DOMESTIC ABUSE PROCEDURES


 


 

WHO TO CALL

When a police response is needed for a domestic disturbance or abuse case, call 581-3271 or 911. If you need to talk to someone about a domestic abuse situation, call the front desk of the Police Department at 581-3270 or call one of the numbers listed below:


24 HOUR TELEPHONE SERVICES
Domestic Violence Hot Line 357-2500 V/TDD
Sexual Assault Crisis Unit 357-2500 V/TDD
SafeLine 1-800-522-9054 V/TDD
(V/TDD numbers can receive calls either by voice
or a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf)

 

 

VICTIM'S RIGHTS

Victims of Domestic Abuse are entitled to the following rights:

  1. The right to request that charges be pressed against the assailant.
  2. The right to request protection from harm or threat of harm arising out of cooperation with law enforcement and prosecution efforts. This right is limited to available facilities. This includes the right to be provided with information on the level of protection available.
  3. The right to be informed of financial assistance and other social services available as a result of being a victim. This includes information on how to apply for assistance and other services; and
  4. The right to file a petition for a protective order or, when the court is not open for business, to request an emergency temporary protective order.

 

 

POLICE POWERS TO ARREST FOR DOMESTIC ABUSE

Oklahoma State Law authorizes police officers to make an arrest for Domestic Abuse, without a warrant. A person suspected of Domestic Abuse can be arrested anywhere, including his/her place of residence, if the police officer has probable cause to believe the suspect has committed an act of domestic abuse within the preceding seventy-two (72) hours even if the assault did not take place in the presence of the police officer. The officer must be able to observe a recent physical injury or impairment to the victim believed to have been the result of the abuse. The Lawton Police Department aggressively enforces this law due to the recent studies proving that the most effective deterrent to further abuse is making an arrest when warranted. Police officers can even make arrests for Domestic Abuse when the victim objects or will not sign a complaint.


 

 

FILING CRIMINAL CHARGES

Most criminal charges in domestic abuse cases are filed after the police make an arrest upon their arrival at the scene. The officers will complete most of the paperwork involved and assist the victim with any statements or complaints that will be needed. In some cases where police are not called at the time of the abuse or when there are no physical signs of assault, a victim can still request that charges be filed against the assailant by coming to the front desk of the police station and completing a statement form and signing a complaint form. (Misdemeanor cases can be filed up to one (1) year after the incident). The complaint will be forwarded to the prosecutor for the Lawton Municipal Court who will decide if the charges will be accepted and a warrant issued for the suspect. Very serious abuse cases are usually investigated by officers and detectives who then present the evidence to the Comanche County District Attorney for charges to be filed in District Court. Victims of Domestic Abuse do not have to pay court costs to file criminal charges. However, the victim may be assessed court costs if he/she drops the charges. For more information on filing criminal charges, call the front desk of the Lawton Police Department at 581-3270.


 

 

WOMEN'S SHELTER

A shelter for female domestic abuse victims and their children (age limit for male children is 12 years of age) is available in Lawton. The shelter is free of charge. Female victims in fear of their safety who need to go to the shelter can call the City of Lawton dispatch center at 581-3271, the front desk at 581-3270, or the domestic violence hotline at 357-2500. Information will be provided about the shelter and other available services. The police can provide transportation to the shelter when necessary.


 

 

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Victims of domestic abuse may qualify for financial assistance if medical bills are incurred as a result of a domestic abuse assault. Assistance may also be provided for victims of other crimes if certain criteria are met. For more information, call the District Attorney's Victim Witness Center at 585-4417 or go by the Comanche County Courthouse located at 315 SW 5th Street, Room 201A, during business hours.


 

 

HOW TO OBTAIN AN EMERGENCY PROTECTIVE ORDER

A victim of domestic abuse may complete a protective order form at Marie Detty.  A staff member of Marie Detty Youth & Family Service Center, Inc./New Directions will provide the protective order forms and assistance for completing them.  We will accompany the victim to District court to file the petition and provide support/advocacy at the victim’s request.  We are open for business Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm including holidays.   For questions and office location, the phone number for Marie Detty/New Directions is 357-6141.

 

Any victim of domestic abuse may file for a protective order in the county that the victim resides, the county in which the defendant resides or in the county in which the domestic abuse took place. 

 

No filing fee is charged at the time the petition is filed.  The court may assess court costs and filing fees to either party at the hearing on the petition.

 

When the District Court is open for business, a victim of domestic abuse may file for a protective order with the District Court Clerk.  In Comanche County, the district Court Clerk is located in Room 504 of the County Court House.  The number for the Center is 355-4017.

       If the District Court is not open and an arrest has been made of a person who is reasonably believed to have committed an act of domestic abuse within the preceding 72 hours, an officer can assist a victim in obtaining an emergency temporary order of protection.  The victim must appear at the District Court Clerk office on the next court day at 10:00 a.m.

      For any protective order to be legal and binding, the order must be in effect and must have been properly served.

 

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF COMANCHE COUNTY

 The law defining the terms of a protective order is summarized below.  If the facts in your case do not fit within the following guidelines, the judge hearing your case cannot grant the relief you seek.  If you still desire to file for a protective order you may be required to pay $141.00 court cost even though the judge denies your request.

 

Petition based on Domestic Abuse:  Individuals seeking a protective order for “domestic abuse” must prove:

1.       Relationship:  The plaintiff and defendant fall within one of the following classes:

Family or household members:  Spouses, ex-spouses, present spouse of ex-spouses; parents, including foster parents; Children (13 years of age or older for defendants, 16 years of age or older for plaintiffs); persons otherwise related by blood or marriage (brothers, sisters, brother-in-laws, sister-in-laws, etc.); persons who are living or have lived in the same household (roommates, etc.)

2.       Harm:

The defendant physically harmed the plaintiff/victim or threatened the plaintiff/victim with imminent physical harm, and unless a Protective Order is issued, the victim will be in danger of domestic abuse.  “Domestic Abuse” means any act of physical harm, or the threat of imminent physical harm, which is committed by an adult, emancipated minor age thirteen (13) years of age or older against another adult, emancipated minor child who are family or household members, or who are or were in a dating relationship.

 Petition based on Stalking:  Individuals seeking a protective order for “stalking” must prove the following elements:

1.  Willful, malicious and repeated following of the plaintiff/victim.

2.  Defendant’s “intent” to place the plaintiff/victim in reasonable fear of death or great bodily injury.

 

Petition based on Harassment:  Individuals seeking a protective order for “harassment” must have one of the following relationships with the defendant:

1.     Family or household member or,

2.     An individual who is or has been involved in a dating relationship with the person.

 

Individuals must be able to prove the following elements:

1. A knowing and willful course or pattern of conduct (therefore, not a single incident);

2. Directed specifically at the plaintiff/victim;

3. Which seriously alarms or annoys the plaintiff/victim;

4. Which serves no legitimate purpose (e.g. telephone calls to collect child support are legitimate);

5. Conduct which would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress and causes the plaintiff/victim too suffer distress; and

6. Conduct, which causes the plaintiff/victim to fear death or bodily injury.

 

Title 22 Oklahoma Statutes Section 60.2C - No filing fee shall be charged the plaintiff at the time the petition is filed.  The court may assess court costs and filing fees to either party at the hearing on the petition.

 

YOU ARE ON NOTICE THAT SHOULD YOU PROCEED TO A HEARING FOR A PROTECTIVE ORDER, WHETHER THE JUDGE GRANTS SUCH AN ORDER OR NOT, YOU STILL MAY BE REQUIRED TO PAY UP TO  $141.00  IN  COURT COSTS.