What are the steps to get a restraining order?
The steps to get a restraining order are relatively easy when you have the right documentation. However, this process requires following certain steps in the correct order and preparing your case carefully.
Apply at Family Court
The first step is to go to a family court and ask for an application for a restraining order. You will need to complete this and submit it as soon as possible. The courts will give you a hearing date within 48 hours. In many cases, the court will issue a temporary restraining order at the same time that will be in effect until your court date.
Have the Other Party Served
The other party to the restraining order will need to be served with the court summons and the temporary restraining order within a certain time frame. This varies according to the area. Another thing that varies is how the other party will be served. In some areas this can be done through mail but you may have to hire someone to do it for you if not. The person who serves them will need to fill out a document called a “Proof of Service” that will be returned to you for your records.
Attend the Hearing
You will need to attend the hearing and bring the Proof of Service along with evidence supporting your need for a restraining order. A police report is the best evidence but it is not necessary. You can also bring medical reports or photographs of your injuries; evidence of harassment and threats such as copies of emails or texts; photos of property damage; recordings of harassing phone calls or conversations; and/or witnesses. If you have made a compelling case, you will be issued a permanent restraining order, which usually is good for five years.
Follow Up on the Court Decision
If the restraining order was granted and the other party was not present, you will need to serve them with the restraining order. In addition, you will need to bring the completed proof of service and a copy of the restraining order to your police department. You should also carry the restraining order with you in case there is an incident and you need immediate proof for law enforcement.