I recently had a provisional hearing and at that time I was represented by a lawyer. During that time I told him I didn’t agree on certain things and he told me he wasn’t going to try to “sell” me on it any further but went into court and did the very thing he said he wasn’t trying to sell me on. He also dismissed me when I told him I didn’t agree with what was happening by waving his hand at me. In essence my husband, whom I have a protective order against and who has a history of abuse ,was given more rights because I wasn’t given the opportunity to speak. My lawyer later apologized and stated that it was his fault that it happened. I’m seriously considering going pro se because of everything that has transpired. If I do, am I able to tell the judge about the abuse and how it has effected the family and my husbands lack of interest in the children until now? I was told by another lawyer that I can’t bring anything in the past up, only anything that has happened after that first hearing. Also, I feel like I have valid reasons to file for a complaint against my lawyer. What are your thoughts on that? Also, my husband has broke the modified protective order we made in court. Do you think the judge will take that into consideration, particularly since he did that the day after it was modified?
I am assuming you have a domestic violence protective order (DVPO) in place. If a permanent DVPO was entered pursuant to a trial/hearing with witnesses, or if it was entered by consent of both parties, then you will not have the opportunity to go back and explain the facts and circumstances of your case. If a permanent order has not yet been entered, then you would still have the opportunity to present your case to the judge. For DVPOs, initial permanent orders are only valid for one year.
If you believe your lawyer has violated a Rule of Professional Conduct, then you may contact the North Carolina State Bar.
If you have a renewal hearing for the DVPO then you can bring up all instances that your husband has violated the order. You can also call law enforcement at any time that he violates the order and/or you can file contempt motions (motion and order to appear and show cause). A judge will take into consideration that your husband violated it the day it was entered.
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest
Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here
The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.