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What If My Spouse Files an EPO on Christmas Eve?

When an EPO is filed, Kentucky law favors protection over personal civil rights, at least in the short term. IF an EPO is filed against you, the short answer is you probably cannot do anything until the court hearing. The accused is entitled to a hearing within 14 days of the Court granting an EPO. A judge makes an initial determination on whether to grant an EPO based solely on the sworn statement of the person requesting protection. An EPO is an Emergency Protection Order and is granted when an act of domestic violence has been alleged. An act of violence may be actual physical violence or a threat of death or bodily harm. The past has proven that these increase substantially around holidays; most likely due to increased stress as well as the inability to have judicial review with a full hearing until the courts reopen. If an EPO is granted, the Order often contains provisions that the victim is allowed sole use of the residence and the alleged perpetrator is required to vacate the residence and stay 500 feet from the victim. With 2010 having 4 day Court holidays over the weekends, expect an increase in filings on Wednesday before Christmas and New Years. Of course, the best way to prevent an EPO is to avoid physical confrontation or threats. While this does not stop an outright lie, those making allegations of domestic violence should be reminded that the sworn statement is made under oath and could be subject to separate charges of filing a false complaint or perjury if false or misleading. If an EPO has been filed, the person accused is entitled to a full hearing to determine if the EPO will become a more permanent DVO with in 14 days. If you have been accused of domestic violence, you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible. In Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 (MIKE) or email at [email protected] for consultation and advice.

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