Table of Contents:
- How to Get a Restraining Order in Nebraska
- How to File a Restraining Order in Florida
- How to Obtain a Restraining Order in Pennsylvania
- How to File a Restraining Order in Michigan
- How to File a Restraining Order in New Jersey
- How to Obtain a Restraining Order in Maryland
- How to Get a Restraining Order in Minnesota
- How to File a Restraining Order in New Hampshire
- How to File a Restraining Order in North Carolina
- How to File a Restraining Order in Arizona
- How to File for Restraining Orders in Missouri
- How to File a Restraining Order in Indiana
- How to File a Restraining Order in South Carolina
- How to Get a Restraining Order in Delaware
- How to File a Restraining Order in Kentucky
- How to Get a Restraining Order in Oregon
- How to File a Restraining Order in Georgia
- How to File a Restraining Order in Virginia
- How to File for a Restraining Order in Ohio
Determine whether a domestic abuse protection order applies to your situation. You qualify for a restraining order based on domestic abuse, if you are a current or former spouse or child of the abuser (see References 1). You also qualify if you currently or previously lived with or have children with the abuser. Any present or past dating relationship with the abuser also qualifies you for a domestic abuse order. If the abuser is related to you by blood or marriage, choose the domestic abuse protection order. Choose the harassment protection order if you have not had any of these relationships with the abuser.
Visit the Nebraska Judicial Branch self-help page on protection orders (see References 2). Both types of Nebraska protection orders require a praecipe, a request to the judge to order the sheriff to serve notice of the protective order on the abuser (see References 3). Fill out and print the praecipe, along with a "Social Security Information Form" for both types of orders (see Resources). This is a confidential form with personal information.
Fill out the petition and affidavit for the protection order that applies to your case (see Resources). Domestic abuse protection orders and harassment protection orders require different petitions. Include personal information on any children to be protected by the domestic abuse petition. Ensure that you include all instances of phone, mail and in-person harassment and threats. Include specific dates and as much detail as possible.
Deliver the documents to the Nebraska District Court in your county. The court clerk will give the documents to the judge. Follow the court clerk's instructions to appear before the judge. Answer all of the judge's questions and ask for a temporary order. The judge may issue an ex parte order, which is a temporary order valid until a hearing can take place (see References 1). If the judge schedules a hearing, be sure to show up. Bring any witnesses who can corroborate your stories of threatening behavior. Ask for a permanent order to keep the order in effect after the hearing.
Understand the qualifications. To get a restraining order, or injunction, you must be the victim of domestic violence, but this is not limited to acts between a man and wife or partner. Domestic violence is any incidence of assault, battery, stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment or physical harm caused by any other household member. Having good reason to fear any of these will occur is also grounds to obtain an injunction.
Get help. If at all possible, see a lawyer or legal professional to guide you through the process of obtaining a restraining order. Though this is not strictly necessary, it can be helpful in an already stressful situation, and can ensure the process moves as quickly as possible.
Visit the courthouse. As many as three counties can have concurrent jurisdiction to grant an injunction, any one of which will do. The injunction must be granted by the county court where the violence occurred, where the victim resides or where the offender resides.
Talk to the clerk. The courthouse can be an intimidating place, but it should be fairly easy to find the clerk. In large counties, the clerk's office will have multiple teller windows. Visit one and request an Injunction of Protection Against Domestic Violence petition.
Fill out the petition and get it notarized. The more information you can provide about the incident(s) that qualify you to receive injunction protection, and on how the court can locate the abuser, the better. Do not sign the petition until you're in the presence of the court clerk or a notary.
Restraining orders are issued by judges to protect victims of abuse and harassment from further such acts. In Pennsylvania, restraining orders are known as Protection from Abuse Orders (PFA), and are civil orders giving protection from domestic violence by a family or household member, an intimate partner or someone with whom you have a child. Domestic violence includes the following: attempted, actual, or repeated threat of bodily injury; rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse; sexual or indecent assault; incest; false imprisonment; and child abuse.
File a petition for a Protection From Abuse Order at the Court of Common Pleas in your county. Bring identification with you to court; also bring any police or medical records you may have relating to the abuse.
