By: Susan E. Block
Missouri law allows persons who believe they are being abused to file petitions for orders of protection.
There is no requirement that a petitioner be represented by an attorney. However, legal representation is necessary to assure that the strict statutory requirements of the law are properly stated or pleaded so that the court can consider the evidence necessary to prove abuse.
The court may ask questions of the parties or witnesses, but cannot be the lawyer for either party. Experienced family law attorneys can advise victims on the definitions of abuse and stalking and what relief you can seek from the court.
In addition, a lawyer may determine that taking the deposition (asking questions under oath before trial) of the opposing party would be appropriate and helpful in understanding the specific facts of the incident.
Proceeding to a hearing without such knowledge may result in a less favorable resolution of the case.
A court may also benefit from considering police or medical records that can be obtained by a lawyer through subpoenas.
The testimony of an expert, such as a therapist, can be extremely helpful in providing evidence of emotional distress suffered by the victim.
Legal counsel have the skills to accomplish these important steps to be sure your rights are best protected.
The attorneys at Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal are knowledgeable about this critical area of the law that seeks to provide a remedy for victims of domestic violence.
They will draft your petition, accompany you to file it with the court, present your request to the judge and, if granted, assure that the party you seek protection from gets proper notice of the hearing.
They care about your safety and understand how difficult the process can be without skilled representation.