Though the words seem simple, they have a deep meaning and implications. A No Contact Order is an order from a judge that forbids a person from having any contact with another person. This order includes all sorts of communications such a physical contact, verbal contact, internet contact (social network sites such as Facebook, Whatsapp, Emails and Twitter) and phone contact.
A No Contact Order is also known as a Restraining Order and a Protection Order. Each of these orders has a different meaning in the court. One order may have one meaning in court, while in another court the same order will have an altogether different meaning. This order can be between two individuals or amongst two groups. The contact usually specifies a distance that is to be maintained by the restrained, this distance can be in feet or yards. If this order is violated the defendant may receive jail time or normally a fine to pay.
AN INDIRECT CONTACT
When a Restraining Order or a No Contact Order is given out, the person for which this order is implied for cannot have any contact with the petitioner. He has to maintain some distance as ordered by the judge. This means all sorts of contacts are to be stopped. Indirect Contact is also prohibited by the judge to the accused. He cannot ask someone else to contact the threatened or the harmed person who has filed for a protection Order. The court strictly forbids him to convey a message through a third person. Often a message or a letter is given via a third person. It does not become an issue as far as there is no mention of the person who has filed the order. But if the letter contains a threat or an ugly message the petitioner has to inform the court about this. A father is ordered not to meet his children, but goes to their schools and talks to them. This is a violation of the order and he may have to give his presence to the court.
WHY IS A NO CONTACT ORDER NEEDED?
A restraining order is needed when a person feels he or she is in danger or needs protection. This person may feel he is in danger from friends, family or even a boyfriend. It is not always a hunch; the petitioner is sometimes given a threat which puts him or her in a dangerous situation. When a person feels violated he will seek help from the court.
A No Contact Order is usually given between a husband and a wife. In marriage, the victim, it can either be the husband or the wife, may file charges or request a restraining order, if he or she is being violated by the other. People living together, domestic partners, in-laws, parents of the same children or step relatives. They all can be considered in domestic violence.
If children are involved in domestic violence, then the judge may give a temporary order to a certain relative or one of the parents. And the court may also give orders to the accused to take his belongings and move out of the house. The court will decide what kind of order to put, depending on how critical the situation is. If the situation has no other solution then the court may give a permanent no contact order.
A No Contact Order is often issued in divorces or separations. Sexual assaults by one of the partners or by a boyfriend often lead to a complaint filed at the court.
BULLYING OR STALKING
Bullying and stalking usually happens to women at work from their male peers. A demand for a date or a one night stand can be considered as bullying. A more forceful person following you everywhere you go and even crossing limits by coming to your house and making a scene can be taken as stalking. The stalked or the bullied has every right to go to the court and plea for a No Contact Order.
A person yielding any kind of weapon on you can be considered as a violent attack.
RELEASE FROM JAIL
A person is released from jail with some conditions. A no contact order is included in one of these conditions. No Contact Order is issued as one of the terms of a person’s release from jail. This happens when the person has committed a violent crime and is being released on the condition that he would not attempt to meet the victim. He would maintain his distance; he cannot make an indirect contact. He has to follow the orders till the proceedings of his criminal case have not been finished. The judge will give you a no contact order if he feels that you still pose a threat to the victim.
HOW IS A NO CONTACT ORDER CREATED
When a person is being threatened or feels he or she is in danger, he or she goes to the court and pleas for a restraining order. A form is given out to the victim to fill and an emergency hearing is immediately held where the petitioner lists the reasons to why he needs a no contact order. The court usually grants a 14 day restraining order. In these emergency meeting both the parties are not required to be present.
However, if the court decides on a permanent restraining order, it is essential that both the parties be present at the hearing. The judge has to make the announcement to the accused. For if the accused is not present at the hearing, the order or the sentence will have no meaning. During the hearing the judge also indicates the minimum distance the restrained person has to keep. This kind of order is known as civilly requested order.
HOW LONG DOES A NO CONTACT ORDER LAST
The length of a no contact order depends upon the nature of the situation. It depends on how severe and dangerous the situation is. Permanent orders are rarely given. It is usually sentenced for two years. However if the accused has some mental or psychological disorder or has committed murder or a crime, a permanent order is given out.
A temporary order lasts as much as the duration of the case proceedings. This is for cases involving family issues, divorce or separation. A no contact order is often lifted when the victim requests it. This happens between partners who have had time to cool down and are willing to attempt at having another go at their relation. A no contact order may also expire when the time period given by the judge has been finished.
VIOLATING THE NO CONTACT ORDER
Getting a No Contact Order is the biggest punishment that a person can get. A violation of the no contact order can result in an immediate arrest. Any breach in the order may lead to a handsome fine, community services and jail. If an order is broken, the person would be guilty of felony or misdemeanor. If an order is repeatedly broken, the punishment will also be severe, that is imprisonment for three years or charged with top level felony.
Sometimes violation of the restraining order is not done intentionally. A person with the restraining order may go to the same place as the victim. He may have the same job as the victim.
If we were to settle our disputes amicably need would never arise to go to a third party for mediation. Let alone that the matter be taken up at the court and we are forced to wash our dirty linen in public.