The court will give you the forms you need. Once you have completed the forms, which will require a detailed explanation of the abuse, a judge will review them. After the review, the judge will decide whether to grant a temporary restraining order, which will protect you until your full hearing. The judge will also set a date--within 10 days--for the hearing.
If you believe you are in immediate danger, and the courthouse is closed, go to your local police station, which will help you file a petition with a magisterial district judge.
There is no fee to file.
Give a copy of the petition (with the hearing date) and the temporary restraining order (if applicable) to your sheriff's department, and wait for it to serve the respondent--the alleged abuser--with the paperwork. "Serving" simply means delivering to the suspect notification of the allegations, the hearing date, and (if applicable) the temporary restraining order. A temporary order will not be enforceable until it has been properly served.
Prepare for your case. Practice presenting your story to someone else, as you will need to be able to explain to the judge clearly, accurately and descriptively why you are in need of protection. You should also compile any evidence--police or medical records, written communication, photographs of injuries or damaged property, or witness testimony--that can support your case.
In some (but not all) Pennsylvania counties, you are required to have an attorney at the hearing. You will be informed if this is the case, and told how to apply for a pro bono (free of charge) attorney, if necessary.
Attend the hearing. Both the plaintiff and the respondent will present his and her sides of the story and provide evidence to the judge. After hearing both sides, the judge will determine whether to grant the final protection order.
A protective order can grant alternate housing; custody or spousal support; child visitation stipulations; mandate relinquishment of weapons; no-contact orders; and payment for losses suffered due to abuse.
When granted, final protective orders are valid for 18 months. They can be extended or reapplied for after that time, if necessary.
In Pennsylvania, the plaintiff and respondent can waive a hearing if they come to an agreement on the order. He or she may file a written agreement prior to or at the time of the final order hearing.
Penalties for violation of a Protection From Abuse Order are steep. Violators can be found in indirect criminal contempt of court, with penalties including a maximum of 6 months in jail and/or a fine from $100-$1,000.
Go to the Michigan Circuit Court nearest to your residence. Bring your personal identification plus any evidence you have regarding the incident(s) that led you to seek the PPO, including police reports, answering machine messages or evidence of injuries caused by the abuser.
Locate the Clerk of the Court's office. Tell the clerk you wish to file a petition for a personal protection order. The clerk will ask you to specify if it is for domestic protection, criminal protection or stalking protection. The Women's Law Organization link in the references section below will help explain which case best fits your needs.
Complete the forms provided to you by the court clerk, including information about the abuse and why you wish to obtain a protective order. You can also provide information about the suspect, including his address, a picture and his license plate number.
Give the documentation to the clerk, who'll provide you with a judge and case number. Proceed to the appropriate courtroom.
If your petition is heard in open court, wait for your case number to be called. The judge will read your petition and ask why you wish to obtain a protective order. The judge will view any evidence you have submitted and decide whether or not to grant the order, and whether to provide an immediate emergency order. This process is called an "Ex Parte" hearing, in which all parties, in this case the defendant, are not present.
If court is not in session, take your petition to the judge's chambers, give it to the clerk and follow the clerk's instructions. If the judge is present, she may review the petition immediately.
Obtain the request for a restraining order from the domestic violence unit of Family Division of the Superior Court. You must file the request at the court in the New Jersey county where you or the defendant live or where the abuse or harassment occurred. If the courthouse is not open and you need immediate protection, you can go to the local police department or call 911; they will provide you with forms and contact the judge.
Complete the request for the restraining order. Use specific details such as dates and descriptive words to explain how you were threatened. Use concrete words such as "slap," "choke" or "hit" to describe acts of violence and include as many direct quotes as possible.
Bring to court photo identification and relevant information about the abuser, such as addresses of residence and employment, phone numbers, vehicle description, plate number and history of drugs or gun ownership.
Sign the request after showing it to a clerk of court; you may be required to sign it before a notary or judge. Your petition will be delivered to a judge. If she believes you are in immediate danger, you will be granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) effective until the full hearing, which is usually within 10 days. Law enforcement officials will directly notify the defendant of the TRO, serving him with the appropriate paperwork and the date of the full hearing.
