How to File a Restraining Order in Georgia

By Teo Spengler ; Updated June 16, 2017
The girl is excitedly talking on the phone.

Georgia courts issue restraining orders, also called protection orders, to order people to stop certain types of abusive or damaging behavior, usually in a domestic situation. Request a restraining order by filling out the petition for a temporary restraining order and filing it with the court.

Harassment Restraining Order in Georgia

To get a restraining order in Georgia, you start by filing a petition for a temporary restraining order. In Georgia, most restraining orders are Family Violence Protection Orders, intended for use in domestic violence situations. They are usually used to order an end to physical abuse within a family or to curtail stalking.

Under Georgia law, family violence means certain kinds of crimes between people with legal connections to each other. It can include threats, violence, damaging property, trespass or any other felony. If the charge is stalking, no legal connection between the people is required.

A Family Violence Protection Order in Georgia can require an abuser to leave the house and stay away from it, stop harassing the victim, cease violent acts and cease contacting or following someone. It can also force the person to whom it is directed to pay family support, give up property and pay the victim's attorney fees.

Temporary Restraining Order Georgia

When you are seeking a restraining order in Georgia alleging domestic abuse or stalking, it is not necessary to give the other person notice. You apply directly to a judge by filing a petition for a restraining order. If the judge is convinced that the order is necessary to prevent harm, she can issue a temporary order immediately. This is called a Temporary Ex Parte Protective Order, or TPO, in Georgia. Under state law, the TPO remains in effect for a maximum of 30 days or until the court holds a hearing in which both sides have received notice so they can appear and argue before the judge.

If the judge agrees with your position at the hearing, the TPO becomes a Family Violence Protection Order. This turns the temporary restraining order into a final order. Visit the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority's website for help with the application process, where you'll find up-to-date forms to use.

Mutual Restraining Order in Georgia

In Georgia, you don't have to file a request for a Mutual Restraining Order. A family law court often puts an MRO in place automatically in a divorce or similar domestic action. The intent of a mutual restraining order is to keep things as they are between the parties. Under an MRO, both spouses are forbidden from canceling existing health or auto insurance policies, selling off assets belonging to the couple or taking the kids out of the state. If you violate the terms of an MRO, you can be found in contempt of court. And in Georgia, you can be sent to jail.

Non-Domestic Restraining Orders

Georgia law also allows temporary restraining orders – sometimes called interlocutory injunctions – to be issued in non-domestic or stalking situations. These are used infrequently, but are available, and can be granted without notice to the other party. You must file an affidavit or verified complaint demonstrating that immediate and irreparable injury will occur before the other party or his attorney can be heard in opposition. The other party can ask the court to dissolve or modify the order as justice requires. The court can require payment from the person or business that obtained the order to secure the other person's damages if it is determined that he has been enjoined wrongfully.

About the Author

Living in France and Northern California, Teo Spengler is an attorney, novelist and writer and has published thousands of articles about travel, gardening, business and law. Spengler holds a Master of Arts in creative writing from San Francisco State University and a Juris Doctor from UC Berkeley. She is currently a candidate for a Master of Fine Arts in fiction.