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5 Things To Know About A Restraining Order

The Scottsdale family law attorneys at Canterbury Law Group frequently represent clients when obtaining Restraining Orders. Often a critical matter, the law team at Canterbury offers 5 things you need to know about obtaining a Restraining Order.

  • 1. What is a restraining order? A court order intended to protect you from further harm from someone who has hurt you; to keep the abuser away from you, or to stop harassing you, or keep the abuser from the scene of violence, which may include your home, place of work, or apartment. It is a civil order and it does not give the abuser a criminal record.
  • 2. Who can get a restraining order? Any victim of domestic violence or a threat of imminent domestic violence can obtain a Restraining Order. This means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts committed against a victim by an adult or an emancipated minor:
    • Assault
    • Burglary
    • Criminal mischief
    • Criminal restraint
    • Terrorist threats
    • Criminal sexual contact
    • Criminal trespass
    • False imprisonment
    • Harassment
    • Homicide
    • Kidnapping
    • Lewdness
    • Sexual assault
    • Stalking
  • 3. What does a Restraining Order actually do? The order is very specific in as far as what the abuser can and can’t do.
    • The abuser can be ordered not to have any contact with you, in person or by phone, at home, work, or almost anywhere you ask the court to place inside the order.
    • The court can order the abuser to leave the house or apartment that you and the abuser share; even if it is in the abuser’s name.
    • Except in unusual situations, the court may grant you 100% custody of your minor children while the restraining order remains valid and in force. In some states, the court can also order the abuser to pay child support and personal support for you. The abuser may also be granted visitation with the child/children under certain supervised conditions. If the children are in danger of abuse, you should let the judge know why you think so and go see legal counsel immediately.
    • The judge may order the abuser to receive professional domestic violence counseling, or tell the abuser to get evaluated, or to go to AA.
    • The judge can order the police to escort the abuser to remove personal items from the residence, or shared place of business, so that you are protected by the police during any necessary contact.
    • The judge has the power under the law to order anything else that will help to protect you, as long as you agree to it.
  • 4. How long does the restraining order last? When you first get protection under the law, it is only temporary and called a T.R.O. for Temporary Restraining Order. In most states, if the abuser challenges the validity of the order, you must return to court on the date indicated in the T.R.O., which will be about 10 days later. Both you and the abuser will be asked to appear in court on that date. During the 10-day period, the police or Sheriff’s Office will serve the abuser with a copy of the order so the abuser will know when the hearing is scheduled. Keep a copy of the order with you and give a copy to the police in any town where you think the abuser might approach you.
  • 5. What happens once a restraining order is in place? If challenged by the abuser by filing an objection notice with the court, an immediate court date will be set and you will appear before a judge. Both you and the abuser will have the opportunity to tell the judge what happened between you. If the abuser does not appear at the hearing, the judge will either continue the temporary order in effect until the abuser can be brought into court, or will enter a final order if there is proof that the abuser was served with the T.R.O. If sustained by the Court after the abuser’s failed objection, restraining orders can last from 1 to 3 years depending on the state from which they are originally issued.

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