Prepare for your court case by assembling all information available to convince the judge you are in need of protection. This can include medical or police reports, photographs of injuries or household disturbance, or eyewitness testimony. If you have an eyewitness who refuse to appear, you may request a subpoena to compel her to give testimony.
Attend the hearing. If the defendant does not appear, the court may issue a default judgment and you may be automatically granted a final restraining order. The judge also may pick a new hearing date to provide the defendant another chance to come to court.
Keep a copy of your restraining order with you at all times. The police will immediately arrest an abuser violating any part of an order protecting you, but it will be simpler to explain your situation if you can produce a copy of the restraining order.
Obtain the necessary application forms for a protective or peace order. Determine whether a protective order or a peace order is right for your case. A protective order generally applies to domestic relationships and partnerships, while a peace order applies to other relationships--i.e. neighbors, colleagues, strangers. Find the required forms on the Maryland Judiciary website among the Family Law forms or get them in the clerk’s offices in any Maryland District Court or Circuit Court. Note that there are two forms: a Petition Protection Form (for domestic abuse, child abuse, vulnerable adult abuse--a peace order) and a Petition for Permanent Protection from Domestic Violence (a protective order). Complete the form that is most appropriate, depending upon whom you are seeking protection from. Fill out a supplementary Addendum form to give the court additional details about the respondent, or the person who you are filing the complaint against.
Determine if you have enough information to prove that a protective or peace order is needed. Criminal harassment, criminal trespassing, and malicious destruction of property are not grounds for protective orders, and would only be covered by a peace order.
File your petition for a protection or peace order with a clerk at your local District Court or Circuit. Attend a hearing shortly after your petition is filed. Answer questions about your safety before a judge--a temporary order will be granted if the judge finds necessary to do so, and will go into affect once the respondent has been served by a court officer.
Attend a final hearing (which will be scheduled by the court to happen within seven days of your initial petition filing). The judge will determine that the respondent has indeed committed the alleged acts against the petition and grant the protection or peace order, or alternatively, the respondent could consent to the final order, in lieu of trial. A protective or peace order will be issued.
Complete paperwork. Go to your county courthouse and fill out the appropriate paperwork, which the court clerk will provide you with. You will have to fill out an Affidavit and Petition, an Order to Show Cause and Ex Parte Order For Protection, and a Service Information Sheet. These explain your situation and need for protection, and provide the court with the necessary information about the alleged abuser. If applicable, you may be asked to submit any relevant court documents or copies of recent police and/or medical reports pertaining to recent domestic violence incidents.
If you are applying for an Ex Parte Order, you will need to explain why you feel you are in immediate danger. You will then be given a hearing with a judge, who will decide whether to grant the temporary order, and who will set your full court hearing date and time. An Ex Parte Order will protect you until your hearing. In a few counties in Minnesota, the Ex Parte Order is considered the final protective order, unless the plaintiff or respondent request a hearing.
Serve the respondent with the order. The county clerk will give the papers to the appropriate law enforcement agency, who will serve these papers for you. Service papers inform the defendant regarding the accusations being brought against him, and of the date and time of the hearing. An Ex Parte Order can not be enforced until the defendant has been properly served. If the defendant lives with you, law enforcement will also accompany you to your home and compel the defendant to vacate the premises.
Prepare for your hearing. Collect all the evidence you have to demonstrate to the judge your need for a protective order. This can include related police and medical reports, photographs of injuries or damaged property and witness testimony. You will need to be able to prove that the respondent has committed acts of domestic violence or harassment against you.
Attend the hearing. This is your opportunity to present your case to the judge. If you can not make it to the hearing, ask the judge to reschedule. If you fail to appear, the judge may decide to reschedule or deny your request, and it may become more difficult for you to be granted a protective order in the future. At the hearing, the judge will decide whether to grant you a full protective order. If an Ex Parte Order has been properly served to the respondent and he does not appear at the hearing, a bench warrant will be issued for his arrest.
Locate courthouse. By law, you can file for a restraining order in either the county where you live or the county in which the other person lives. The locations of the superior courts in New Hampshire are available online (see Resources section for a link).
Get petition from clerk. Once you arrive at the courthouse, find the clerk of court and request the petition for a domestic violence restraining order.
