Webinar presenter Monica Player answered a number of your questions after her presentation, Strategies to Facilitate Service and Enforcement of Foreign Protection Orders. Here are just a few of her responses.
Audience Question: If you would please go back and re-explain the distinction between a protection order and a restraining order.
Monica Player: There is no difference. So, if you go back to the definition of protection order see, 18 U.S.C 2266(5)(A), it says a protection order is defined as any type of order including a restraining order, protection order and that’s why I wanted to emphasize that protection orders have different names, and come in different formats. So, somebody may say peace order. That is a form of a protection order in one of the jurisdictions that I practice in. In other jurisdictions, it may be a protection from abuse order. Jurisdictions use various different names to identify a protection order and that’s why you always want to go back to the definition, the VAWA definition. Any type of order that’s purpose is to prevent violent or threatening acts, sexual assault, harassment, contact, communication, or physical proximity to another person. That goes back, to example Z which was a disorderly conduct order. It didn’t say restraining order but if you looked at what was the purpose of that order, it met the requirement for the definition of a protection order. For a full discussion on protection orders please see, Full Faith and Credit for Protection Orders: Assisting Survivors with Enforcement Across Jurisdictional Lines.
Audience Question: Can a defendant refuse service?
Monica Player: Well, I think the respondent will do whatever they want to evade service but once they have been served with the order, once the respondent had notice, they (law enforcement) would just document it. I’m assuming you’re saying that they (the respondent) won’t personally take it (the document) in their hands. I’m not sure that any jurisdiction would say that that is not service. So, if there’s something very specific. (a specific question/scenario) you have, please contact me for a discussion of the specific scenario you’re looking at. But once that law enforcement provides the document even if the individual decides not to take it personally in his hand, if it dropped at his feet. For purposes in most jurisdictions, I don’t know any that wouldn’t consider that service of the order. Note, service must be completed using the issuing jurisdiction’s laws. For a discussion on service of protection orders please review, A Prosecutor’s Guide to Full Faith and Credit of Protection Orders: Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence.
Audience Question: I worked in an agency in Arizona and the maximum protection order duration is a year. We regularly serve foreign protection orders that have 2 and 3-year durations. Are these still enforceable in Arizona?
Monica Player: Yes. Remember, the issuing jurisdiction determines how long a protection order is in effect. So, if an order is not from your jurisdiction and it’s for another period of time, whether it’s more time than what is available in your jurisdiction or less you must ensure that protection order as long as it’s active.
Audience Question: How should we be documenting the service of foreign protection orders?
Monica Player: I’m assuming your question, if I understand your question right, you’re documenting (service in the affidavit) to send it back to the issuing jurisdiction. If that’s the case, and you’re using the information provided in that affidavit to send it back. If you have questions about whether or not you sufficiently provided the correct information, I would certainly call the issuing jurisdiction regarding what information is needed in order to appropriately document it. If that’s not what you meant and that doesn’t answer your question, feel free to give me a call and I can triage with you if it’s something else you’re actually seeking to have answered. For a discussion on service of protection orders see, A Prosecutor’s Guide to Full Faith and Credit of Protection Orders: Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence.
Click Here to Watch a Recording of Strategies to Facilitate Service and Enforcement of Foreign Protection Orders.