Protection or harassment orders (commonly known as restraining orders) are an important tool for victims of threats or harassment to have peace of mind. They build a layer of legal protection between a victim and a perpetrator. Unfortunately, like any legal tool, protection orders can also be misused. Courts can issue protection orders simply on the word of an alleged victim. A permanent protection order shows up on a criminal background check and can result in loss of the right to possess firearms under federal law. 18 U.S.C. 922. Any person who has a temporary protection order placed against them will be notified of their right to a court hearing to dispute the allegations and/or the need for an order. The notice to a hearing is usually in person but may also come by mail. Persons wishing to dispute the order must request a hearing, attend the hearing, and provide evidence or argument as to why the court should deny the request. Failure to request a hearing or appear will likely result in a permanent protection order. Whether you are in need of a protection order or wish to dispute a protection order placed against you, the Law Office of J. Robert Black can help.