Complete and submit petition form. Fill out the form with a brief description in your own words of why a restraining order should be issued. Keep in mind that a judge will only issue an order if there is abuse, assault, threatening, unlawful imprisonment, harassment, destruction of your property or stalking by someone in your family by blood or marriage, someone you live or lived with or someone you have had an intimate (but not necessarily sexual) relationship.
Wait for the judge. After you submit the petition, the clerk will take the form to the judge, who may want to ask you questions before deciding on the petition. If the judge agrees to issue the restraining order, you will receive the executed temporary order on the spot.
Determine what type of restraining order you need. You are eligible for a Domestic Violence Protective Order if you have or have had a familial or close personal (such as dating) relationship with the alleged abuser. Domestic abuse is defined as any attempted or actual physical harm, or placement in fear or danger of "imminent, serious" bodily injury, harassment which inflicts "substantial emotional distress," or any incidence of rape or sexual assault or abuse. You are eligible for a Civil No-Contact Order of protection from a stranger or acquaintance who has attempted any nonconsensual sexual conduct, or stalking which has caused you emotional anxiety or fear for your safety.
Go to your court, or the court where the alleged abuser lives or works. If the court is closed and you are in immediate danger, go to the magistrate's office. Complete, notarize, and file the appropriate forms with the county clerk. The clerk will give your request to a judge, who will determine whether to grant you an "ex parte" restraining order to protect you until your hearing. If this is granted, keep a copy of it on your person at all times. These temporary restraining orders protect you for only 10 days.
Take the forms to the sheriff's office, who will serve the restraining order to the defendant for you. You will need to provide contact information for the defendant, along with a photo or physical description. The sheriff will serve the notice of hearing instructing the defendant when and where to appear in court. The defendant can file a written answer with the court to respond (within 10 days of service) to the allegations of harassment.
If you are applying for a Domestic Violence Protective Order, at the hearing you must prove the defendant has committed acts of illegal domestic violence against you. If the judge determines domestic violence has taken place, he or she is required to grant your DVPO. For both Domestic Violence and Civil No-Contact Orders, bring to court any evidence you may have to support your case, such as police or medical records, photographs, or witnesses.
If your protective order is granted, it will be valid for up to one year. Keep a copy of it on your person at all times.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, each year, 4.5 million women in the United States are victims of domestic violence. One in three women will be the victim of a domestic violence assault or rape in her lifetime. Eighty-five percent of domestic violence victims are women, and the remaining 15 percent is divided between children and men. Every day, three women, on average, are murdered by their current or former spouses or boyfriends. A restraining order, or Order of Protection, is an order issued by a civil judge or magistrate to help keep you safe after there has been an incident of domestic violence against you. It can keep your abuser from contacting you and those closest to you, and may require your abuser to turn in any weapons in his possession. There is no cost for filing, and it may save your life.
Obtain an Emergency Order of Protection. If you are in immediate danger, contact a law enforcement officer to help you obtain an Emergency Order of Protection. This temporary order is only valid until the close of business on the day after it is issued. Its purpose is to give you time to get a "permanent" Order of Protection through your local courthouse. Arizona counties with populations over 150,000 people are required to issue Emergency Orders of Protection after hours by phone when necessary. Smaller counties are not required to do so, but many do.
Go to court. As soon as possible, go to the courthouse nearest to you (see Resources below) and ask the clerk for a Petition for an Order of Protection. You can visit a justice or municipal court in most cases, but if you have recently filed for paternity, maternity, annulment or divorce, you will need to go to your county's Superior Court. Tell the clerk if there are any past or current court proceedings between you and your abuser. This includes prior Orders of Protection, divorce or custody proceedings.
Provide identification. Bring your own photo ID or driver's license for identification purposes. In addition, if possible, bring a photo of your abuser, your abuser's home and/or work address, his phone number(s), your abuser's license plate or vehicle description, and any information you have on your abuser's history of drugs or gun ownership.
Complete the forms. The courthouse clerk will provide you with all of the paperwork you will need. On these forms, you will be asked to describe the most recent incident of domestic violence. Be very specific when answering these questions. You will be asked why you need an Order of Protection. Write down any incidents you can think of within the past year. You can also write down incidents that happened prior to the past year, but a judge may or may not consider these events in issuing an Order of Protection. If your abuser has been incarcerated over all or part of the last year, the judge will most likely consider prior violence. Again, be specific about any incidents that occurred, including dates, when possible. Tell the clerk if you would like your personal contact information to remain confidential. Once you have completed the forms, give them to the clerk. There is no charge for this service.
