Everything You Need to Know About How a Restraining Order Is Served
Dealing with an abusive spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, parent, or child can be incredibly difficult. On one hand, you love them and want them around. On the other hand, their behaviors are so scary that you can't fathom staying in the relationship for another minute. Perhaps someone you're in an intimate relationship with has crossed the line and physically or sexually assaulted you. As a victim of domestic violence, sexual violence, or other harassment, you have the right to demand the abuser stay away from you.
In order to keep you and your children safe, you may want to request a restraining order. This is a court document called which details what the individual can and cannot do with regards to contacting you.
What you may not realize is that there are different procedures for providing the abuser with the restraining order paperwork, depending upon where you live. The process of is much easier when you enlist the help of DoNotPay. In fact, everything is easier with the world's first robot lawyer.
What Is a Restraining Order and How Does It Work?
A is basically instructions from a judge directing a person to do (or not to do) something. Restraining orders can be used for a variety of reasons including:
- Domestic Violence - Personal protective orders may be issued to victims of domestic violence in an effort to keep the abuser from causing further harm or damage to the victim. Domestic Violence Protective Orders (DVPO) are often issued on an emergency basis to protect victims immediately.
- Non-Criminal Protective Orders- Used in situations such as requiring property owners to stop activities are a public nuisance. Civil lawsuit parties may also be issued restraining orders so they leave each other alone per the agreements.
Regardless of the type of restraining order you're obtaining, the order must be issued by a judge in order for it to be legal and valid.
How Do I Get a Restraining Order?
In most states, in order to get a restraining order against someone you'll need some key pieces of information and you'll need to follow a procedure. Keep in mind every state, county, and even some cities have their own unique policies regarding restraining orders. There is no cost to file a restraining order. However, it will often look something like this:
- The victim or potential victim applies to a judge to require the abuser to perform a specific act such as staying away, having no contact with you, or another restriction.
- The individual requesting a restraining order must provide proof that a protective order is necessary to protect them from harm. In domestic abuse situations, this may simply be a sworn statement from the victim.
- The judge will generally issue a temporary restraining order immediately which typically lasts for a week or so.
- The defendant (abuser, harasser, or stalker) is served restraining order papers and a court date is set to determine future steps.
- Both parties appear in court to determine whether the restraining order should be dismissed, temporarily increased, or permanently put in place.
How Is a Restraining Order Served?
One of the most confusing parts of getting a restraining order against someone that's hurt you or threatened to hurt you is serving the paperwork. What exactly does that mean and are you going to have to face your abuser during the process?
When you serve someone a restraining order, it means that you've given them notice that court papers have been filed against them. It's vitally important that this step is fulfilled in order for the court and law enforcement to be able to enforce it. When serving someone a restraining order:
- You CAN NOT serve the paperwork yourself.
- You can pay someone to serve the order.
- A friend, relative, or acquaintance can serve the order.
- You may have the person served using registered mail.
- A law enforcement officer may serve certain types of orders.
What Happens if the Restraining Order Can't Be Served?
It is important to understand that a restraining order goes into effect as soon as the judge has signed it. That means it can be enforced immediately, even if it hasn't been served yet. However, the type of enforcement actions they'll take depend upon whether or not the individual has been served.
Law enforcement may arrest your abuser if they directly violate a restraining order IF they have been served with the proper paperwork. If you haven't served them yet, the police will inform them of the order and, unless there's a crime or assault, will let them go.
Check Your State's Restraining Order Laws
Every state has its own unique laws when it comes to restraining orders. If you're dealing with someone who won't leave you alone or who has hurt you, don't take any chances. Learn about your state's restraining order laws today so you can protect yourself later:
DoNotPay Can Help You File for a Restraining Order
If you're in an abusive relationship, if someone is harassing or stalking you, or if you feel as though your children are in danger, get help right away. Don't let the process intimidate you. You can escape your abuser and get on with your life starting today with the world's first robot lawyer.
How to apply for a restraining order with the help of DoNotPay:
- Search for relationship protection on DoNotPay.
- Answer a few easy questions on our File a Restraining Order product.
- Submit the form and you’re done!
Once you've completed these simple steps, DoNotPay will compile all of the forms you need to file for a restraining order in your jurisdiction. In short order, you'll be legally protected from harm.
File for a Restraining Order Anywhere With DoNotPay
Has your stalker followed you to another state? Have you relocated to get away from an abusive ex and you're concerned for your safety? No matter where you move to, you can count on DoNotPay to help you file for a restraining order. We can help you get a restraining order in Texas, file for personal protection in California, or keep a stalker away in Florida.
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