I'm submitting this for posting fairly late on Monday night, knowing that it's supposed to go up Tuesday morning. I've had no chance to work on it today, and it has very little to do with my criminal case load. Why? Because unlike most prosecutors, an Assistant County Attorney also carries a civil case load.
My friend DAC gave his new cases late last week. My new cases came in about the same time, a stack about a foot thick, mostly possession of marijuana, theft, and assault. Pretty standard stuff for me. But in addition to all of that, in the last month I've done three juvenile adjudications, one mental commitment, three or four CPS cases, and filed six protective orders. If only all I had to worry about was my 92 criminal cases currently active on the docket!
Instead, nearly all of today was spent dealing with protective orders. In Texas, a protective order is granted when the judge finds that 1) family violence has occurred in the past and 2) family violence is likely to occur in the future. This is a civil hearing, not a criminal hearing. The person seeking a protective order is called the "petitioner" and the person that it's sought against is the "respondent." The findings are not required "beyond a reasonable doubt", testimony by the parties is usually very brief, and exhibits are rarely presented. However, what they lack in rigor they make up for in animosity between the parties. They're basically like a miniature divorce and/or child custody case, except the parties don't pay me anything. We had for of them scheduled for this afternoon.
Final tally? On two of them the respondent didn't show up after being served the paperwork, and thus a default order was entered against them. One person agreed to the protective order, and so the order was entered against him. One person contested it, had a lawyer appointed, and we get to do this allllll over again next week.
Along with the new protective order that we filed today...