Attend the ex parte hearing. You will be asked to appear before a judge to give a sworn statement about the information on your petition. In most cases, a judge will decide at that time whether or not to issue an Order of Protection. In some instances, the judge may need more information. If this occurs, you will be asked to attend another hearing within 10 days. Your abuser has a right to attend this hearing, if the judge deems it necessary. Once an Order of Protection is issued, it is good for one year. This is true even when the order is modified within that year.
Allow the order to be served. An Order of Protection is not enforceable until your abuser is served with the paperwork. If you filed for the Order of Protection in a municipal or justice court and your abuser lives within city limits, city police will usually serve the order. Otherwise, the county sheriff's office can provide service, or you can hire someone else to do it.
Attend the contested hearing, if one is called. Once your abuser has been served, he does have a right to a court hearing to tell his side of the story. If your abuser requests a hearing, you must attend or the Order of Protection will be dismissed. You will be asked questions similar to those when the Order of Protection was granted, including why the order is necessary and what violent or threatening situations occurred in the last year.
Don't be afraid to seek assistance from a domestic violence advocate or an attorney. Resources are available below. If you attend the hearing and your abuser has an attorney, but you do not, you can request a continuance so that you, too, can find representation.
Missouri residents can obtain a restraining order if they are victims of stalking, harassment, coercion or other form of personal abuse. The order forbids and makes it a crime for the accused to continue the abusive behavior. Missouri law allows a victim to file for a restraining order at the local circuit court. The court can issue an immediate temporary restraining order. Victims should then attend a court hearing to obtain a full restraining order.
Restraining Order Basics
Any victim of stalking may file for a Missouri restraining order. Other types of abuse that may form the basis of a restraining order include assault, battery, harassment, coercion, unlawful imprisonment and sexual assault. However, the abuser must have one of the following relationships to the victim in cases of non-stalking abuse: current or former spouse; adult family or household member; or a continuing romantic, intimate or social relationship. Additionally, the victim may file if the victim and abuser have a child together.
Although you may use an attorney or file for a restraining order on your own behalf, additional resources are available to help you through the process. The prosecutor's offices in numerous Missouri counties house crime victim advocates who can assist you in petitioning the court for a restraining order. If you're fleeing domestic violence, local shelters also maintain staff workers capable of guiding you through the legal processes necessary to protect yourself and your family.
Filing the Documents
Visit the circuit court clerk in the county where you and the abuser live, where any of the abuse took place or where authorities may deliver a copy of the protective order to the abuser. If the victim appears alone, the Missouri Adult Abuse Act requires the circuit court to explain the procedure for obtaining a restraining order. The court will provide all the necessary petition forms. Request instructions to file for an "ex parte order of protection." This order is a temporary restraining order that you can receive without giving notice to the accused. You do not have to pay a fee for a Missouri order of protection.
Discussing Your Case
Speak to the judge who receives your petition. Explain every instance of abuse when the judge asks you what happened. Photographs or other evidence of abuse may help you obtain the order. The judge should issue the temporary order of protection and schedule a hearing, generally within 15 days. The judge will order the authorities to deliver the order to the accused. If you feel additional threats will follow official delivery, find a safe place to stay, such as with friends or family or at a shelter.
Attend the hearing to get a full restraining order that lasts a minimum of 180 days and a maximum of one year. Bring any witnesses to the abuse to support your case. You may also request two renewals from the judge.
Staying Safe Long-Term
Contact police every time the abuser violates the order. You should also alert neighbors, co-workers and family members to be on the lookout for the abuser.
On days when the circuit courts are closed, one judge and clerk remain on call to process emergency petitions. Filings may take place at a city police station or county sheriff's office.
The Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence may also offer information and support for abuse victims (see Resources). This nonprofit organization can also sometimes refer victims to a local domestic violence shelter for protection against an abuser. Victims may contact the organization at 573-634-4161.
