How Do I File a Restraining Order in Iowa?
There are many reasons that someone may need to file for a restraining order against someone else. Everything from stalking, harassment, or domestic violence by someone with whom you cohabit can cause someone to seek a restraining order on another person. Restraining orders keep that person away from you into the future, and you are able to help keep you free from emotional, psychological, or physical harm. When you get a restraining order against someone, you want to get the perpetrator or aggressor away from you and your family.
Restraining orders in Iowa are there to give you peace of mind and the right to live your life without fear for your well-being. They are to keep you safe and free from someone else who is lowering or ruining your quality of life. Iowa allows you to file for restraining orders in order to keep someone away from you that you do not want to come anywhere near you.
What Is a Restraining Order and How Does It Work?
A restraining order is an order that requires someone to stay away from you and/or members of your family. In Iowa, you don't have to pay any fees to get a restraining order. The only cost you will have to pay is if you choose to seek a lawyer, then you will have to pay the lawyer's fees for the work they do. Iowa predominantly uses restraining orders to protect victims from cases of domestic violence. In order to qualify for a domestic violence restraining order, the person that you seek the order against must have one of the following relationships while having lived with the person they are seeking protection against
- Been married to or divorced from the defendant
- Separated from the defendant
- Adult relatives living in the same home
- Lived together
- Have lived in the same home within one year of the assault (not at the exact time of the assault)
- Parents of the same minor child under 18
- In an intimate or romantic relationship (does not have to be sexually active)
- Have been in an intimate or romantic relationship within the past year when the assault occurred
If you do not meet these guidelines for the restraining order, then you may seek a Civil No-Contact Order against the person to keep yourself safe. These orders are issued via Iowa Code 236.3A.
How Do I Get a Restraining Order in Iowa?
In order to get a restraining order granted to you in the state of Iowa (population 3.2 million), you will have to prove that the person that you were living in a domestic situation with has tried to harm you (or your minor children under 18) in an emotional, mental, verbal, or physical way. The following are the steps that you will need to complete to get a restraining order granted against a specific individual with whom you cohabitated:
|Prepare Your Evidence (Be Prepared for Court)||You will need any sort of evidence that you have, including a written statement that you will have to take to court. You will have to go to court to get a formal restraining order put up against someone. Evidence can include proof of things like photos, text messages, e-mails, or social media posts that were made in an attempt to harass, threaten, or otherwise ruin your quality of life.|
|Know the Evidence You Will Need||The evidence that you will need to prove that you have a reasonable reason to ask for a restraining order can include anything that the person sent or did to you that caused a disruption to your daily life or made you feel uncomfortable. Approval evidence can include the aforementioned items, things like photographs, text messages, e-mails, and/or other physical evidence that can show that the harassment or threats were unwelcome and unwanted from the person with whom you used to cohabitate.|
|Fill Out the Paperwork||You will need to fill out the paperwork about the restraining order that you are looking to receive. You will need to provide basic information about your situation and why you need to restrain the person you are filing the order against from coming back into your life.|
|An E-mail with Any Questions||If you are looking for help with filling out paperwork that you will need in order to go to your court date, you can reach out for assistance. Iowa state representatives are here to help if you simply email your questions and information to them. The Clerk's Office can forward the documents to the judge to let you know if they meet minimum information and quality standards before your court date.|
|Submit Paperwork||Once you submit the required forms, then you will have a judge review the forms, and you will be assigned a date and time to appear before the court to request the restraining order.|
|You and the Perpetrator Get to Speak||You will get to present your evidence to the court, and the person you are seeking to get a restraining order against will also be able to speak. Remember, if you fail to show up for the court hearing, you will not get a restraining order granted for your case.|
|Make Your Court Appearance||You will have to appear in court on the date and at the time assigned to you in order to have a restraining order granted for your case.|
These are the steps that you will need to take in order to be able to get a restraining order against someone who is disturbing your quality of life in an unlawful way. Following these steps ensures that you are providing all of the information you need to share in order to get your restraining order granted effectively.
Understand Your State's Restraining Orders
It's vital to understand the restraining orders in your state and how they work. In Iowa, you can only get a restraining order against someone with whom you cohabitated in the last 12 months. The party you want a restraining order against must meet one of the requirements in the aforementioned list above. Otherwise, you will need to seek a "No Contact" order in order for the person to be ordered not to contact you or have any interaction with you in the future.
What Happens After a Restraining Order Hearing?
After your restraining order hearing in Iowa, you should hear the results of your petition that was sent to the courts within 5 to 15 days. You will have a hearing date and time assigned to you. During this process, you may receive a "Temporary Order" against the person you are seeking to get a restraining order against. When law enforcement serves the other person with paperwork, then the "Temporary Order" will go into effect, and not before the other person is notified of the order.
If you are issued a protective order for your case, the average order in Iowa will last for up to 1 year after the "Temporary Protective Order" expires. If you need more information, then you can contact the Iowa Victim Service Call Center Hotline at 1.800.770.1650 or text IOWAHELP to 20121.
What Types of Restraining Orders Are Available?
Iowa only offers two types of restraining orders, and those are criminal protective orders and civil protective orders. The results of breaking either of these types of restraining orders can include
- Jail time,
- Fine, and
- Forcing the abuser to pay for the victim's court fees and lawyer costs.
These different types of consequences will depend on the restraining order and the violations that are made against it.
How Do I File a Restraining Order Using DoNotPay?
DoNotPay cannot issue a restraining order, whether civil or domestic, to anyone residing in any state in the United States. However, DoNotPay can help you provide information to the courts that will help you apply for a restraining order through your state's court system. All you will have to do is complete the following three simple steps in order to get your restraining order paperwork submitted to your local district court system in Iowa:
- 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 provide DoNotPay with this basic information, we will send the information to the courts on your behalf immediately. You should hear within 5 to 15 days if you are getting a hearing date and time for your protective order within the state of Iowa.
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
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DoNotPay can also help you file for a restraining order in almost any state, including
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