Defenses to Petition for Temporary Protective Order
Just as other defendants or respondents in a civil action, a defendant in a petition for temporary protective order (TPO) in Georgia has a right to respond to and present defenses to the petition for temporary protective order.
How to get a TPO dropped in GaHow to fight a TPO in Georgia or how to get a TPO dropped in Ga depends on the circumstances. The following paragraphs explain some of the defenses to a petition for TPO in Georgia.
Is a full TPO hearing held 30 days after the filing of the TPO petition?A hearing where the petitioner must prove his or her allegations against the respondent must occur 30 days after filing of the petition for TPO. If not, the TPO petition must generally be dismissed, unless both parties agree otherwise. O.C.G.A. § 19-13-3(c).
However, if a party is avoiding service to delay the hearing, the court may delay dismissal of the TPO petition for an extra 30 days. O.C.G.A. § 19-13-3(e).
Did the petitioner prove his or her allegations satisfactorily?Just as in other civil actions, the petitioner must meet his or her burden of proof. That is, the petitioner must prove the allegations in his or her petition for TPO by a preponderance of the evidence. The petitioner’s failure to do this may be one of the the defenses to petition for temporary protective order.
Further, the respondent has a right to cross-examine the petitioner at the hearing. Jha v. Menkee, 833 S.E.2d 759 (Ga. App. 2019).
So, if the petitioner filed to get a false temporary protective order in Georgia, the respondent should be able to point to a lack of valid grounds for the TPO at the hearing.
Could the respondent raise a claim against the petitioner?Depending on the circumstances, the respondent may file a counter-petition against the petitioner for a TPO. The verified counter-petition, if any, must be filed no later than three days, not including Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, prior to the hearing.
Could the parties settle the case by agreement?Yes, under certain circumstances, the petitioner and respondent may work something out and reach an agreement or agree to a mutual TPO. O.C.G.A. § 19-13-4(a).