How Much Does It Cost to File a Restraining Order in Your State?

File a Restraining Order How Much Does It Cost to File a Restraining Order in Your State?

How Much Does a Restraining Order Cost In Your State?

You have the right to feel safe in your environment. Sadly, that's not always the case. Certain circumstances might jeopardize your safety, requiring you to seek a restraining order. However, before you do, how much does it cost for a restraining order?

It won't cost you a dime to apply and obtain a restraining order in all states. The truth is, getting a restraining order is an intimidating process, especially if it's the first time you've ever done it.

Where do you start? Do you need a lawyer? How exactly does it work? What's the cost, when you file it, its validity, and what are the requirements

What Is a Restraining Order, and How Does It Work?

A restraining order, also known as a protection order, is issued by the court to safeguard a person and the public against violence, sexual violence, stalking, harassment, human trafficking, assault, and child abuse.

Whether you are an adult or a minor, if you feel your safety is in jeopardy through the actions of another person, you should file for a restraining order as soon as you can. However, if you are a minor, the law requires an adult or legal guardian to accompany you while obtaining the order.

Different states have different categories and types of restraining orders, such as:

Types of Restraining OrdersUsed When:
Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO)It offers short-term protection and gives you a window to apply for a permanent order. In most cases, they are valid for 21 days.
Emergency Protective Orders (EPO)This order temporarily restraints an abuser from carrying out any actions against you, especially in domestic violence cases. The police mostly issue them, and their validity varies by state. For instance, a Kansas EPO lasts until 5 pm on the next business day the court opens, while a Kentucky EPO can last up to 14 days (check with your state to know the availability of an EPO in your state)
Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO)These protect you and your children (and pets in some states) against acts of domestic assault.
Workplace Violence Prevention Restraining OrderIf you are a victim of harassment or sexual abuse at the workplace, consider filing for this protection order.
Civil Harassment OrdersIf your abuser isn't someone you are closely related to, a civil harassment order will protect you from their actions.
Juvenile Restraining OrderProtects juveniles and minors from actions of abusers they aren't close or related to.
Dependent Adult or Elder Abuse OrdersIf you have a dependent or elderly suspect they are being abused, such as caregiver homes, you can file for this order.
Criminal Protective Order/Stay Away OrderIf the abuse has led to a criminal lawsuit, filing a stay-away order will ensure the defendant stays away from you throughout the proceedings.

Sure, the protection orders might differ by state, but the goals remain the same, to protect you, the protected person. Most of these restraining orders require the abuser (restricted person):

  • Cease all contact and communication with you, unless it's under limited circumstances such as child visitation
  • Keep off your home and surrounding areas, and maintain a distance of at least 300 feet/100 yards (the judge can grant more) from you if you are in the same vicinity.
  • Vacate your shared home
  • Surrender any weapons, especially firearms, and refrain from purchasing any for the period the order is in effect.
  • Attend a violence counseling session, such as Kansas batterers' sessions, or anger management
  • Adhere to any temporary custody orders and child visitation rules
  • Provide child support and spousal support if you were married
  • Meet your legal fees
  • Refrain from any forms of abuse or perpetuate human trafficking against you
  • Follow any other rules set by the judge.

Suppose the restricted person violates the protection order in most cases. In that case, they will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor attracting a jail term of one year or up to 46 months if they have violated an extended protection order or have prior violations.

Check Your State's Restraining Order Laws

It doesn't cost you a dime for a restraining order in all states and US territories. However, each state's specific restraining order laws are unique from the names, validity, and types of protection orders available. For instance, a final protection order is valid for one year in Kansas, while the same order is valid for three years in California. The names also vary; California calls them restraining orders, while Texas calls them orders of protection, and Florida names them injunctions for protection against domestic violence.

To confirm the specific restraining order laws in your state, refer to the table below:

TexasCaliforniaNew York
IllinoisNorth CarolinaOhio
GeorgiaVirginiaWashington State
ColoradoNew JerseyPennsylvania
South CarolinaMinnesotaAlabama
Washington DCKansasKentucky
LouisianaNew MexicoIdaho
Rhode IslandIowaNew Hampshire

How to Obtain a Restraining Order?

As for the price of a restraining order, the procedure for filing and obtaining the order is generally the same in all states. However, it's wise to check and confirm with the court's clerk in your state for any unique laws.

The general procedure involves:

  1. Obtaining and completing all necessary forms. You can obtain these forms from the court clerk's office or download them online from your web browser.
  2. Apply, and the judge will scrutinize it. If satisfied with your reasons for the protection order or believe you and your children are in immediate danger, you might receive a temporary/ex parte protection order valid for 21 days. You'll also receive a notice of hearing detailing the date and venue of the main hearing.
  3. The defendant is served. Once the judge issues a temporary order and notice of hearing, the court will use process servers, such as law enforcement or legal messenger.
  4. The hearing. Both parties present their arguments and evidence, including any video footage, photos, witness accounts and testimonies, reports from expert witnesses such as the police and medical staff.

Ensure you attend the hearing lest the judge invalidates the claim. In some cases, the judge can also rule if the defendant is absent during the hearing.

You cannot skip any of these steps. You have to utilize a lot of time and resources to fill out the forms, queue at the courthouse for hours, intermingle with various people who might go against health protocols.

Furthermore, you have to balance being off work, heading to court throughout the entire period, and making numerous follow-up calls. What if you don't know how to download or fill out online forms? There's no telling what can go wrong or cause the process to be unsuccessful.

With our faster, more convenient, automated, less frustrating way, you will have your protection order in no time.

What Happens After a Restraining Order Hearing?

Apart from knowing the price of a restraining order, you should also know what to do after the hearing:

If successful, ensure you understand the contents of the protection order. Make copies and distribute them accordingly, such as security guards at home or your children's school.

If unsuccessful:

  • Appeal at a higher court
  • Seek help and support from the various abuse and support programs in your state
  • Hire a lawyer for legal advice and support
  • Deploy DoNotPay to boost your odds of obtaining the protection order

Obtain a Restraining Order With the help of DoNotPay  

Now you know how much for a restraining order. But with the challenges you might face in your DIY methods when obtaining the order, there's a chance you might fail.

By following these simple steps, you can increase your chances of success:

  1. Search for relationship protection on DoNotPay. 
  2. Answer a few easy questions on our File a Restraining Order product. 
  3. Submit the form and you're done! 

DoNotPay Is Your Best Bet at Obtaining Your Restraining Order

Knowing the price of a restraining order is just the beginning. You still need to follow the processes set by the courts to obtain the order. To avoid all the hassle and challenges, DoNotPay gives you the best bet of success cos it is:

  • Lighting fast and convenient
  • Little to no forms to complete and fill
  • Guaranteed success
  • Connect and obtain protection orders from different states with the click of a button

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

After finding out how much a restraining order is, there's much more our platform can help you with. Whether you are looking for Airline Flight Compensation Hacks, Close a Bank Account, or apply for a Hunting License, you bet we can help you handle all that.

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