How to Get a Restraining Order: A Step-by-Step Guide

A restraining order is a legal document that protects you from someone who has abused, threatened, or harassed you.

A restraining order can prevent the person from contacting you, coming near you, or entering your home, workplace, or school.

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How to get a restraining order | Shouse Law

A restraining order can also grant you temporary custody of your children, order the person to pay child support, or require the person to attend counseling.

If you are in an abusive relationship or situation, you may want to get a restraining order to protect yourself and your children.

Getting a restraining order is not difficult, but it involves some steps that you need to follow carefully.

This article will guide you through the process of getting a restraining order and explain what you need to do to make it effective.

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Step 1: Identify the Type of Restraining Order You Need

There are different types of restraining orders for different situations.

The type of restraining order you need depends on your relationship with the person you want to restrain and the nature of the abuse or threat.

Some common types of restraining orders are:

Domestic violence restraining order*

This type of restraining order is for people who have been abused by a spouse, partner, parent, child, sibling, or other family member.

You can also get this type of restraining order if you have a child in common with the abuser or if you are pregnant by the abuser.

Civil harassment restraining order

This type of restraining order is for people who have been harassed, stalked, threatened, or assaulted by someone who is not a family member or intimate partner.

This can include neighbors, co-workers, acquaintances, or strangers.

Elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order

This type of restraining order is for people who are 65 years or older or who have certain disabilities and have been abused, neglected, or exploited by a caregiver or someone else.

Workplace violence restraining order

This type of restraining order is for employers who want to protect their employees from violence or threats by another employee or someone else related to the workplace.

School violence restraining order

This type of restraining order is for schools that want to protect their students and staff from violence or threats by another student or someone else related to the school.

You can find out more about the different types of restraining orders and their requirements on [this website](^1^).

 

Step 2: Gather Evidence and Information

To get a restraining order, you need to show the court that you have been abused or threatened by the person you want to restrain and that you need protection from future harm.

How to get full custody of your child
How to get full custody of your child| FAMILYTIES

You also need to provide some information about yourself, the person you want to restrain, and any children involved.

Some of the evidence and information you may need are:

Police reports

If you have called the police about the abuse or threat, you should get a copy of the police report.

The police report can provide details about what happened, when and where it happened, and who was involved.

The police report can also show that you have taken steps to protect yourself and that the abuse or threat is serious.

Medical records

If you have been injured by the abuse or threat, you should get a copy of your medical records.

The medical records can show the extent of your injuries, how they were caused, and how they affect your health and well-being.

Photos

If you have visible injuries or damage to your property caused by the abuse or threat, you should take photos of them.

The photos can show the physical evidence of the abuse or threat and how it affects your safety and security.

Witness statements

If there are people who have seen or heard the abuse or threat, you should get their written statements.

The witness statements can corroborate your account of what happened and how it affected you.

Other documents

You may also need other documents that are relevant to your situation, such as court orders, divorce papers, custody agreements, child support payments, emails, texts, voicemails, letters, social media posts, or anything else that shows the history and nature of the abuse or threat.

You should keep all your evidence and information in a safe place where the person you want to restrain cannot access them.

You should also make copies of everything in case you lose them.

 

Step 3: Fill Out the Forms

To get a restraining order, you need to fill out some forms that ask for information about yourself, the person you want to restrain, and the orders you want from the court.

You can find the forms online on [this website](^2^) or at your local courthouse.

The forms may vary depending on the type of restraining order you need and where you live. But some common forms are:

Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DV-100)

This form is for domestic violence restraining orders. It asks for information about yourself and the person you want to restrain, such as names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, and relationship.

It also asks for information about the abuse or threat, such as when and where it happened, what the person did or said, and how it affected you.

It also asks for the orders you want from the court, such as no contact, stay away, move out, custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, property control, or other orders.

Request for Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order (EA-100)

This form is for elder or dependent adult abuse restraining orders.

It is similar to the DV-100 form, but it asks for information about the abuse, neglect, or exploitation instead of the abuse or threat.

Petition for Workplace Violence Restraining Order (WV-100)

This form is for workplace violence restraining orders.

It is similar to the DV-100 form, but it asks for information about the violence or threat in the workplace instead of the abuse or threat.

Petition for School Violence Restraining Order (SV-100)

This form is for school violence restraining orders.

It is similar to the DV-100 form, but it asks for information about the violence or threat in the school instead of the abuse or threat.

You should fill out the forms completely and honestly.

You should also attach any evidence and information that support your request.

You can get help from a lawyer, a legal aid organization, a domestic violence agency, or a court clerk to fill out the forms.

 

Step 4: File the Forms

To get a restraining order, you need to file the forms with the court. You can file the forms in person at your local courthouse or by mail. You may have to pay a filing fee unless you qualify for a fee waiver.

When you file the forms, you can ask for a temporary restraining order that lasts until your hearing date.

A temporary restraining order can be granted on the same day you file your forms if the judge believes that you are in immediate danger.

A temporary restraining order can give you some protection until you get a permanent restraining order.

You should make copies of your forms and keep them with you at all times.

You should also give copies of your forms to anyone who needs to know about your restraining order, such as your employer, your children’s school, your landlord, or your family and friends.

 

Step 5: Serve the Forms

To get a restraining order, you need to serve the forms on the person you want to restrain.

Serving means delivering a copy of your forms to the person in a way that proves that they received them.

You cannot serve the forms yourself.

You have to ask someone else who is at least 18 years old and not involved in your case to serve them for you.

You can serve the forms by personal service or by mail.

Personal service means having someone hand-deliver the forms to the person face-to-face.

Mail service means having someone mail the forms to the person’s home or work address with return receipt requested.

You should serve the forms as soon as possible after you file them.

You have to serve them at least five days before your hearing date if you use personal service or at least 15 days before your hearing date if you use mail service.

You should also fill out a proof of service form that shows how and when you served the forms.

You can find the proof of service form online on [this website](^2^) or at your local courthouse.

You have to file the proof of service form with the court before your hearing date.

 

Step 6: Go to Your Hearing

To get a restraining order, you need to go to your hearing.

Your hearing is a court date where you and the person you want to restrain have a chance to tell your side of the story to a judge.

The judge will decide whether to grant or deny your request for a permanent restraining order.

You should prepare for your hearing by:

Reviewing your forms and evidence

You should review your forms and evidence before your hearing and make sure they are accurate and complete.

You should also bring copies of everything with you to court.

Gathering witnesses and documents

You should gather any witnesses and documents that can support your case and show them to the judge.

Witnesses can be people who have seen or heard the abuse or threat or who can testify about its impact on you.

Documents can be police reports, medical records, photos, witness statements, emails, texts, voicemails, letters, social media posts, or anything else that shows the abuse or threat.

Dressing appropriately and arriving early

You should dress appropriately and respectfully for court

You should also arrive early and check in with the court clerk.

Conclusion

A restraining order is a legal document that can prevent someone from contacting you, coming near you, or harming you.

To get a restraining order, you need to identify the type of restraining order you need, gather evidence and information, fill out the forms, file the forms, serve the forms, and go to your hearing.

This article provides detailed instructions and tips on how to get a restraining order successfully.

 

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