Judges issue restraining orders to protect victims of harassment and abuse from further violence. Under Arkansas law, three types of restraining orders are available: domestic violence orders of protection, injunctions against workplace harassment, and no contact orders. These are issued after a petitioner applies at the county courthouse and both parties are given the opportunity to present testimony.
Domestic Violence Orders of Protection
Domestic violence orders of protection are issued in Arkansas to protect victims of domestic abuse from further harm. Domestic abuse is violence committed by a family or household member, including current and former spouses, parents and children, blood relatives, people who are dating or share a child, and people who do or did live together. Domestic abuse includes actual or threatened physical harm or assault and any sexual activity that is against the law in Arkansas.
Injunctions Against Workplace Harassment
Injunctions against workplace harassment are intended to protect victims of workplace violence. They differ from other types of protective orders in that they can only be applied for by an employer or someone acting on the employer's behalf, not by the victim. They can be obtained when someone has been the victim of unlawful violence, terroristic acts, rape, or battery, as well as certain types of threats, and stalking or harassment. In the case of threats, stalking, harassment, and criminal trespass, the violence must have occurred in the workplace for the victim to be considered eligible.
No Contact Orders
No contact orders are a special type of restraining order that protects victims from someone who has been arrested and charged with acting criminally towards them. They are often a condition of bond or pretrial release--for some types of crimes, they are a mandatory aspect of pretrial release. These crimes include stalking, harassment, terroristic threatening, and unauthorized computer communications. If the restrained person in a no contact order case violates the order he can be automatically put back in jail, even if he was out on bail or probation.
Restraining orders can be petitioned for at the courthouse in the county where either party lives. There are no fees to file initially; all fees will be assessed at the hearing. If the judge decides the petitioner has filed for a restraining order under false allegations, the petitioner may be forced to pay those fees. A hearing will be set no later than 30 days from the filing of the application. The respondent (the alleged abuser) must be served with a notice of hearing at least five days prior to the hearing, or it must be rescheduled.
Violation of a restraining order is a Class A misdemeanor in Arkansas. The maximum penalty for violation is one year imprisonment in county jail and/or a maximum fine of $1,000.
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