Domestic violence and threats to one's life are the most common reasons for getting an order of protection, also known as a restraining order. To protect your rights and safety, it is always a good idea to have copies of your order of protection in your purse or wallet, vehicle, home and office. However, sometimes these documents are lost, especially when time has passed since the original act or violence or threats that precipitated the restraining order. Fortunately, getting a copy is fairly easy.
Call or visit your attorney or domestic-violence advocate if one was involved in getting your order of protection. Such professionals usually keep copies of these documents in their files, and they should be willing to give you a new copy, perhaps without a fee. This is a good option for those who may have moved from the area where the restraining order was awarded.
Visit the police station that served the order of protection against the person who harmed or threatened you. These documents are public records and can be provided to you for a fee. If you need the document outside of normal business hours, call the non-emergency police number and ask if someone is available to help you get a copy right away.
Visit the courthouse where the restraining order was filed by you or your representative. Usually Circuit Court or Family Court has these documents and will provide a copy for a fee to anyone who asks. This also may be your only option if you need another sealed or stamped copy of your order of protection. If you have moved far away from where the restraining order was issued, you will need to call the court and ask how to get a copy mailed or faxed to you.
- Remember: It is always a good idea to give close family members and friends copies of your order of protection in case the person whose behavior prompted the order tries to reach you through them. Virtually all restraining orders bar the other party from indirectly contacting you through other people.