How to Retrieve Personal Property When a No-Contact Has Been Issued

Some marriages end amicably, while others necessitate court intervention in order to keep one party safe from the other. When an individual does not take the prospect of divorce very well, he or she may resort to criminal behavior such as stalking, domestic violence, or harassment. When this occurs, the Texas courts issue a “no-contact” order—otherwise known as a protective order—which prohibits the unreasonable individual from having physical or verbal contact with his or her former spouse and children. The no-contact order specifies at what distance the defendant must remain from the victim, and expressly states that if violated for any reason, the defendant will receive a hefty fine, possible jail time, and a charge of a felony or misdemeanor.

When a no-contact is issued in the middle of a Dallas divorce, the defendant may find himself locked out of his own home and without any of his possessions. If you find yourself in this situation – locked out of your own home and unable to retrieve your possessions – consult with a Dallas divorce attorney before you make any attempts to retrieve your possessions on your own.

Retrieving Your Personal Property Via Legal Means

If you have been issued a no-contact order, but a majority of your possessions are within the home you shared with your spouse and kids, there are legal means of retrieving your property without violating the court order. The first thing you should do is carefully review your no-contact order to see if it addresses this issue. Some no-contact orders will provide a day, time, or method of retrieving your personal items. Others may specify that you may only retrieve your personal possessions when a law enforcement officer is present. Whatever the instructions say, it is imperative to your immediate future that you follow them to the exact letter.

If your protective order does not have any instructions regarding this issue, consult with your local law enforcement agency. They may have specific instructions for individuals to follow in the event that they have been dealt a no-contact order. Even if they do not have any instructions regarding the matter, a law enforcement officer can assist you in the retrieval of your items by escorting you to the property or even by retrieving the property for you.

If the local law enforcement agency is unwilling to provide assistance, you may be able to garner help from your former spouse’s lawyer. Have your lawyer contact the victim’s lawyer – or even the victim him or herself – and see if they would be willing to negotiate a time at which you could retrieve your items. At the very least, your lawyer may be able to convince the victim to gather your belongings and drop them off at a designated place for you to pick up later on.

Finally, if all else fails, you may need to seek court intervention. So long as the no-contact order was granted by a family court and not by a criminal court, you should be able to seek relief via the same courts that granted the order in the first place.

Retain the Help of a Dallas Divorce Attorney

At the Clark Law Group, our Dallas divorce attorneys can provide you with the legal assistance you need in both issuing a protective order, and in dealing with one brought against you. Our team is on your side, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that your rights are not violated throughout the entirety of your Dallas divorce. To consult with a Dallas divorce attorney today, contact our family law office at (214) 438-1152 today.

(image courtesy of Robby dela vega)

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