Protect Orders, Teens & Protective Orders, Family Law, Juvenile Law, Schools.

What To Do When… Teens and Protective Orders.

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WTDW Podcast | Episode 55: What To Do When… Teens and Protective Orders.

What To Do When… Intro 00:01
Welcome to What To Do When… A podcast from real lawyers with real perspective, where we explore a variety of legal issues and scenarios. Each week we focus on a new topic and discuss what to do when and if any of these legal scenarios ever happened to you or a loved one. With over 40 years of combined legal experience, our hosts offer their unique perspectives and insights on a range of real life legal situations.

Jackie Critzer 0:29
Hi, there, welcome back to Critzer Cardani. A podcast here in Richmond, Virginia. I’m Jackie…

Scott Cardani 0:34
I’m Scott, what’s on the docket for today, Jackie?

Jackie Critzer 0:38
What To Do When… Teens and Protective Orders.

Scott Cardani 0:44
Yeah, man, this is becoming a really big topic, I think. I’ve ran into this so much in the last six months, it’s kind of getting to be a big deal. It’s what we thought we’d have a podcast on this. And what we’re talking about, as usually as in the context of school, usually has something to do with either relationship issues or bullying issues or something like that. And we’re, either your child is the victim of a situation and you want them protected from the other student, or your student, your child, somebody else says is doing something to them, and they want protection. So this is a really, really, really messy situation, no matter how it plays out. So it’s, there’s a lot of issues here that need to be thought about. So let’s talk about first, if you’re a parent, you feel like you need to get a protective order to protect your child.

Jackie Critzer 1:34
I’m not sure that there’s a lot of reality and in protective orders in the context of a high school. And let me just explain why I think that. I perhaps don’t think that protective orders are the number one solution. I don’t think they’re in the top five solutions for young people. I think they make sense in other contexts, but let me tell you why. If you’re in a high school setting, maybe you’re at a pep rally, maybe you’re in band together, maybe you’ve gone to the school play, maybe you’re sitting in the lunchroom, there’s just this is a small environment, that these people are going to be near each other guaranteed. They’re just going to be near each other.

Scott Cardani 2:12
In the hallway…

Jackie Critzer 2:13
You’re going, they’re going to see each other so what happens? The student who has said, hey, you’ve done this to me and I should have a protective order, you should be so many feet away from me and so on so forth. I believe that that that trolled me with that child has been victimized in one way or another. But in a protective order setting, I think they’re, they’re further putting a target on their back, maybe not by the person who victimized them maybe by other people. But I think you’re just creating a situation a false sense of security, also for the for the victim, because it really is just a piece of paper. And granted, there are major consequences when that piece of paper is violated when they break the protective order when they come close. And then they’re supposed to when they call when they send a smoke signal, when they send a text message, contact them on Instagram, send an email, the list goes on. Okay, make any kind of contact, there are serious consequences as well. So I for teenagers, I just feel like it’s not the best vehicle.

Scott Cardani 3:13
But I will agree that sometimes it’s very necessary, you got to have something sometimes. And so, you know, this is where you need to contact a professional go through it. I feel like schools have gotten less and less helpful in these situations, quite frankly, I had a protective order recently, we’re the school made my client move out of the classes that he chose because of a situation with another kid because they didn’t want to enter into an issue with the other kid because of his situation. And it’s just a really unfair kind of situation that way. Like for instance, I’m the guy sitting in class who’s being bullied every day. And they want me to move out of the class. And I’m I love professor, teacher, John. And, you know, I’ve been waiting to take his class forever in ceramics. And now listen, I have to get out of ceramics because somebody is bullying me. And I do see that a lot. I see schools making very poor choices on whose side they take in these situations and how they handle them. And for some, I just want to say this too. I know it’s a hard thing for them to it’s a very hard, difficult road. But we you know, we talk about victims all the time we talk about victimization, and then we’re victimized and somebody who’s already a victim again. And so but as Jackie said, these are really tricky wickets. So cell phones is the biggest problem. They are texting in group texts out of their group texts. All of a sudden you got some kid who was in a group chat this Alright, let’s put it this way. I’m gonna be clear. So Jackie starts a group text with 50 kids about going to maybe it’s a sporting event, maybe it’s perfect or maybe yeah, or maybe she is on the football team. And I’m like kicker. So she’s on a football team and she’s scheduling a meeting. So in the two people involved in the project were both the victim and the other guy. In that, so you have Caleb, who’s Of course, the victim. And then Johnny, who is, for some reason has a protective order. So, you know, in that text goes out to everybody. And then Johnny responds, Kayla has a violation of protective order. And as a parent, you’re like, that’s really not what I’m after. Here. I’m trying to get my in. It wasn’t Jackie’s fault that she doesn’t probably even know about the protective order. So she’s not trying to get anybody involved. But those are the things and it social media posting, and all these group chats to group tax, everything like that. And even this, it’s just Facebook, post, Instagram posts, whatever it is, can all be involved in this nightmare.

