If you either have sought or are the subject of a restraining order, and if a temporary order has been issued, the next step in the process is a permanent restraining order. The typical permanent restraining order hearing includes a variety of specific elements. While there can be some variations from one jurisdiction to another, there are some common elements in all permanent restraining order hearings.
A permanent restraining order hearing provides the person who is the subject of the temporary restraining order--the respondent--the chance to make his or her case. A preliminary restraining order is issued ex parte, a legal term meaning without any input from the party opposed to the order. At the permanent restraining order hearing, the respondent or subject of the preliminary order will be able to present testimony and evidence for the first time.
Evidence in Support of Petition
The individual who seeks the permanent restraining order will also have to make her case fully. The standard of proof for obtaining a temporary restraining order is not significant. Previously, all the person seeking the order really had to do was state in an affidavit that she was threatened in some fashion by the respondent and that a restraining order was necessary for protection.
Standard of Proof
The person seeking a permanent restraining order does not have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that such an order is necessary. Rather, at this type of hearing, the petitioner need only demonstrate that clear and convincing evidence exists to suggest that the respondent has threatened the petitioner and that a permanent restraining order is necessary to protect the interests and welfare of the petitioner.
At the hearing, the court will nearly always attempt to see whether some agreement can be reached between the parties. In some cases, the respondent will agree to the terms of the restraining order. The one real exception is when the petitioner and respondent have children together. In such cases, the respondent naturally will strive to ensure that if a restraining order does issue that it will not interfere with his ability to see the children.
While it is referred to as a permanent restraining order hearing, the fact is that the order coming out of such a proceeding is not permanent. Typically, the life span of a so-called permanent restraining order is one year. The court will leave the door open for the renewal of the order at that time if the facts merit such an extension.