Sapulpa, OK asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Civil Rights for Oklahoma

Q: Is it res judicata if a petition for protective order is the same as one 3yrs before?

a protective order was dismissed in a protective order trial for insufficient evidence in 2013 in tulsa on its merits. In 2016 in creek county almost identical merits were made in the petition. Is that dealing with subject matter jurisdiction? Because the petition was granted in 2017 barring an appeal. And is it subject matter jurisdiction if judge in creek county ordering final order was not the family judge of the fp case that was pending in tulsa at the time where law states it must be heard by when minor children are listed.

2 Lawyer Answers
Jessica Brown
Jessica Brown
Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Licensed in Oklahoma

A: You asked a lot of questions that would take quite a bit of time to explain. Putting it simply and reading between the lines some here, I'll say this...

VPOs under the Protection from Domestic Abuse Act in Oklahoma can be filed in the county where the domestic violence happened, where the petitioner lives, and/or where the respondent lives. There are other opportunities to bring a request for protective order inside a divorce and/or paternity action as well.

If a prior VPO was denied and a future VPO brings up a new incident, new danger, new concern, etc, then it's proper for the VPO to mention the prior allegations to give a history about what has transpired between the individuals.

If there is a pending divorce and/or paternity action in the same county, then the VPO is transferred to be heard with the divorce and/or paternity case after the initial evaluation of the emergency. Each county is different, but that's a rough description.

Timothy Carignan
Timothy Carignan
Answered
  • Purcell, OK
  • Licensed in Oklahoma

A: If the new protective order hearing was based on the same facts as the older hearing, and it had been heard before a judge (not dismissed or withdrawn), then a new hearing would be barred for res judicata. If there was a significant difference in facts (different charge, different date, etc.), then it's a whole new case to be heard on its own merits.

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