What Constitutes Domestic Violence in New Hampshire?
How to proceed if you are the victim?
First and foremost, if you feel threatened and you cannot remove yourself from the situation, you should call the police immediately. If you would like to file for orders of protection you can do so at your local Family Division. The court clerks are very helpful and can walk you through the process. There is no filing fee associated with the filing of a domestic violence, so money will not be an issue.
The threshold for domestic violence is fairly broad and is governed under RSA 173-B. RSA 173-B is limited as to who can seek protection under this statute. For example, spouses, ex-spouses and parties that are co-habitating together are entitled to file a domestic violence petition under this statute. There are a few different situations where someone can seek protection under RSA 173-B, but the lines could become blurred when interpreting the relationship. If there is a question as to status of the parties, a Judge will decide if a plaintiff is entitled to relief under RSA 173-B.
All that has to happen is a situation where the complaining party can prove that there was a credible present threat to their safety at a hearing held before a Judge, with both parties having the opportunity to be heard. If an action is requested ex parte (or expedited) by written request from the the defendant, the matter must be scheduled for an immediate hearing, no less than three (3) nor more than five (5) business days.
What happens if orders of protection are issued?
The protective orders vary. Typically, and in most circumstances, all firearms in the possession of the defendant shall be relinquished. The defendant will also be required to stay away from the complaining party by at least 300 feet. There are additional restrictions that could be imposed, depending on the circumstances, whether children are involved, etc. Further, the order will be in place for one year, and may be extended upon a further hearing.
What if you are served with Domestic Violence paperwork?
The petition will be served upon you by the Court. Everything complained of by the plaintiff will be provided to you. If the petition is not brought ex parte, a hearing will be scheduled within thirty days. If an expedited (ex parte) hearing is requested, as stated above, a hearing will be scheduled within 3-5 days upon request. You will have the opportunity to be heard and judged by an impartial and unbiased Judge, who will weigh the facts presented to determine whether temporary orders are necessary. If it is granted, the court will go ahead and schedule the matter for a final hearing to determine whether the order of protection needs to be extended.
Why call an attorney?
Our attorneys at McGrath Law Firm are well versed in the grounds and threshold that needs to be met in order to justify an order of protection. Often these matters can be worked out with the help of an attorney. A lawyer can save money and bring closure and be of great value. Orders of Protection can be limited in restrictions but they can also turn out to be a hindrance to your lifestyle, including having access denied to your children. Don’t let this happen to you!
The seasoned attorneys at the McGrath Law Firm, founded by former federal prosecutor, Peter McGrath, will walk you through every step of the domestic violence process to address your concerns and achieve your goals as efficiently as possible. From personal injury, criminal law and estate planning, family law, including, but not limited to, spousal support, child support, fault, and equitable division of property and debt to valuations, prenuptial agreements, annulments, and restraining orders, the experienced attorneys at McGrath Law Firm have a successful track record in all aspects of law. Call us to schedule your consultation at (603) 224-7111.
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