Step 5: The full court hearing
On the day of the hearing, you must be present if you want to ask for an extended protection order. It is very important for you to go to the hearing or else your temporary protection order will expire. If you absolutely cannot go to the hearing at the scheduled time, you may call the courthouse to ask if it’s possible for your case to be “continued,” but the judge may deny your request. At the hearing, both you and the abuser will have a chance to provide testimony, witnesses, and other evidence to prove your case. Then, the judge will decide whether or not to give you your extended protection order. If the abuser does not show up for the hearing, the judge may still grant you an extended protection order or may reschedule the hearing.
You may wish to have a lawyer to help with your case, especially if the abuser has a lawyer. If the abuser shows up with a lawyer, you can ask the judge for a “continuance,” a later court date, so that you have time to find a lawyer. Go to TN Finding a Lawyer to find help in your area.