How to Fight a Restraining Order

By Legal Editor

If a restraining order has been filed against you, it is still possible to fight against it legally without jeopardizing your case. By hiring an attorney, and by complying with the court, you can prevent a temporary restraining order (TRO) from being turned into a permanent restraining order (PRO).

Comply with all conditions of the temporary restraining order. This may mean that you will need to surrender any rifles, shotguns or handguns to the police until the matter has been resolved. Read the TRO thoroughly, and make sure that you understand all of the conditions, remembering that full and docile compliance will decrease the chances of a PRO being issued.

Hire an attorney who has experience in dealing with restraining orders. Your attorney will be able to review the case and determine whether or not you are a threat to the party who issued the restraining order. The court may view your hiring of a lawyer as an act of good faith, which may give you more credibility in court.

Fight the restraining order by filing an answer to the TRO. This is your opportunity to tell your side of the story, and to object to the reasons why the order was originally issued. Have an attorney review your answer before you file it to determine whether your statement is in your best interests.

Tell your side of the story at the mandatory hearing, where the temporary restraining order will be reviewed by the court and a decision will be made whether or not to grant a PRO. Remember to remain calm and follow the instructions of your attorney explicitly. Any emotional outbursts or visible signs of stress will surely undermine your case.

Resist the temptation to discuss the restraining order with the issuing party outside of the court. The order was issued for a purpose and any attempt to ignore or circumvent a TRO or PRO may result in additional criminal charges, such as contempt of court.

Remain vigilant and focused if the TRO still turns into a PRO, despite your efforts to fight the order. Permanent restraining orders are usually not truly permanent and may last anywhere from a few weeks to a few years. By complying with all conditions of the PRO, you reduce the chances of the court order being renewed when the expiration date comes up.