Step 4: The "show cause hearing" for a permanent order
All “show cause hearings” are supposed to be scheduled within 10 calendar days after your temporary order is issued and heard by the Family Violence Court judge. If the respondent does not appear, s/he can possibly be held in contempt and/or the case can continue “by default.” If the respondent does appear, s/he may ask for a continuance in order to find an attorney and the judge can postpone the hearing for a “reasonable” period of time. During the continuance, your temporary order can be modified (changed) or can continue as-is (and a judge may possibly even make it permanent during this time).1
At the “show cause hearing,” you will have to prove by a preponderance of the evidence the things you alleged in your petition. A preponderance of the evidence basically means that it is more likely than not that you are telling the truth - so, in other words, the judge can believe you 51% and believe the respondent 49% and you can still win. If the judge grants you an order, it will indicate on the order how long it lasts for. The law says that the judge can order it for “such periods as authorized by law.” Another option is that there can be a consent agreement issued, where the respondent agrees to the order without having to go through a whole hearing or trial.2
If you will be representing yourself, see the At the Hearing page for ways you can show the judge that you were abused. For legal help and representation, go to our GU Finding a Lawyer page.
1 MR 2.1.3(B)(2)-(4)
2 MR 2.1.3(B)(5)