When a relationship involves abuse, one spouse may have to take legal steps to gain protection from threats and violence.
Utah courts offer various protective orders to restrict contact from the violent or threatening person. Protective orders are not the same as restraining orders, although both protect someone from violence.
The person who requests the order is a petitioner, and the person the petitioner is seeking protection from is the respondent. The order may state that the respondent must not commit violence against the petitioner and anyone else on the order, or the order may even state that there cannot be any contact or communication between the respondent and the petitioner. The order may ban the respondent from visiting the petitioner’s home, workplace, school or church. Other restrictions may also apply.
The court issues the order upon finding that the respondent committed violence against the petitioner, or else threatened or tried to commit violence. The type of protective order depends on the type of relationship, the age of the person whose well-being is at risk and the type of violence. Violating any protective order is a criminal offense and can lead to an arrest and criminal charges.
Temporary restraining order
As the name implies, a judge issues this order for a short-term, emergency situation. Only someone who has already filed a divorce or custody case can request this type of court order. The circumstances must be extreme, meaning irreparable harm is imminent and will occur without the order.
The legal system considers all relationship abuse and violence unacceptable.