Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, many countries have seen a spike in domestic violence cases. However, we also see several jails releasing inmates in an effort to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. To top it all off, in Utah, the Courts have continued all criminal proceedings for individuals who are not in custody. This dangerous combination has resulted in numerous people feeling as though they cannot report domestic violence. Many people feel as though if they report the abuse they are suffering, there will be no relief and no escape. Many feel that things will simply get worse.
Despite this dangerous combination, everyone can still seek relief from domestic violence. Although Criminal Courts may be slow, the District Court has been directed to continue to hear all protective order cases. In fact, Protective Orders are 1 of only 6 types of cases that the Courts are required to hear. Utah has also expanded its categories of protective orders in an effort to cover the broadest range of abuse possible.
Protective orders can be powerful tools, especially during the pandemic. Through a protective order, you can not only receive protection from your abuser, but the Court can also make temporary orders regarding possession of a home or vehicle, custody of children, child support or spousal support, and other necessary orders.
If you are suffering domestic violence, you don't need to suffer in silence. Although the Courts are slow, there are still legal remedies to obtain the protection that you need. Community resources to help victims of domestic violence are also ongoing during the pandemic. Call Lane Wood today to obtain the protection that you deserve.
5/11/20 Update: The Utah Supreme Court and Utah Judicial Council amended the Administrative Order regarding court proceedings during the pandemic. Although courts are far from back to normal, they are starting to move back towards normality. As part of this change, criminal cases with Defendant's who are out of custody can now proceed through remote transmission. This change applies at both the justice courts and the district courts. Although protective orders maintain a viable option to receive urgent protection, criminal cases should be starting to move forward. This movement will afford greater protections to victims of domestic violence.