To file a restraining order in Indiana, you first need to determine what kind of a restraining order you want. In Indiana, a plaintiff can file one of three types of restraining orders in cases of violence or the threat of violence to an individual. A protective order is used in cases of family violence. A no-contact order could apply to anyone who is not eligible for a protective order. A workplace violence restraining order is for violence and threats of violence in the workplace. Restraining orders are typically filed in civil court.
Determine what type of restraining order you qualify for or which type applies to your situation. Protective orders apply in cases of domestic or family violence, and also for stalking and sex offenses. A work-place violence restraining order is filed by an employer on behalf of an employee or an employee's family member under the threat of violence. No contact orders are filed by petitioners who do not fall in the above two categories, and only in connection with ongoing criminal or juvenile cases.
Obtain the appropriate forms and instructions for the type of restraining order you want to file.
Fill out the form completely. In the case of a protective order, you, as the petitioner, should have the full name and address of the respondent, which is the person you are trying to get a protective order against, as well as that person's birth date or Social Security number.
Make the appropriate number of copies for each of the forms. If you are filing a protective order you will need four copies of the petition: one for yourself; one to be served to the respondent; one for the court file and one for a worksheet; and one copy of the confidential form. The confidential form contains necessary personal information to be provided to law enforcement but it is confidential and not part of the public record.
Go to the nearest county court, ask for the civil clerk and file the papers with the clerk. There are no filing fees when you file a protective order.
Show up to the hearing. Soon after filing your petition, a hearing is scheduled so the judge can determine whether or not to issue the restraining order. WVRO hearings are usually held within 15 days. With protective orders, the judge may schedule an automatic hearing or the respondent can ask for a hearing within 30 days of the petition being filed.
If immediate protection is needed because of fear of an immediate danger, the petitioner or plaintiff, which would be the employer in an WRVO case, can request an ex parte order. The ex parte order is when one party has an opportunity to hear the complaint against him or her. An ex parte temporary restraining order is issued at the discretion of the judge and is done only in exceptional circumstances.
While you have the right to represent yourself in restraining order cases, if your case is complicated, you may want to employ the services of an attorney. Indiana law requires that certain victims of violence against women receive free legal help.
Call the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault or visit your local police department to find information about legal advocates. They can provide free assistance in helping you obtain a restraining order and handling any other relevant matters if you do not think you can do it on your own.
Go to the magistrate court in the county where the offender resides to fill out the paperwork. In order to file a restraining order in South Carolina, the offender must have committed at least two instances of harassment or stalking in the last three months. According to the South Carolina State Legislature website, the state does not allow the courts to charge a fee for filing the request nor to deliver the paperwork to the defendant and requires the magistrate court to provide all the necessary paperwork for filing the motion and complaint to the plaintiff if she does not have legal counsel.
Tell the court if you believe you are in immediate danger. In this instance, the court can file a temporary order within 24 hours of filing without having to inform the defendant first. According to the South Carolina State Legislature website, this will remain in effect until the hearing to determine the need for a permanent order.
Attend the hearing to determine if the order will be granted or extended -- in the case of a temporary order. South Carolina law dictates the court must hold a hearing within 15 days of issuing the complaint to the defendant but cannot take place for at least five days after. If the court finds good cause, it will grant a restraining order for up to one year. The state requires you to file an official motion for any extensions and will give the defendant an opportunity for a hearing within 30 days of the expiration of the current order.
Go to the court in the Delaware county where you live and file a petition for an Order for Protection From Abuse. You can ask the court clerk for the appropriate forms or find them online on the Delaware State Courts website. This form requires information such as your relationship to the abuser; a description of the "acts of abuse;" a description of the terms requested (such as no contact, repayment of legal fees and a description of aggravating factors, such as a history of violating protective orders). You will also need to give your contact information and the alleged abuser's. Give the paperwork to the clerk.
Appear before a Commissioner of the Court in an ex parte hearing. At this hearing, which is usually held immediately after you file the petition (unless you file late in the day or in a particularly busy court), you will be able to present your case to the Commissioner. After hearing you describe your situation, he will decide whether to grant you an Emergency Order. If he does, the Emergency Order will protect you until a full hearing can be held. Either way, a full hearing will be scheduled, at which the alleged abuser will also have the opportunity to present his case, within about 10 days.
