Ronnie Ortiz-Magro has been ordered to stay away from Jen Harley after an emergency protective order was placed due to his arrest, but a lawyer EXCLUSIVELY tells us why a restraining order also needs to be filed.
Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, 33, was put under an emergency protective order to stay at least 100 yards away from Jen Harley, 31, by the LAPD immediately after his arrest on Oct. 4, TMZ reported, but since it’s only in effect until Oct. 11, Jen needs to file for a temporary restraining order to keep him away, LA family lawyer David Pisarra EXCLUSIVELY explained to HollywoodLife. The on-again, off-again couple, who are parents to 18-month-old daughter Ariana, made headlines after Ronnie was arrested due to an alleged domestic dispute that had Jen allegedly literally running away from him outside, and now that he’s
“An emergency protective order is issued by a judge, over the phone,” Pisarra explained. “Usually it’s incident to an arrest, as in this case when Ronnie was arrested and the court looked at that and said there’s enough evidence at this point that we want to just make sure that everybody is safe. So, we’re going to issue an emergency five-day protective order and Jen has that protection for five days only. Those expire. So she has until Friday (Oct. 11) to go to court and file for a domestic violence restraining order that will protect her and the baby. That is a temporary order and that’s good for 21 days.”
If Jen decides to do this, there will be a court hearing, where Ronnie will get to tell his side of the story, on the date the restraining order expires. “At the 21st day, the court will hold a hearing where Ronnie will have opportunity to present his defense – his side of the story – and a judge will then determine whether or not a permanent restraining order will be put in place,” Pisarra said.
With all the media footage from the incident, Pisarra doesn’t think Jen will have any trouble getting a restraining order against Ronnie, but it really is up to her to take action. “Now, a permanent restraining order is good anywhere from six months to five years,” Pisarra continued. “So it’s not permanent forever. Given the fact that there’s video, there’s an arrest, there’s her statement, he is going to have a domestic violence restraining order issued against him unless the judge is blind, deaf, dumb and completely asleep during the entire proceeding. There’s no question in my mind that Jen is going to get a domestic violence restraining order, if she asks for one. And that’s the key – if she asks for it.”
Jen is currently protected under the emergency protective order for five days, as Pisarra said, but it doesn’t include Ariana. He went on to admit that he thinks that’s just because of an “oversight” but doesn’t think it’s needed since the tot is living with her mom and is therefore being protected that way. Although there is no order keeping Ronnie away from Ariana, Pisarra says it doesn’t matter as long as she stays with Jen. “In theory he could [have access to Ariana],” he admitted. “In theory that is correct, but there is no court order at this point either giving him a visitation or not giving him a visitation. So, right now, as long as that baby is with Jen, she’s got total control right now of what’s going to happen with that child and who’s going to be allowed to see it.”
“During the five days, when she goes to court and gets a domestic violence restraining order – the temporary one – once that’s issued that will cover the baby and that will give Jen sole legal and physical custody and then Ronnie can’t do anything until there’s an actual hearing in 21 days,” he went on. “On the temporary [domestic violence restraining order] the baby will be listed. There are two levels of temporary. That’s where stuff gets confusing. There’s the temporary emergency protective order for five days, where there was an oversight. The baby wasn’t listed. Then there’s the temporary for 21 days, where I’m sure the baby will be listed.”
Once that restraining order is put in place, Ronnie cannot appeal until the 21 days is over if he chooses to. “He’ll have a hearing in 21 days, if he doesn’t go forward with the criminal matter. Because there’s a criminal case pending – because he was arrested – he may or may not respond to the domestic violence restraining order, because he has a 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination,” Pisarra further explained. “Anything that he says in the civil case, in the domestic violence restraining order with Jen, could be used in the criminal case also. So he doesn’t want to make any statements in the civil court to the DVRO – the domestic violence restraining order – that could be used against him in the criminal case. So most lawyers, when we represent clients who have a criminal case pending, tell our clients, ‘Shut up. Say nothing. We’ll go into court on the hearing date and ask for a continuance, because there’s a criminal matter pending and that will take precedence.’”
“What that means is the court will most likely grant that request for a continuance and tell them, ‘Ronnie, we’re going to give you your continuance until your criminal stuff is fixed and completed but, the domestic violence restraining order protecting Jen and the baby is going to stay in place until that date,’” he said. “‘So you’re not going to get to see Jen and you’re not going to get to see the baby until this domestic violence restraining order is resolved.’”
As far as how long a continuance would last, Pisarra says it depends. “That is unknown, because each court has their own calendar,” he said. “Criminal courts tend to move fairly quickly, because we have constitutional protections for a speedy trial. However, on the civil side, the judge may be inclined to just push that through and push a hearing and not let Ronnie have more than one continuance. So they may give him one continuance but may not give him further ones, which could mean that Jen would go forward with her restraining order and Ronnie would not put forth a defense. That’s a possibility.”
The case is definitely complicated and has a lot of outcomes depending on future circumstances, but if Jen decides to not file charges against Ronnie and even reconcile with him, the entire case could be dropped. However, the caveat to that is the mandatory action that could be taken by professionals if Ariana is not properly protected. “It could all go away if they get back together again,” Pisarra said. “Unless the Department of Child and Family Services says, ‘No, we’re really concerned about the baby. Jen, you need to get a restraining order to protect that child from Ronnie, and if you don’t get a restraining order, we’re going to put the child in foster care.’ But Jen could lose the kid if the Department of Child and Family Services wants to protect the child and she wants to get back together with Ronnie, she could lose the baby.”
There’s no word yet on whether or not Ronnie and Jen will try to work things out as they did in the past but we’ll be updating with any new info that may come along.