If you are in a situation where someone you are close to may want to order a restraining order on you, it is critical that you know what to expect and what is expected of you upon being served. A restraining order needs to be taken very seriously, even if you feel it is not justified. Once you receive the order, you need to follow it and abide by its rules.
What is a restraining order?
A restraining order is used as a means of protection from the person who is requesting the order from another person they feel they need protection against. The order is placed to keep someone away from the issuer for fear of either harassment or physical abuse. Having your name placed on a restraining order is considered a civil order and will not go on your criminal record.
Why a restraining order?
If someone is a victim of domestic violence by someone who is a current or former household member, they can have a restraining order placed on that person. The order will have very specific conditions that must be followed and will generally contain these items:
- The person named in the order will not be allowed to have any contact with the issuer, this will include in-person, on the phone or even through social media. The order can contain the names of other members of the victim’s family that must also be avoided.
- The order may include that the person who is named must leave the home they share with the issuer.
- The judge issuing the order may also ask that if a person needs to leave a shared home, they must also take personal belongings from the home.
- The order will lay out places that are off limits to the person receiving the restraining order, this may include areas where the victim works or frequently visits.
How long is a restraining order in place?
If you receive a restraining order, what you will be receiving is an order called a temporary restraining order. The order will include a court date that is typically around 10-14 days out. The hearing in court will be where both parties can discuss the circumstances around why the order needed to be placed and if the order needs to stay in place.
If you receive a restraining order, also known as an order of protection, you must comply with every aspect of the order. If you have any issue with the order or believe that it has been issued under false pretenses, you will have an opportunity in court to challenge it.