Getting a restraining order is usually a last choice option for people who feel they have nowhere else to turn.
It may sound extreme, but it is actually a pretty straightforward process and is common.
The goal here is to get a restraining order properly filed as quickly and efficiently as possible so that you and your loved ones have peace of mind.
Here are the steps to get a restraining order:
Making the Decision to File
One of the toughest parts of the process is actually not the filing. It’s making the initial decision that this is the best route for you. Getting a restraining order has to be a firm decision on your part.
One way to look at it is if this person has threatened or actually committed, and violence towards you or your family, you would be giving your family protection.
This isn’t about punishing the abuser, that’s jail. This is simply about making sure that you and your family are safe.
How to Get a Restraining Order
Once you have made the decision to get a restraining order, you have to file for one.
You can pick up the paperwork from your county’s courthouse, but many states now have them on their websites as well.
If you find any of the legal language confusing, you can always ask a lawyer or any other legal service who may be familiar with the process.
Once you have filed, the court will contact you about the hearing for it. In some states, you can request to not have a hearing if you aren’t comfortable. Of course, the final decision is up to the judge.
After the hearing, the next step is to have someone serve the terms of the restraining order to the person it is against. The person must be made aware that you have a restraining order against them.
Then you will go to the hearing. The judge usually makes a same-day decision about whether or not it holds. The key here is to calmly state your case, and let the other person’s actions speak for themselves.
Once the judge has decided to uphold the restraining order, you get a copy, and you can go home.
Maintaining a Restraining Order
Once the restraining order is in place, it is important to keep it on you at all times. This way if they were to approach you and you call the cops, explaining the situation will be easier.
If you lose your copy, you can ask the court to send another copy to you.
Know the terms and conditions of the restraining order. Being aware of if and when it is being violated is important.
Communicate all violations directly to the court. If the person violates the restraining order, the court can hold them in contempt, which can help them further contain the abuser if necessary.
If you are in an emergency situation, always call the police before trying to reason with the person violating the restraining order. Getting a restraining order is a protection from the state. Not a protective shield.
If you have any other questions, or for other legal services, be sure to check us out!