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A criminal complaint involves your abuser being charged with a crime. You must also be the victim of an act of domestic abuse, which is explained here What is the legal definition of domestic abuse in Louisiana? However, as a minor (a person under the age of 18), you will need a parent, an adult household member or a district attorney to file for the protective order on your behalf.* For the definition of a family or household member, see Who can get a protective order? There are no filing fees and court costs for this process.* For other questions about filing, you can find contact information for courthouses on the LA Courthouse Locations page.It is the county/state who has brought the case against the abuser, not the victim. Although you do not need a lawyer to file for a protective order, it may be to your advantage to seek legal counsel, especially if the abuser has a lawyer. 34(F) To start your case, you will need to fill out the necessary forms.If the abuser does not show up for the hearing, the judge may still grant you a long-term protective order, or the judge may order a new hearing date.If you cannot go to the hearing at the scheduled time, you may call the judge's office to ask that your case be "continued," but the judge may deny your request.Usually the court will send copies of the order and notice of hearing to the police or sheriff, but in some areas you may have to bring the papers to the sheriff or police yourself.You may want to ask the court clerk or a domestic violence organization for more information about serving the abuser. 36(H) You must go to this hearing if you want to get a final protective order.It is possible that if you do not want the case to continue (if you do not want to “press charges”), the prosecutor might decide to drop the criminal charges but this is not necessarily true. 35(A)(1) In addition, the law says that the abuser must ("shall") pay for all of your court costs, attorney fees, costs of enforcing or modifying the order, costs of appeals, evaluation fees, and expert witness fees based on filing or defending any proceeding concerning a domestic abuse protection order. If you cannot afford a lawyer but want one to help you with your case, you can find contact information for lawyers on our LA Finding a Lawyer page. You may find it helpful to get the forms first and fill them out at home or with an advocate from a local domestic violence organization.
In a civil case, you are the person bringing the case against the abuser and (in most circumstances), you have the right to withdraw (drop) the case if you want to.
You may want to pursue both civil and criminal actions for maximum protection.
The major differences have to do with who takes the case to court and the reason for the case.
Here are some things that you may want to do when leaving the courthouse: Ongoing safety planning is important after receiving the protective order.
People can do a number of things to increase their safety during violent incidents, when preparing to leave an abusive relationship, and when they are at home, work, and school.(There is no requirement that the abuse itself be recent, immediate, or present.) As soon as a TRO is issued, the abuser will be notified that you have an order against him/her. After you finish filing your paperwork, the clerk will forward it to a judge.The court will give you a date (usually within 21 days) for a full court hearing where you and the abuser each have a chance to be present and tell your sides of the story.** Long-term Protective Orders: A long-term protective order can be issued only after a court hearing where you and the abuser both have the opportunity to tell your sides of the story to a judge. If you do not go to the hearing, your TRO may expire and you will have to start the process over. The judge may wish to ask you questions as s/he reviews your petition.(There is no requirement that the abuse itself be recent, immediate, or present.)* You will be given a copy of your petition, along with papers that state the time and date of your hearing for a long-term protective order. Remember, your protective order is NOT valid until the abuser has been served with it.