Molestation accusations against Michael Jackson: How an order of protection can help prevent sexual abuse

Jul 23, 2013 | Orders of Protection

According to the news, yet another case has arisen involving the molestation of a minor over the course of many years. This time, the molester happens to be a well-known celebrity-Michael Jackson. Jackson has once again been accused of molesting a young boy, Wade Robson, for 7 years, beginning at the age of 7. Questions have been posed in regards to Jackson getting away with the molestation for years without being caught. One maid has testified that she did, however, catch Jackson and Robson showering together. The details about her involvement with the case are unknown; however her witness brings up a valuable concern that needs to be addressed.

In the case of Robson v. Jackson, the maid had the legal right to file an order of protection on behalf of Robson. An order of protection is a court order designed to protect those being abused from further abuse. An order of protection may be filed against a family or household member who has committed acts of domestic violence against the person filing or a minor child.

Anyone can file for an order of protection on behalf of a minor child who has been abused by a family or household member. In this particular case, the maid could have petitioned the court for an order of protection against Michael Jackson in order to protect Wade Robson from further abuse.

To obtain an order of protection you must first fill out a verified petition for order of protection and file it with the county clerk. There is no filing fee for filing a petition for an order of protection. If you are filing out the petition on behalf of a minor child, you need to put your name as the petitioner. A judge will then hear your case for the order of protection the same day. You do NOT need to notify the abuser that you filed the petition.

When your case is called, the judge will determine whether to grant the order of protection based on the evidence you provide. If the judge does grant the order of protection and the abuser is not present the judge will grant an emergency order of protection (EOP). An EOP typically only lasts two weeks. The two weeks gives the abuser time to be notified before the next court date.

At the next court date, you will be asking the court to grant a plenary order of protection. A plenary order of protection can last up to two years. To obtain the plenary order of protection you must present evidence to the judge that the child is being abused by a family or household member. At this court date, the abuser is expected to show up if they wish to contest the order of protection.

If you are filing on behalf of a minor, you will need to be an active participant throughout this process. If you know of abuse against a minor and do not want to get as involved as filing an order of protection requires, you can still do something about the abuse. You can call DCFS and report the abuse. DCFS then will take the necessary steps to investigate the accusation and protect the child.

For more information on filing an order of protection for yourself or a minor please feel free to contact The Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler in Rockford, IL at 815-981-4859 for a free consultation. Please note, the above does not constitute legal advice. Please discuss your specific rights with an attorney in your own jurisdiction.