What Are the Reasons to Get a Restraining Order and How It Works

File a Restraining Order What Are the Reasons to Get a Restraining Order and How It Works

Top Reasons to Get a Restraining Order

When you think of a , you most likely think of a situation in which someone has been physically or emotionally harmed by another person and needs legal protection. While restraining orders are most commonly used in cases such as these, there are many reasons why someone might need one. In this post, we'll explore some of the most common reasons to get a restraining order.

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What Is a Restraining Order and How Does It Work?

A restraining order is a protection order that can be filed by a victim of harassment or violence. The purpose of the order is to protect the victim from future contact with the perpetrator and prevent them from engaging in any acts which could further harm the victim.

Many states require a court-approved record of a person's history of domestic abuse before an individual can file for a restraining order. An example of such a record might be police reports, references from doctors and social service workers, or testimony from other witnesses to the violence committed against the victim.

If an individual files for a restraining order and it is granted by the court, it legally prohibits any contact between the perpetrator and the victim. This means that the perpetrator cannot come within a certain distance of the victim and is not allowed to call, send letters, or otherwise attempt to contact them in any way. This also prevents the perpetrator from attending public gatherings such as sporting events and school activities in which the victim might also be present.

What Are the Types of Restraining Orders?

There are several different types of restraining orders, each with its separate requirements. A few examples include:

Types of Restraining OrdersUsed When:
Protection OrderA protection order is the simplest form of a restraining order and is often used in domestic abuse cases to protect one spouse or familial member from another.
Ex Parte Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)An ex parte temporary restraining order is a simpler process of obtaining a restraining order because the victim does not have to be present for it. It can also last longer than other restraining orders, lasting up to 14- 21 days.
"Permanent" Restraining OrderA "permanent" restraining order refers to an order that lasts for an extended period, usually one or two years. These are different from ex parte TROs in that they require both the perpetrator and the victim to attend court hearings before being put into place.
Domestic Violence Restraining OrderA domestic violence restraining order is a more complex form of restraining order that also includes requirements such as counseling and specific provisions. This is the type of restraining order that would be used by a victim of domestic abuse.

What's the Difference Between a Restraining Order and Police Charges?

When filing for a restraining order, it's important to note that getting a court-ordered protection order is not the same as pressing charges. Many states require individuals to file for a restraining order before they can press charges against their assailants. A restraining order is intended to protect the victim from violence or harassment, whereas pressing charges has more to do with punishing the perpetrator of those crimes.

Reasons to Get a Restraining Order

There are many reasons why someone would want or need a restraining order. Some of the most common include:

  • Domestic Violence

Domestic violence and spousal abuse may be the most common reasons to file for a restraining order. You should note that it's not just physical violence that qualifies you for this type of protection order. Emotional, verbal, and psychological abuse are forms of violence that can be included in a restraining order as well.

  • False Accusations

Sometimes people falsely accuse their assailants to have them punished for crimes they did not commit. If someone files a false police report about you, it's possible you could file for a restraining order against them. This would prevent them from filing any further reports. In the case of false accusations, it's always good to have evidence or witness testimony on your side to prove that you were not guilty of the crime they reported.

  • Stalking

If someone is stalking you and following you around, whether, at school or work, you may want to file for a restraining order. Stalking often leads to more serious crimes, such as rape or murder, so it's very important to take action.

Check Your State's Restraining Order Laws

Every state has its laws about restraining orders. This means that the requirements for getting a restraining order can be different in every state.

For example, in some states, you don't need to be present when you file for a restraining order. But in other states, you might have to go to court hearings before the restraining order is granted.

Washington DCKansasKentucky
TexasCaliforniaNew York
IllinoisNorth CarolinaOhio
GeorgiaVirginiaWashington State
ColoradoNew JerseyPennsylvania
IowaNew HampshireNew Mexico
South CarolinaMinnesotaAlabama
Rhode IslandLouisianaIdaho

How to Obtain a Restraining Order

Although each state has different laws and procedures regarding restraining orders, there are usually three steps to the process:

  1. Filing for a restraining order

This step can either be civil or criminal. In some states, it's possible to file for a restraining order without involving the court system by going through law enforcement officials such as the police or district attorneys. In most states, you'll have to file for a restraining order in court.

  1. Preparing for your court hearing

Once you file for a restraining order, the court will set up a date and time for the perpetrator to answer the charges. This means that they'll be notified of the charges filed against them. The perpetrator will also be able to get a lawyer and prepare their defense.

  1. Attending the court hearing

In most cases, both you and the perpetrator will be expected to attend your court date. Generally, if either party doesn't show up for the hearing, they automatically lose and the restraining order is issued by default. It's important to note that in some states, such as California, individuals must be present for a permanent restraining order to be issued.

Don't wait until it's too late: Restraining orders can protect you from violence and harassment, but they're not always easy to get. The process takes time and in most cases, the court will require you to show evidence such as photos of your injuries or proof that the perpetrator has been harassing you. If you feel threatened by someone, it's important to seek legal protection immediately.

What Happens After a Restraining Order Hearing?

If the judge decides in your favor, they will grant a restraining order that could protect you from violence or harassment. The order might tell the person not to come near you or contact you in any way. It could also say that the person has to move out of your house.

Once a restraining order is issued, it will be in effect for a certain period, usually one year. If you have any problems with the terms of the order or if you want to extend it, then you can schedule another hearing with the court before the order expires. Once a restraining order is in place, the petitioner can feel safer knowing that their assailant is legally prohibited from coming near them.

In many cases, a restraining order will also protect the petitioner's loved ones from being harassed or threatened by the assailant. Additionally, a restraining order can help the petitioner get access to necessary resources, such as counseling or safe housing.

What Happens if the Restraining Order Is Violated?

If you feel as though the restraining order isn't being enforced properly, there are ways to extend it legally. If a judge decides that the order isn't being enforced properly, he or she can agree to renew or modify your restraining order. In some states, the perpetrator may be sentenced to criminal charges if they violate the conditions of the restraining order.

Get a Restraining Order With the Help of DoNotPay

The process of obtaining a restraining order can be frustrating and lengthy, but there is an alternative solution. DoNotPay is a free online chatbot that can help you file for a restraining order in minutes. With the help of DoNotPay, you can easily get the help you need to protect yourself from violence or harassment.

Here’s how to apply for a restraining order with the help of DoNotPay:

  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!


And that's it! DoNotPay will compile for you the forms you need to fill out and give you detailed instructions for how to file for a restraining order in your jurisdiction. Stay safe!

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