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MAIN Arrow to Home LifeHome Legal Guide Arrow to Orders of ProtectionOrders of Protection & Restraining Orders

restraining orderAn order of protection, sometimes commonly known as a restraining order, is an easy legal way to protect oneself from harm from another person, and usually does not require a lawyer.

A restraining order is a type of injunction most commonly filed to protect against spousal abuse, although it can be useful in any situation of abuse.

The order offers protection by keeping the abusive person away from direct contact with the victim. The order may also forbid the movement of children out of state, stop the sale of jointly-owned marital property, or restrict a person from entering a home.

An order of protection may also be filed against a troublesome neighbor or in more extreme cases a suspected stalker.


How to file a restraining order or order of protection

The forms for a restraining order can be found at the local courthouse, community or women's shelter, or online.

Besides personal information, the form usually will ask for the specific behavior or abuse for which the victim is seeking protection. A judge then decides from the available evidence whether or not to schedule a hearing.

If successful, the petitioner (the victim) is granted a temporary restraining order (usually lasting several weeks) until the accused can present a case.

If the judge finds in favor of the petitioner, a permanent order of protection or restraining order will be mandated. Note that permanent restraining orders typically last only a year, but can be extended by the court if necessary. Petitioners must usually file for a renewal before the order expires. Otherwise, they may face having to refile the petition all over again.

Along with temporary and permanent restraining orders emergency protective orders - usually handed down in cases of domestic violence - go into effect immediately.


Restraining order violations

Contact the police immediately if a restraining order (whether temporary or permanent) has been violated. In many jurisdictions, a violation of a restraining order is tantamount to contempt of court and the offender may be immediately arrested.

Depending on the circumstances of the violation, the offender may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony crime, and sentenced and/or fined for the violation.


More about restraining orders around the Web:


How to Ask for a Restraining Order
- Informative FAQ from a Connecticut legal resource (although most of the information applies most anywhere) on necessary forms and how to file, along with details on court cases, sample downloadable restraining order forms.

Protection Order.org - Washington State-based organization with extensive information on how, when and where to file a protection order, plus related tips & advice on finding help with an abusive relationship, downloadable sample court forms, legal definitions and related resources.

Fighting False Allegations of Domestic Abuse - A discussion on the ease of filing an order and false charges that may be filed and how to fight them, including what evidence to seek out, mounting a case for false charges, and presenting a case in court.

How to Stop a False Restraining Order From Appearing in Your Record - Step-by-step guide with legal advice on what evidence to present to an attorney, how to counter-file against false charges, and expunging the order from court records.


also see -> Child Custody | Divorce | Legal Separation

Job Harassment

The information provided on these pages is intended as reference
only and does not constitute professional legal advice.

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