimes erupt into violence. Spooner and Associates, P.C. is an ardent defender and protector of our clients’ interests and encourages victims of violence to stop the treadmill of harm by seeking protection in a lawful manner. Victims in the North Metro Atlanta counties of Gwinnett, Hall, Forsyth, Barrow, Dekalb, Banks, and Jackson counties should contact a family law attorney with a calm but firm approach. No one should suffer harassment, humiliation, surveillance, or bodily injury because of someone’s lack of self-control. Call the experts at Spooner & Associates today to put a stop to manipulative and harmful behavior.
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