Filing an order of protection in Montgomery County, Tennessee

I always advise my clients the best way to handle any court case is to hire an attorney. If you need an attorney, text me (James Phillips) at 931-217-7648.

Montgomery County Order of Protection Judges

In Montgomery County, there are two judges handling Orders of Protection, Judge Raymond Grimes and Judge Kenneth Goble. Both judges are fair-minded and do not like to order full Orders of Protection unless necessary. The judges understand that when they make a finding of fact on an Order of Protection it triggers federal law, the Lautenberg Amendment. You must remember when dealing with Judge Grimes and Judge Goble that they are the ones you must convince to sign your Order of Protection. Word to the wise, don’t act a fool. Example Montgomery County OOP Packet. The Statewide example of an OOP found at Tennessee Court Site.

Domestic Relationship Required

A family type relationship between the two parties must exist for there to be an Order of Protection.  This requires a blood, domestic or stalking relationship. Without this relationship, the Court does not have jurisdiction.

Orders of Protection Require the Threat of Immediate Danger

Generally the standard required to get an Order of Protection is a pretty high bar. At the hearing the judge will make sure that there is a real and credible threat. The judges don’t want to issue an OOP without good reason.  OOPs are powerful devices and when violated can result in jail time.

Ex Parte Order versus Full Order of Protection

There are two types of Orders of Protection which the judge will use before a hearing. 1. An ex parte order protection, which is the lower type of Order and only results in a contempt action when violated. 2.  A Full Order of Protection, which is much more powerful than the ex parte order. The full order protection, when violated, can result in a conviction as a Class A misdemeanor. Violation of a full Order can result in confinement for 11 months 29 days, as a maximum punishment.

Filing an Order of Protection in Montgomery County

To File and Order of Protection in Montgomery County, the Petitioner must file order of protection with the court clerk, Ms. Terry Biggs. Once your protection is file,, she takes it to the judge to see whether he will sign the ex parte order.  Montgomery County OOP Packet. He will either sign the Order as an Ex Parte Order or he will sign it as a FIat.

The Initial Determination Fiat v. Ex Parte Order

initially, the judge must decide whether the alleged acts of misconduct equal the need for immediate protection. This determination is based on the written allegations found in the Ex Parte Order applicaiton.  If the allegations do not warrant a full Ex Parte Order, the judge will issue a Fiat. Fiat means that the respondent can’t be arrested if he violates the Fiat Order. Ex Parte Orders on the other hand when violated will result in the possibility of ten days of jail.

Hearing on Order of Protection

Regardless of whether there is a Fiat or an Ex Parte Order, after the respondent is served, the court will have a hearing. In Montgomery County Protection Order hearings are set on Wednesday afternoons at 130 PM. The judges alternate every other week. At the hearing, the petitioner must prove that the respondent is guilty of immediate threats of violence or stalking.  The judge wants to know if there is a threat of future violence. Generally, when the Parties have lawyers, there will either be either an agreement or a very nasty hearing. Usually, the respondent wants to delay the hearing because it can result in a finding of fact. Clarksville Tennessee is a military town, located near Fort Campbell. A finding of fact at an Order of Protection hearing can devastating for an active duty Soldier. Many times before the hearing, there will be an agreement to continue the hearing until a later date. If a domestic violence charge is pending in the Gen. Sessions or Circuit Court, the judge will encourage the parties to continue the matter, so that the criminal case will resolve first. The reason for this is the Respondent will not testify until after the criminal trial.

A Full Order versus Continuing an Ex Parte Order

At the Order of Protection hearing, the judge can make one of three findings. The judge may make a finding of stalking or domestic abuse.  If this is the case, a full Order of Protection will become effective. The Full Order means that violation is equal to a Class A misdemeanor.  This is a powerful device and very dangerous. Also a finding of domestic abuse or stalking means the respondent  can never carry or possess a firearm again. At the hearing, the judge also has two other options, he can withhold the finding and continue the case. Finally, if there isn’t enough evidence to support the Order of Protection, he can dismiss the Order.

Hire a Lawyer?

Orders of Protection do not necessarily need lawyers.  If you are the Respondent, I suggest you have a lawyer because of the long-term Constitution rights that can be lost if there is a finding of fact. The lawyer knows the standard of proof for an Order of Protection and he knows how to present evidence at a hearing in the case. Generally when I am up against unrepresented folks, they lose.

How a Divorce Changes an Order of Protection

Both judges in Montgomery County do not like to have Order of Protection hearings when there is a pending divorce. Generally, what happens if there is a pending divorce is the judge will transfer the divorce up to the Circuit Court or the Chancery Court judge who is handling the divorce. What happens is that the Order of Protection and the divorce merge. This is a judicial economy. This results in everything being heard at once. Therefore, there will just be one hearing on alimony, temporary support, visitation, exclusive possession of the home, the order protection, and anything else that needs resolved before a final hearing.

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