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How can a victim get a No-Contact order lifted?

how can a victim get a no contact order lifted

Generally, the court orders a no-contact to protect the rights and interests of the victims of domestic violence, as it is a persisting problem in the current scenario, which mostly goes unnoticed or sometimes ignored, thinking it is a family issue. 

It lays down restrictions on the freedom of movement of accused involved in domestic violence. We can infer from the term “no-contact” that it must be distancing the complainant and accused from making contact.

No-contact order

Generally, domestic violence cases include no-contact orders that prevent the accused from contacting the victim either directly or indirectly in any matter by phone, in person, or through a third party. In some cases, the court will issue a detention order based on the facts of the case. 

In other cases, the court may issue a ban on contact at the victim’s request because of the fear of the victim from the accused. A no-contact order is a restraining order made by a court against the offender.

There are two types of no-contact orders:-

  • Firstly, a no-contact order is issued as a condition of bail as the accused agrees not to establish any form of contact with the victim to seek bail,
  • Secondly, a no-contact order issued as an injunction in a suit protects the victim’s rights and interests.

How can a victim get a no-contact order lifted?

First, it’s essential to understand a no-contact order can be lifted based on judges’ discretion. The accused or defendant in the criminal or civil suit must not try to violate the terms of a no-contact order.

A no-contact order can be lifted only in two ways:-

  1. Firstly, the defendant’s attorney will move to the court to showcase why the no-contact order should be lifted. The judge will evaluate whether there are any more threats persisting against the victim or the further chances of the violation of the no-contact order.

If the possibility doesn’t persist, the no-contact order will be lifted.

  1. Secondly, the no-contact order can be lifted on the victim’s motion. The victim will move to the court through an application on his/her behalf stating the reasons to get the no-contact order lifted. 

The judge and the prosecutor will cross-examine the victim under oath, and if they are satisfied with the stated reasons, they will grant the lifting of the order.

NOTE:- There’s one more way to seek relief—by getting the no-contact order modified. The defendant can get some modifications in the order by getting away from some of the restrictions.

The defendant will be asked which part of the order he wants to be changed or terminated. If deemed fit, he will be allowed specific exceptions such as limited contact through a designated third party or via email to make child custody arrangements.

Effects of getting a no-contact order lifted

It is a mere restriction on the defendant to ensure the victim’s safety.  There are some after-effects of getting a no-contact order lifted, which include:

  • Lifting such an order will benefit the defendant by removing certain restrictions on his movement. The defendant will be at liberty of movement without causing any violation, even if he comes in contact with the plaintiff accidentally or without express intention. 
  • It will be considered the first step of reconciliation or getting a chance to establish an amicable communication with the other party to resolve the dispute.
  • Lifting such an order will benefit the alleged victim even if he doesn’t intend to establish contact with the alleged victim. It is somewhere a positive effect in an ongoing trial.
  • Mainly, having a no-contact order will pose a risk of its violation, ultimately resulting in harsher penalties. If the contact is with the alleged victim, even if it was unintentional, it will result in:-
  • Revocation of bail bond, 
  • Re-arrest, 
  • A Separate trial on the charge of “Violation of Pre-Trial Release Conditions.”

Do you need an attorney to get a no-contact order lifted?

Yes, an attorney is always needed to get a no-contact order lifted as an attorney is licensed and authorized to represent a person in a court of law. Legally he is more experienced and knowledgeable than a layman concerning statutes dealing with such issues. 

A party to a case might not be aware of the legal issues and may not be aware of the laws dealing with it, but an attorney always understands the legal issues going to be raised and how to come out of the dispute without getting your hands dirty.

Conclusion

A no-contact order is issued after evaluating the imminent danger to the alleged victim. A victim of domestic abuse (i.e., physical, verbal, or emotional abuse) can seek the court to obtain such an order. An urgent hearing can be sought in the matter, which will get completed within 30 days or less.

Orders like these are restraining orders, but it is generally advised in the matters of domestic violence that the steps must be taken to reconcile the matter to avoid any emotional or financial suffering in the future by the plaintiff or the kids of both the partners. It must be lifted so the defendant doesn’t get trapped in one more matter of violating such an order, even if it is unintentional.


FAQ

What to do in a case where a no-contact order has been issued against the defendant as an injunction?

Firstly, it’s essential to contact an attorney to represent oneself and get the order lifted or modified to seek some liberty.

Is lifting a no-contact order found helpful in reconciliation?

Lifting such an order is suitable for establishing contact, seeking outside court settlement, and seeking some solution through mutual understanding.

How to avoid the issuance of a (No-contact order)NCO?

An NCO can be avoided in the very initial stage by stating the proof that there have been no instances of domestic violence against the alleged victim.

What is the validity of a no-contact order?

An NCO gets issued at the judge’s discretion, so its validity is also based on the judge’s discretion. It can be valid for the whole period, for a few weeks or months.

How can an NCO be extended?

An NCO can be extended by submitting a motion by the plaintiff through an application with the current no-contact order. This application should be made within the validity period of the existing NCO.