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Georgia Code - Criminal Procedure - Title 17, Section 17-17-16

Legal Research Home > Georgia Laws > Criminal Procedure > Georgia Code - Criminal Procedure - Title 17, Section 17-17-16

(a) As used in this Code section, the term:

(1) 'Course of conduct' spans a series of acts over a period of time, however short, indicating a continuity of purpose.

(2) 'Harassment' means a course of conduct directed at a specific person that causes substantial emotional distress in such person.

(b)(1) A superior court, upon application of a prosecuting attorney, shall issue a temporary restraining order prohibiting harassment of a victim or witness in a criminal case if the court finds from specific facts shown by affidavit or by verified complaint that there are reasonable grounds to believe that harassment of an identified victim or witness in a criminal case exists or that such order is necessary to prevent and restrain an offense under Code Section 16-10-32 or 16-10-93.

(2)(A) A temporary restraining order may be issued under this Code section without written or oral notice to the adverse party or such party´s attorney in a civil action under this Code section if the court finds, upon written certification of facts by the prosecuting attorney, that such notice should not be required and that there is a reasonable probability that the state will prevail on the merits.

(B) A temporary restraining order issued without notice under this Code section shall be endorsed with the date and hour of issuance and be filed forthwith in the office of the clerk of the court issuing the order.

(C) A temporary restraining order issued under this Code section shall expire at such time, not to exceed ten days from issuance, as the court directs. The court, for good cause shown before expiration of such order, may extend the expiration date of the order for up to ten days or for such longer period agreed to by the adverse party.

(D) When a temporary restraining order is issued without notice, the motion for a protective order shall be set down for hearing at the earliest possible time and takes precedence over all matters except older matters of the same character; and at the hearing, if the prosecuting attorney does not proceed with the application for a protective order, the court shall dissolve the temporary restraining order.

(E) If on two days´ notice to the prosecuting attorney or on such shorter notice as the court may prescribe, the adverse party appears and moves to dissolve or modify the temporary restraining order, the court shall proceed to hear and determine such motion as expeditiously as the ends of justice require.

(F) A temporary restraining order shall set forth the reasons for the issuance of such order, be specific in terms, and describe in reasonable detail and not by reference to the complaint or other document the act or acts being restrained.

(c)(1) A superior court, upon motion of the prosecuting attorney, shall issue a protective order prohibiting harassment of a victim or witness in a criminal case if the court, after a hearing, finds by a preponderance of the evidence that harassment of an identified victim or witness in a criminal case exists or that such order is necessary to prevent and restrain an offense under Code Section 16-10-32 or 16-10-93.

(2) At the hearing referred to in paragraph (1) of this subsection, any adverse party named in the complaint shall have the right to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses.

(3) A protective order shall set forth the reasons for the issuance of such order, be specific in terms, and describe in reasonable detail and not by reference to the complaint or other document the act or acts being restrained.

(4) The court shall set the duration of effect of the protective order for such period as the court determines necessary to prevent harassment of the victim or witness but in no case for a period in excess of three years from the date of such order´s issuance. The prosecuting attorney may, at any time within 90 days before the expiration of such order, apply for a new protective order under this Code section.

(d) Article 5 of Chapter 11 of Title 9, relating to depositions and discovery, shall not apply to actions brought pursuant to this Code section.

Last modified: April 25, 2006