Law Office of Kari Nelson
1509 W. 2nd Terrace
P.O. Box 44-2588
Lawrence, KS 66044
Call: (785) 979-4985
Fax: (785) 312-9052
Abuse is never acceptable, whether it is physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, or abuse of the law. Unfortunately there was a point in the history of this country in which society turned a blind eye when there were allegations of abuse or even proof of abuse. After too many serious injuries and deaths from this type of blindness, the law decided to open its eyes. We have went from the police failing to respond to domestic cases to the police stating that someone must be arrested if they are called.
Part of the effort to protect victims of abuse lead to varying protection from abuse statutes being passed in every state. Although it is an admiral goal to attempt to stop violence, these laws have made it possible for people to abuse people in other ways. An individual can file allegations of domestic battery or request a protection from abuse, in order to gain the upper-hand in a divorce or custody case or to seek revenge for assumed malfeasance. This type of abuse makes it harder for the individuals the laws were enacted to protect and can be devastating for an individual accused of abuse when it did not occur.
If you are a victim of abuse, by all means contact the court to get any assistant available. In Kansas in order to get assistance from the protection from abuse statute, you must be seeking protection for yourself, your minor child, or another minor child or children who reside with you. You must be seeking protection from someone who is or was a "intimate partner or household member". So basically you or the minor child had to have dated or been in some sort of intimate or dating relationship with the other individual (the defendant). This does not have to be a relationship that is still ongoing or recent. However, ultimately you will have to prove that the defendant threatened, tried to, or physically hurt you or the minor child. This action has to be intentional. Or in the alternative, you have to prove that the defendant engaged in sexual conduct with a minor under 16. You must state any and every allegation you have against the defendant in detail, if you want to use the information at trial later. If the case goes to trial, you will have the burden to prove all allegations by a preponderance of the evidence.
Although the statutes are written to make it easy to file a protection from abuse motion and get the original order for temporary protection, don't let that lull you into believing that it will all be easy. You do have the burden to prove your case at trial. If you don't it is possible that the court could award attorney's fees to the defendant, especially if the defendant makes counter allegations. So it is best to seek some sort of legal advice if you really want to prosecute the matter. It might be possible for you to find free legal assistance, depending on your income, so make sure you call some sort of legal assistance organization.
If someone files a protection from abuse against you, especially if the allegations are false, you need to take this very seriously. It is imperative that you show up for any court appearances and that you seek legal assistance, especially if you have children with the plaintiff in the case. Do not listen to people who tell you it is not a big deal. A protection from abuse order is submitted to law enforcement and is something that could show up on a background check when you apply for a passport or a job or in some other situation. Additionally, if you have children with the plaintiff, such an order can greatly hinder any relationship with your children. Although the burden is on the plaintiff to prove his or her case, he or she only has to prove the case under a preponderance of the evidence standard, which basically means the court has to believe him or her just a bit more than you. So you definitely need to be prepared to defend against the allegations and make sure you have legal counsel or you know how to get any evidence you have admitted into the court proceeding.
Unfortunately, if allegations are filed against you, you don't have the same resources, i.e. free legal services, available that an individual filing the action. Additionally, since the case is a civil case and not a criminal case, you can't apply for an appointed attorney. You will either have to hire private counsel or defend that case on your own. If you are wanting to hire a private attorney, you need to contact someone immediately. Protection from abuse cases tend to move more quickly than other civil cases, so your attorney needs as much advanced notice as possible to adequately prepare.
The use of this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. Although I hope the information contained on this website will be helpful, it should not be a substitute for legal advice from an attorney that has reviewed the intricacy of your case.
Get protection from abuse. Call Kari Nelson right away for kind, compassionate legal service.