Do You Have to Pay for a Restraining Order? Everything You Need To Know

A restraining order is a legal document that orders one person to stay away from another person who feels threatened or harassed by them.

restraining order
Restraining order | Shouse Law

Restraining orders can protect victims of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, or other forms of abuse.

But how much does it cost to get a restraining order?

And who pays for it?

READ ALSO: Do Restraining Orders Go on Your Record? What You Need To Know

The Filing Fee

The first thing you need to know is that there is a filing fee for applying for a restraining order.

The amount of the fee varies depending on the state and the type of restraining order. For example, in South Carolina, the filing fee for a restraining order against stalking or harassment is $150.

In California, the filing fee for a domestic violence restraining order is $435.

However, you may not have to pay the fee upfront. In some states, you can request a fee waiver or a fee deferral if you cannot afford to pay the fee.

A fee waiver means that you do not have to pay the fee at all.

A fee deferral means that you can pay the fee later, after the case is resolved.

To qualify for a fee waiver or a fee deferral, you usually have to show proof of your income and expenses, such as pay stubs, bank statements, bills, etc.

The Court Order

Another thing you need to know is that the court may order the person who loses the case to pay the filing fee.

ew York County Family Court - Mitchell Giurgola
New York County Family Court – Mitchell Giurgola

This means that if the judge grants you the restraining order, the person who abused or harassed you will have to pay the fee.

But if the judge denies your request for a restraining order, you will have to pay the fee yourself. This is to discourage people from filing false or frivolous claims.

However, the court may also consider other factors, such as the financial situation of both parties, the severity of the abuse or harassment, and the outcome of the case.

For example, in some states, the court may order the person who abused or harassed you to pay for your attorney fees, court costs, or other expenses related to the case.

On the other hand, the court may also order you to pay for the other person’s attorney fees, court costs, or other expenses if the judge finds that you filed the restraining order in bad faith or for an improper purpose.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that getting a restraining order may involve some costs, but you may not have to pay them all by yourself.

There are ways to reduce or avoid the filing fee, such as requesting a fee waiver or a fee deferral.

There are also ways to recover some or all of the costs from the person who abused or harassed you, such as getting a court order for reimbursement.

The best thing to do is to consult with a lawyer or a legal aid organization in your area to find out more about the specific laws and procedures in your state.

They can help you prepare your case and protect your rights.

Remember, you are not alone.

There are resources and support available for you. You deserve to be safe and free from abuse or harassment.

 

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