What Is a Protective Order? - Kimberly Hays Law | Divorce Lawyer | Tulsa, OK
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What Is a Protective Order?

What Is A Protective Order

What Is a Protective Order?

Many people have guessed what a protective order is but don’t really understand what it is and how it works. A protective order is a legal document that orders an individual to not have contact with another person or persons, usually issued by a court of law. It can be used in both civil and criminal cases, but the most common use is in domestic violence cases. This type of court order may require the individual to stay away from another person, a residence, or a workplace, and may even require the individual to surrender any firearms.

It should be noted that protective orders are not just limited to domestic violence cases; they can also be used in cases of stalking, harassment, and sexual assault. A protective order can provide an additional layer of protection for those who have already been victimized and can offer much-needed peace of mind. It is important to understand that a protective order does not replace criminal prosecution, but rather it provides an additional layer of protection for the victims.

Define Protective Order

Define Protective Order

When a party maliciously uses discovery rights to harass or annoy another individual, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 26(C) protects in the form of a protective order. This protective order prohibits the disclosure of certain information and shields all individuals involved from annoyance, embarrassment, excessive workloads, and oppressive behavior. Such orders offer peace of mind about legal proceedings by ensuring that parties are not taken advantage of in court.

The premise of a Protective Order

A protective order is mostly employed to shield a witness from invasive discovery requests, such as intrusive questions during depositions or unnecessary medical examinations.

It regulates:

  • Pretrial discoveries
  • Protects state statutes that strive to foster justice by allowing free access to information.

It also concurrently protects individual privacy interests by restricting the availability of data only if there is reasonable cause for doing so.

In addition to protecting witnesses, protective orders are also used to prevent the dissemination of trade secrets and confidential information. This helps parties involved in a dispute from being disadvantaged by the disclosure of sensitive data.

  • If the data was released it could give an unfair advantage over their adversary.
  • The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have set forth provisions for obtaining such orders.
  • These statutes allow for both parties to be relieved from discovery requests that are otherwise too onerous.

Protective orders are court-issued documents that safeguard an individual or business interests in legal proceedings by restricting the disclosure of certain records. This type of order typically comes into play when parties desire to keep their information private, such as: 

  • Trade secrets
  • Confidential data

Rule 26(C) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits any individual requesting discovery to move for a protective order through the court. The motion must contain an affirmation that they have earnestly attempted to settle the dispute without judicial interference by negotiating with the other parties involved.

A court-issued order is there to protect a person’s rights from:

  • Any annoyance
  • Oppression
  • Or undue burden.

This would relate to:

  • Prohibiting the disclosure of certain matters
  • Designating individuals who are allowed to be present during the discovery process
  • Mandating that all depositions must remain sealed until further ordered by the court
  • Forbidding any revelation of confidential research data and other commercial information.

Furthermore, both parties will have to simultaneously file specified documents in locked envelopes which must be unsealed only with permission from the court.

Additionally, they are utilized to protect individuals from intrusive discovery requests like medical examinations and excessive documentation demands.

  • These orders help ensure that the discovery process is fair and equitable among all parties involved in a dispute.
  • In summary, protective orders serve a valuable purpose by safeguarding individuals’ privacy interests while upholding the Rules of Civil Procedure.
  • They also ensure that justice is served, allowing parties to access relevant information without fear of exploitation.

What a Protective Order Is

Are you familiar with the distinctions between a restraining order and a protective order in Oklahoma?

Not abiding by a protective order is an offense that can be reported to the police, who will further investigate and press charges. In many cases, however, it is up to the affected party themselves to file for contempt of court proceedings in response to any violations of said order. Such action must be taken swiftly since most offenses are time-sensitive; hence why taking prompt legal steps against violators of a protective order is essential.

  • Though Oklahoma does offer restraining orders, they differ from protective orders in many ways. Civil cases allow you to get an order that restricts specific activities.
  • Sometimes, instead of opting for a final protective order with more serious implications, settling parties will agree to enter into mutual restraining orders, which provides protection while avoiding the harsher consequences of the former option.

In any case, if you ever find yourself in need of protection against an individual or entity whose actions threaten your safety and well-being, it is important to understand the legal differences between a protective order and a restraining order.

  • Knowing the difference can help you to better protect yourself and prevent further harm.
  • In Oklahoma, a restraining order will not necessarily prohibit a person from engaging in any activity, but rather, limit certain activities as specified by the court.
  • On the other hand, a protective order can provide protection against more serious charges and offenses such as stalking or domestic abuse.
  • In addition, it may also offer additional protections that go beyond what a restraining order does.
  • In Oklahoma, protective orders are a type of legal protection that is not interchangeable with restraining orders. Contrary to what other states, such as California, may call them, our state considers them as “protective orders” instead.
  • This differs from how it appears on television and in the movies since they often refer to these types of documents as restraining orders.
  • However, if there is an offense against this document within our borders, then it will be considered a violation of a protective order crime and not a restraining order.

It is important to speak with an experienced legal professional if you need help understanding the differences between these two orders. An attorney can explain your options and provide assistance in filing for either a restraining or protective order. As such, it is essential to seek legal counsel if you are ever faced with this type of situation. By doing so, you can ensure that your rights are safeguarded and that the proper order is obtained.

What's a Protective Order?

What Is A Mutual Restraining Order?

A mutual restraining order sets the parameters between two parties, such as no communication except for specific reasons, like joint child custody. If one of these conditions is breached, it is not considered a crime.

Instead, contempt charges must be brought to court by either party rather than by law enforcement or prosecutors. Therefore, this is how this particular situation differs from criminal offenses.


In conclusion, it is essential to understand the differences between a restraining order and a protective order in Oklahoma.

Both orders serve their own purpose and protect parties involved from further harm.

However, knowing when to seek each one is important in ensuring that all legal rights are safeguarded. By speaking with an experienced attorney, you can receive more information on which route is right for your situation.

This way, you can protect yourself and the other party involved while avoiding any further damage or harm.

To sum up, protective orders are a type of legal protection provided by the state of Oklahoma and are not interchangeable with restraining orders. Additionally, mutual restraining orders set the parameters between two parties without involving law enforcement or prosecutors.

Understanding these differences is essential to ensure that all rights are safeguarded and the proper protections are implemented when needed. Thus, it is important to speak with an experienced legal professional to determine the best action for your specific situation in order to ensure safety and prevent any further harm.

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