If you are seeking an order of protection in Memphis, or have had one served on you, you need to know the process. Tennessee orders of protection are for when there is an allegation of stalking, domestic abuse, or sexual assault between two or more people. The petitioner (the one bringing the petition) must prove these allegations by a preponderance of the evidence. The respondent (the one responding to the petition) does not have to prove anything but may wish to present evidence if it supports his or her case. The respondent must be served with the petition at least five days before the hearing. Frequently in Memphis, continuances are granted once the respondent is served, for both parties to get an attorney if they want and to get ready for the hearing. Within Tennessee service will be made by a Sheriff. Outside of Tennessee, service will be made by certified mail through the secretary of state’s office. If you wish to bring petition or defend yourself against one, you should talk to a Memphis order of protection lawyer. As petitioner, you bear the burden of proving the case and are going to need evidence other than your own word. Having eyewitnesses, phone records, pictures, or emails can help. For respondents, having an order of protection against you can bring many negative consequences. Even though it’s not a criminal charge, it will show up in background checks. Under federal law you cannot own or purchase a firearm. And if you ever were to have contact with the petitioner after the order is granted you could be arrested and charged with a crime. Therefore it is important that you put together a solid defense. Patrick Stegall is a Memphis order of protection attorney. He represents both petitioners and respondents. For help with your case, contact him at (901) 205-9894 or pstegall@stegall-law.com.

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