Jackie Critzer 5:40
So the better question for me is, what’s the solution when a protective order exists? And you can get well, first of all, your, your 16 year old can’t go get a protective order.

Scott Cardani 5:40
Why not?

Jackie Critzer 5:44
Well, the law says that the parent is the next friend, so you have to be 18. Okay, so you the the parent, which I think most of the people listening today are probably parents of teenagers or young people, you have to go and say, This is why protective order is necessary, and you swear out an affidavit and you you do it as next friend, because you don’t need a protective order against the teenager your teenager needs protect for. So you have to be involved. It’s not like they can just go and do this, thankfully, because that would really, really be bad. But the better question for me is what is an alternative solution. And I’ll tell you, I’m not sure that I’m I’m great at conflict resolution isn’t a problem most of the time, but when we’re talking about high school, which I have kids in high school, four kids in high school, it’s just not as easy as pulling them into the counselor’s office, like when they were in fifth grade. And they, you know, pass a note and they didn’t like each other and they wanted to go beat each other up on the playground. Now going and beating each other up on the playground and high school just looks very different. You’re talking about assault and battery, you’re talking about serious criminal charges. And I don’t really have a great solution. But I don’t know that protective orders are in the top of that.

Scott Cardani 7:04
And you got to understand that, you know, these things, the way that juvenile court looks at these things, too, is, you know, even when somebody gets a protective order, it’s supposed to be a way a means of educating them and getting them into a better place. It’s not supposed to be a punishment vehicle in the juvenile court. Even when we technically when you get a crime in the juvenile court, it’s supposed to be restorative justice. It’s supposed to get you back to a good place. So when you when you’re thinking that you got this protective order to be punitive, and then the judge isn’t that punitive, you kind of get a false result. Like you’re saying, you’re hoping for this big, big result. And you don’t get this big results. Because the judge is like, Well, you got to 16 year olds here for hormone filled and making dumb decisions. Do I really want to throw this kid in jail for 30 days? Because he made a mistake?

Jackie Critzer 7:50
Well, I’m and so in what circumstances would a parent and their teenager maybe go seek a protective order against a wrongdoer?

Scott Cardani 7:57
You know, that’s our again, I think it’s very, I think it’s very specific, like we talked about all time, we tailor our solutions to the people. And I think, for me to give that general advice is really hard. I mean, I’ve seen kids get really beat up really bad. And, you know, and that’s happened to, you know, started out with some bullying, but it’s been an ongoing thing with this one guy picking on another guy, I think it may be in that case where the kid can’t find peace, and he’s living in hell every day. I think that’s maybe something that depending again, on the circumstances, like you said, you gotta be careful, it’s not gonna make more spectrum, right. And all those kinds of things, you remember, kids in schools can kind of be like pirahnas, you know, you get one bite, and then at five other kids are on you. So you don’t want to be that situation. So you, you really got to know your environment, you really got to know your school, you need to need to actually even know where your kid is in the social pecking order, so to speak, and how that’s going to all work out. So all those things to me are super important when you’re crafting a result. I think the other side of this that we haven’t talked about is victimization. And, you know, a lot of people don’t like to even talk about this. But you know, one of the things we have to do is give our kids tools in our tool bag, so they don’t become victims, and if they are out ways out of it, and that’s a really good thing, get them so maybe counseling of how to deal with it if you don’t have the answers, but how to deal with it. If you’re being picked on don’t put up with it immediately report. For instance, a protective order is not good if you don’t report it. But you have the same power report if he’s continually doing something to you and, and we handle that to say for instance, Jackie, Jackie has Caleb watching us, Kayla, but Caleb is getting picked on every day, every day, every day every day. I mean, they’re pushing him and stuff and then the lockers and creating all kinds of problems for Caleb and it’s just he doesn’t wanna go to school anymore because it’s just a nightmare. So he’s gone and reported it. He reports and every time it happens, he has friends may be looking out for when we were reporting it schools not doing anything. That might be a conversation for us to see what we can do to the school to maybe move this into a different position.

