Step 5 - Full court hearing
You must go the full court hearing. If you do not go, your emergency protective order (EPO) will expire, and you may not be able to obtain a domestic violence order (DVO).
If the abuser does not show up for the hearing, the judge may still grant you a DVO, or the judge may reschedule the hearing. You may wish to hire 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 our KY Finding a Lawyer page for legal referrals. You can also represent yourself. See our Preparing Your Case page for tips on how to represent yourself in a protective order hearing.
If you cannot go to the hearing at the scheduled time, you may call the judge's office to ask that your case be "continued," but the judge may deny your request. If the court does issue a continuance, the court should also reissue an EPO to you since your original one will probably expire before the rescheduled hearing.