Domestic Violence

questions & answers

Question: I have an order of protection against my ex. I have filed for bankruptcy. I have a lawsuit the he filed against me, and I a counter suit against him. I've included his lawsuit against me in my bankruptcy; even though it never went to trial. His attorney wants a deposition with me with his client present - which is whom I have the order of protection against. What are my legal rights to protect myself? I don't want to meet in my attorneys office because I am afraid of this man. Any suggestions? Thank you in advance.

Answer: This is a difficult situation, and also comes up in other kinds of cases, too, such as family court. You could start by asking the opposing lawyer if you can attend by phone or videoconference, such as Skype or iMeet. The attorney will probably refuse, either because s/he's old-fashioned and doesn't know how to think outside the box, doesn't care about DV, doesn't understand DV, or simply doesn't believe that your allegation is true (and enjoys the thought of making you miserable). If you get a refusal, you should consider filing a motion with the bankruptcy court that cites your OOP, explains that you understand the attorney's right to conduct a deposition, but asks the court to either permit your own appearance by phone or video ... or that forces your abuser to appear the same way and forbids *him* to attend in person. Or ask for an order that gives him a choice. There really is no reason for the attorney to complain. He can transmit deposition exhibits to you in advance of the process, so they can be easily referred to during the actual questioning. And if he's honest, he will have to admit that depositions are taken by remote electronic means *all* the time. If they can do it for people who are ill, immobile, out-of-state, out of the country, or incarcerated, they can do it for you out of respect for a valid protective order. In the end, though, you have to understand that the bankruptcy judge may refuse, too. A lot depends on how enlightened or educated the court is, and whether it has encountered this situation before. Good luck!

QUESTIONS

  • I have an order of protection against my ex. I have filed for bankruptcy. I have a lawsuit the he filed against me, and I a counter suit against him. I've included his lawsuit against me in my bankruptcy; even though it never went to trial. His attorney wants a deposition with me with his client present - which is whom I have the order of protection against. What are my legal rights to protect myself? I don't want to meet in my attorneys office because I am afraid of this man. Any suggestions? Thank you in advance.

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