WHEN SHOULD A RESPONDENT CONSENT?

by: Mace H. Greenfield

Often, a respondent consents to the entry of an order of protection against him or her, neither admitting nor denying the allegations in the petition as advised by his or her attorney or convinced by the petitioner’s attorney or the Judge. Very often such petitions could have been defeated. Before consenting, one must consider, inter alia: the possibility of losing on the merits (even if you never did the act you are accused of) and the prejudice which may then occur; the cost to go to trial and the respondent’s ability to afford this expense; and the bitterness of the petitioner which may lead to unwarranted or “entrapped” violations being filed. Most of all, consider the children, if any.

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