Prepare to present your case in court. Professional legal assistance can be helpful, particularly if you have children or are trying to get sole rights to a shared home. Gather any evidence that may help you demonstrate to the judge that you are in need of protection: police or medical records, witness testimony, photographs of injuries or damaged property, or any written communication between you and the alleged abuser.
Appear in court at the hearing. If you fail to appear, your case may be dismissed. Also, your emergency order, if you have one, will expire and you will be left without protection. The alleged abuser will also be there; if not, you may be automatically granted the restraining order.
The judge will listen to both sides of the story, and then decide whether to grant you a Long-term Order of Protection from Abuse. In Delaware, these protection orders will last for up to a year; they can also be extended for an extra six months, but only after another hearing is held.
Visit your local Circuit Court, which in Kentucky usually handles civil, criminal and family matters during normal weekday business hours.
If you are in danger after court hours, call the police for help in getting an immediate restraining order.
Ask the circuit court clerk for the paperwork necessary to file an emergency protective order (EPO) against the party who has been abusing you.
Fill out the paperwork entirely; you’ll provide your full name, address, Social Security number and birthdate. Kentucky strongly suggests you provide the other party’s Social Security number if you have this information. If you don’t have that data, you must offer the other person’s full name, a current address, basic physical description and birthdate.
The paperwork will also ask you to briefly describe any acts of violence or threats of violence. Remember this will not lead to a criminal charge against the other person; you must also call the police or visit the domestic violence division of your local Commonwealth’s Attorney office if you wish to pursue criminal charges.
You’ll also briefly describe the nature of your relationship to the person from whom you seek protection, including whether you ever lived together
Wait for a judge or magistrate to approve the EPO. He may take you aside to ask questions about the circumstances of your case. Once your EPO is issued, remember it is only good for 14 days. The judge or magistrate will set a hearing date at the same courthouse; during this hearing the judge will rule whether a DVO should be granted.
Attend the appropriate Kentucky Circuit Court on the date of your restraining order hearing. If you don’t attend, the EPO will expire and you won’t have any further legal protection against your abuser.
Remember that the other person has a legal right to attend this hearing. You may want to have witnesses, photographs and any other evidence to support your claims.
The judge may grant you a DVO for one to three years, depending upon the evidence in the case.
Locate the state courthouse in the county where you or your abuser/stalker live. A judge at a state court must issue a restraining order.
Complete and file a petition. Request a copy of either the Petition for Restraining Order to Prevent Abuse or Petition For Stalking Protective Order from the clerk of court. Be prepared to provide as much detail as possible about any incidents that have occurred in the past 180 days. When the form is complete, return it to the clerk of court. A judge will review your application, usually while you wait, and determine whether or not to issue a temporary restraining order on the spot.
Allow the restraining order to be served on the party being restrained. This is usually performed by the county sheriff. Depending on your particular courthouse, you may be responsible for providing the sheriff a copy or the clerk might fax a copy to the sheriff for you. There may also be a service fee due to the sheriff. Ask the clerk of court if you are responsible for service of process in your county.
Attend the hearing (if necessary). If the restrained party requests a hearing, you will have to attend and present your evidence for why a restraining order should be issued. You can bring witnesses, documents and any other evidence you may have about incidents of abuse or stalking, and you can bring a lawyer as well.
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.
A restraining order, also called a protective order, is a judicial order prohibiting someone from performing harmful conduct, such as harassment. It is used most often in family courts. In Virginia, you can obtain a restraining order application either from your county clerk's office or by downloading the form from Virginia's judicial website. Get assistance in filling out and filing the form from I-Can!, Virginia's helpful online forms completion system.
Why Filing Assistance May Be Needed
On television crime shows, a dramatic moment often involves someone getting a restraining order. The nondramatic, real-life process required to actually obtain a protective order is rarely explained, so you may understandably be left with the impression that once the aggrieved party has decided to get such an order, the heavy lifting has been done. In Virginia, the process is not always so straight forward. To begin with, there is no uniform statewide filing process; filing procedures vary from one county to another. Protective orders involving family members or juveniles are adjudicated in one court, and all other protective orders are obtained from another, and there isn't a single one-size-fits-all protection order. The state offers three different types of protection orders, each with unique protective capabilities, forms and filing procedures. Some filing requirements aren't obvious, but missteps can invalidate the application.
