A kind of legal injunction, a restraining order or an order of protection is most commonly associated with and used in allusion to stalking, domestic abuse, sexual assault, and harassment. Read on to know more about how to file a restraining order.
Gillian, a 27 year old software professional had been noticing for a few days on her way back home after work, that someone was stalking her and it was not a very pleasant feeling. Although she never had a confrontation from the stalker, the chances of that were on the anvil anytime.
She held her cool for a few days by changing her route, having someone accompany her and things like that, but nothing worked. And the worst part was, she knew the stalker and he was from the neighborhood. Finally, she consulted one of her friends who was an attorney for legal advice and filed a restraining order against the stalker.
That was just a case to prove the point of when to file for an order of protection and in what circumstances. Here is the detailed process for filing explained.
Filing a Restraining Order
► If you are in potential and immediate danger, call the emergency (911). even in the situation where you are threatened, abused, and/or the matter has ended, call and tell the police that you want to press charges. If at all the case is immediately prosecuted, the court will issue an order of protection immediately.
► Get the family to a safe place and ask for help. People are mostly helpful in such matters and they would assist you in filing a restraining order.
► Approaching the police station would be of help, as the officers there would definitely give more detailed information on how to press charges.
► Call up the local family court (in case of domestic violence) and ask how to file an order of protection. Then, you would need to go to the court and get the requisite documents.
► Next, you would need to fill out the papers properly and carefully. Inclusion of social security numbers, birth dates, date of the incident/incidences of abuse or stalking, witnesses' names, and if at all there are any evidences, like photographs.
► In the context of a woman being a victim of domestic violence and she has children, the woman can get a restraining order for them as well. If instructed so, sign the papers before a notary. An order of protection against domestic violence can only be obtained during a divorce.
This was mainly in connection with domestic abuse. In case it is something different, you have an option of filing a harassment restraining order.
Filing a Harassment Restraining Order
► Ensure whether you are being harassed in legal terms and if the situation is so critical. An order of restraint can be easily overturned in case you do not have a cause good enough to file the order in the first place.
► Consult a law enforcement officer or an attorney before you file a restraining order about your jurisdiction. The procedure would slightly vary depending upon the area, but there would be forms specifically meant for order of protection. They would have to be filed with a city or county clerk.
► Initially, it would be a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), having a validity between 5-15 days of filing the order.
► Once the court reviews the order, you can decide if you want to file for a permanent restraining order (PRO). If you want to file for a PRO, it is better to hire an attorney.
► One of the most important things to remember is to avoid and refuse any contact with the restrained party. If you are skeptical about the fact that you need protection, you would jeopardize your wish to turn your TRO into PRO.
► The laws vary depending upon the country you are in, so you would need to be careful about that as well.
Restraining order could prove to be extremely crucial when it comes to your own safety. So if you are facing something like Gillian, and you are sure about that, then do not think twice about putting an order of restraint on the person.
Ultimately, your safety is what matters, and being able to live without fear is one of the most important and fundamental rights in the constitution of any country.