Violence and threats can seriously disrupt a victim's life. Utah victims of threats or harassment can seek to stop such harmful acts by getting a judge to issue a temporary restraining order. Utah offers two kinds of protection: temporary protective orders and temporary civil stalking injunctions. The victim needs to determine which order applies to her situation, then follow the legal process to request an order. She can then petition a Utah court to issue an order that prohibits the abuser from continuing the threatening behavior.
Determine which Utah restraining order applies to your situation. A victim (petitioner) who is at least 16 (or married or emancipated) can get a protective order if she has been harmed by an abuser (respondent) or fears that she will suffer harm. However, the abuser must also be 16 (or married or emancipated). The victim and abuser must also have lived together at some time; have or are expecting a child together; or be related. An adult must ask for a child protective order if the parties do not meet the age requirement. You must request a civil stalking injunction if you do not qualify for a protective order.
Obtain the necessary forms for a Utah restraining order. You can use a lawyer or domestic violence shelter to obtain the forms and help you fill them out, or you can pick them up at any courthouse. The Utah Online Court Assistance Program can help you fill out the required forms. When using the program, select the forms that apply to you. Utah has separate forms for protective orders, child protective orders and civil stalking injunctions. Follow the step-by-step online instructions to fill out and print the forms.
Take the completed forms to the clerk of the district court where you or the abuser lives. You can also take the forms to the district court where the abuse occurred. Utah does not charge a filing fee for protective orders or civil stalking injunctions. However, the district court charges for the use of the Utah Online Court Assistance Program. As of 2010, the fee is $20. Take a driver's license or other identification for the clerk to verify your identity.
Inform the clerk that you would like to request a protective order or civil stalking injunction. Sign the form in front of the clerk and follow the clerk's instructions to fill out additional forms. The clerk will then direct you to a judge for an ex parte hearing. An ex parte hearing is conducted without the alleged abuser. The judge can issue a temporary restraining order at the ex parte hearing.
Appear for the ex parte hearing and answer the judge's questions. Explain that you are in fear of immediate danger. The judge will issue a temporary order if you provide sufficient information of immediate danger. The judge will schedule a second hearing at that time. A temporary restraining order takes effect as soon as the sheriff finds the abuser and presents him with the order.
- Show up at the hearing scheduled by the judge. You need to appear at the hearing to get a final protective order or civil stalking injunction. A temporary restraining order can terminate at that time unless you get a permanent order. Stay in contact with the sheriff's office to help the sheriff serve the abuser. Provide any possible information on the abuser's whereabouts.
- Call the police immediately and file a report when someone stalks or harasses you. You have to provide police reports or other evidence to obtain a civil stalking injunction. This evidence may also persuade the judge to issue a temporary order.
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