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Served with an EPO? Now What?


What is an EPO? 


An Emergency Protection Order (E.P.O.) is a temporary restraining order used to protect someone from further acts of domestic violence. 


How does the EPO affect me?


An EPO prevents you from having any contact with the person seeking protection and restricts you from being within a certain distance the person’s home, school or work. 


Additionally, an EPO may grant temporary custody of a minor child; possession of a shared residence; temporary child support to the person seeking the EPO and; prevent the disposition of shared assets; and may require a surrender of any firearms in your possession.  


Now What?


If you were served with an EPO the court has set a court date for a hearing to determine if the EPO should be dismissed or if a Domestic Violence Order is necessary to prevent domestic violence from occurring in the future between the parties. 


What happens at the EPO hearing?


The EPO review hearing is held in front of a family or district court judge in the county where the EPO was filed.   The person seeking the EPO and the party they are seeking protection from are present at the hearing.  Other individuals who might be present include social workers and domestic violence counselors. 


The judge will allow both parties to testify about the allegations contained in the EPO petition.  The judge will review the testimony of the parties, other witnesses, and any other admissible evidence (pictures, audio/video recordings, etc.), before making a decision as to whether domestic violence occurred and is likely to occur in the future, absent a DVO. 


Will the judge appoint me an attorney?


No, this is not a criminal case and the judge will not appoint you an attorney. 


How is a Domestic Violence Order (D.V.O.) different from an E.P.O.?


A Domestic Violence Order is issued after a hearing to determine if domestic violence has occurred and is likely to occur in the future.  A D.V.O. can last from 1 year to 3 years.  Also, prior to the expiration of the D.V.O., the person who is protected by the D.V.O. can ask the court to extend the D.V.O. for another 1 to 3 years.  


 Do I need to hire an attorney for my EPO/DVO case? 


YES! Over the years we’ve heard many reasons why people decide not to hire an attorney

“they don’t have any proof I did anything”


“ they said they would drop it anyway”


“I don’t care, I don’t want to be around them anyway” 


There are many consequences of having a DVO against entered against you:


  1. Subject to immediate arrest for alleged violations;

  2. Used against you in a custody case (rebuts presumption of joint custody and equal parenting time); 

  3. It will always be on your record - a DVO cannot be expunged. 

  4. Suspension of Kentucky CCDW permit; 

  5. Prevent you from possessing or purchasing firearms under Federal Law; 



You are not alone, let The Dupree Law Firm be your shield and your sword.  Call us now. 


EPO/DVO Defense

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