A restraining order is a court document that restricts, or eliminates, contact between two people. Restraining orders are usually associated with victims of domestic violence, but can be obtained by victims of any form of harassment. Essentially, a judge decides how far a the defendant must stay away to keep you safe. In extreme cases, a judge will order no form of contact, including telephone, letters or even emails. Violating a restraining order is tantamount to violating any other court order and will result in the defendants arrest. However, the person filing a restraining order must also abide by the restraining order or the order may be nullified.
Types of Restraining Orders
There are two types of restraining orders: an emergency protective order, and a restraining order. An emergency protective order is filed by law enforcement officers and protects you for five days while you establish a more permanent order. The police officer can ask the abusive party to leave the home, and to make absolutely no contact with you during the restraining period. A copy of this order is automatically dispersed to the local sheriff and police stations. If the abuser contacts you, he will be automatically arrested.
A restraining order is a list of stipulations signed by a judge. If the abusive party is not in jail, the two of you will meet with a court mediator before the restraining order is signed. During this meeting, you will decide on custody, property and contact. In cases of domestic violence, the restrained person will not be permitted within 500 feet of you, your home, and your work-place. If there are children involved, supervised visitation is strongly recommended. In this case, the restraining order will permit a relative, friend or court appointed individual to pick up and drop off the children for visitation. It is important to be honest with the court if the abuser has ever hurt the children physically or mentally. Sometimes, it is safer for the kids to have no visitation at all.
Filing a Restraining Order
To file a domestic violence restraining order, you must meet certain criteria. First, you must establish that the abuser is your significant other. If you are married, or have...