Three Types of Protective Orders
Virginia offers three protective orders:
- Preliminary Protective Order (PPO): the order you file if you have not previously filed for protection against a particular party, and in your judgment there is no imminent peril. For example, a PPO prohibiting an ex-spouse from taking your child out of the country at the end of the school term. This order is good for only 15 days or until the matter can be heard in court, whichever is later.
- Emergency Protective Order (EPO): the order you may need to file when in your judgment there is an imminent peril. For example, an EPO prohibiting an ex-spouse from entering your house without your permission. This order is good for only three days or until the matter can be heard in court, whichever is later.
- Final Protective Order (FPO): the order issued by the court after a formal court hearing. This order can remain in force for up to two years.
Different Courts for Different Issues
Each judicial district has filing procedures that can be unique, so it's essential to use the required procedure for your district's court. Also, within each district there are different courts for different issues. The General District Court issues protective orders that do not involve families or juveniles, and the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court is where you apply for a protective order that does involve juveniles or family members.
The I-Can! Assistance System
Fortunately, Virginia's Judiciary offers I-Can!, an online forms completion system for obtaining protective orders. Once you open up the I-Can! form from the Virginia Judicial System's website, you'll be assisted through each necessary step:
- choosing the right protective order
- form-filling assistance
- choosing the right court for filing
- details of filing procedures and filing deadlines for your court district
In Ohio, if you fear for your safety from someone, you can ask the court for a civil protection order. Also known as a restraining order, a civil protection order is issued by a judge. While there are different types of protection orders, court staff and Ohio Legal Help personel are available to help you determine which one you need to petition for, so that you don't have to go through the process alone.
Temporary and Long-Term Restraining Orders
There are two types of protection orders in Ohio. If you need immediate protection from an abuser, you can ask for a temporary, or ex parte, protection order. Granted by a judge if she feels there is good reason to do so. an ex parte protection order can be granted the same day you apply for it. These are most commonly issued when the defendant has threatened you with physical harm or a sexual offense, or when the defendant has been proven to be abusive in the past. An ex parte protection order stays in effect until a hearing takes place, usually within 10 days.
If your situation doesn't qualify for an ex parte protection order, you can still petition for a civil protection order. These can be issued by the court after a hearing is held, which gives the defendant a chance to appear before the judge to state his position. However, it's not required for the defendant to appear if he chooses not to. A civil protection order can be in effect for up to five years. If the defendant is under 18 years old, its maximum time-period is when he turns 19, unless extended.
Petitioning for a Restraining Order
To get a restraining order in Ohio, begin by contacting Ohio Legal Help for their domestic violence forms, from the Ohio Supreme Court website, or by contacting the county Clerk of Courts office (see Resources). Court employees cannot offer any sort of legal advice about your situation. They can only answer questions pertaining to the forms and the filing procedures.
You can file a petition in the county where the defendant lives, where he has a place of business, or where the defendant committed prior acts of domestic violence. You can also file the petition in the county court where you live permanently or temporarily. Keep in mind that if you file in the county where you live, this could alert the defendant that you live in that county.
The forms you may need to fill out vary in different circumstances. You would use a domestic violence ex parte civil protection order form, if you need immediate protection from a spouse or partner, for example. If you don't qualify for immediate protection, can use a petition for domestic violence civil protection order form. If you are being stalked or have been sexually assaulted, you may need a civil stalking or sexually oriented offense protection order form. If you are requesting temporary custody of any children involved relating to domestic violence, you can also fill out an information for parenting proceeding affidavit form
There will be additional forms provided to you by the Clerk of Courts office if you need financial support.
Getting the Forms Notarized
Have the form, and your signature, notarized. DO NOT SIGN THE FORM until you are in the presence of the notary public. Some Clerk of Court offices have notary publics available or can help you locate one. Present your completed, notarized forms to the Clerk of Courts office for filing. The office will process your petition and inform you of the date and time of your hearing. You are required to attend any and all hearings scheduled by the court with regard to this matter.