Part of the challenge of defending yourself from a false allegation is understanding the legal terminology that is being used. These are many of the words you are likely to hear:
- Continuance — The postponement of a hearing.
- Counter-petition – The request by the respondent to get an order against the petitioner.
- Defendant – The person against whom the complaint is made (under criminal law).
- Ex parte – A decision that is made by a judge with only one party present. “Ex parte” is Latin term that means “from one party.” Most temporary orders are issued on an ex parte basis.
- Expunge – To clear your criminal record of the accusation.
- Finding – Legal conclusion made by the judge whether you committed domestic violence.
- Injunction — A court order that orders a person to do or avoid doing a certain act.
- Petition – The request for a restraining order.
- Petitioner – The person who requests the restraining order.
- Plaintiff – The person who makes the accusation (under criminal law).
- Pro se – When a person represents himself or herself without a lawyer in a court proceeding.
- Proceeding – The sequence of steps by which a legal judgment is reached.
- Respondent – The person who is named in the order as the alleged abuser.
- Serve – The act of delivering or presenting the restraining order to the respondent.
- Vacate the order – To discontinue or stop the order.
When you are working to refute a false allegation, you are forced to operate in a different world with new procedures and vocabulary. If you hear words that you don’t understand, be sure to ask your attorney or search for them on the Internet.
Click here to return to list of topics.