Jackie Critzer 9:59
We’re seeing Then on the school bus to so we’re noting and seeing that even though there are cameras on the school buses, and even though there are bus drivers who are the extension of the school, not a lot being done when kids are getting in fights or getting in some kind of scuffle on the bus, and they’re the bullying on the buses, and it’s in, it’s everywhere. It’s so widespread, is it’s terrible. But again, you’re putting yourself I mean, the kids are going to be on that bus every single day unless a kid gets kicked off the bus. And what does it take to make that happen? I mean, it just can really run you down a rabbit hole. So you don’t want to be the victim and you want to stand up for yourself, but then are you going to be the subject of a protective order because you pop somebody because you’ve been bullied for two weeks. I mean, they’re really, you know, teenagers and humans, that’s human can really get themselves, I think, jammed up. So I think it’s important in the context of a protective order before you go seek one for your teenager, I would say reach out to us, or if your teenager has been in receipt of a protective order. Again, that’s another situation where you want to get some help involved.

Scott Cardani 11:06
I want to add one more thing. relationship dynamics in high school are very tough. And that’s one of the biggest areas I’m seeing in when boyfriend and girlfriend have been together forever, and one of them breaks up and the other one, almost out of spite, once you get a protective order. I see some real reasons to do that. I’m not saying it’s not all that. But there’s both and you know, you as a parent, I think it’s very important to be on top of your children’s relationship that they become abusive, to take appropriate steps, make sure your daughter or your sons, okay? I mean, we’re really seeing a lot of that we’re seeing kids who don’t have boundaries anymore, they don’t understand. I think cell phones have eliminated some boundary issues that we had naturally when I was a kid. Because you would say whatever you want, and there’s no consequence to that. So then they keep going and going and going and all sudden, they get themselves in trouble. So, you know, I just encourage you, as a parent to monitor some of that, make sure your kids are alright, make sure you’re seeing what they’re putting online, obviously, you don’t need to spy and see every little thing they say but teaching them like it’s not alright, to just fly off the handle on on the internet every time you want to. It’s not okay to make call names. It’s not okay to do things like that. And, you know, I raise boys and girls, and it’s you know, you have to have those conversations. And you just have to say, your words that you think are funny might be very hurtful for somebody and may cause a problem that you didn’t want to happen. So be aware. Be aware of your relationships, because right now I see a lot of issues in relationships, turning into protective orders, turning in assaults, turning and all kinds of stuff, and a lot of heartache for parents and you know what happens in a protective order. One last thing I’m gonna say really important here is say, I get a protective order against Jackie because She smacked me 18 times in our relationship and the judges just gives us one. Then I’m over here going like haha, gotcha, texting you in case and you and I will get in trouble for that. Which is one of my pet peeves about protective orders because it’s a one way street. But if I respond, if you respond when you’re down the road, and you can’t go to a judge, she said this to me first. He’s gonna say she didn’t have protect order.

Jackie Critzer 13:07

Scott Cardani 13:07
So I you know, just be careful. All those things we want you to be very aware of project for us. We want to offer our expertise. You know, we’ve been doing this a long time, but we don’t always have the answer. And once it will be honest with you, we don’t feel like there’s a good solution. Or we might tell you, hey, this may not be a good solution there.

Jackie Critzer 13:23
And so what you need to know is as if you’re protecive order if your teenager or anyone has been served with a protective order, immediately make contact with an attorney, especially us. So we can help you get from that stage to the next court date. And then also, if you are interested in seeking a protective order for your student, reach out to us see if we can’t come up with a solution that makes sense for you.

Scott Cardani 13:48
Remember to like and subscribe.

Jackie Critzer 13:50
Thank you.

Scott Cardani 13:51
Have a good day.

What To Do When… Outro 13:54

We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of What To Do When… For more episodes, be sure to subscribe to our podcast and we encourage you to check archives to listen to previous topics. Tune in next week for a new episode and some fresh perspective from Critzer Cardani.

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We look forward to helping you in this venture and Good Luck!