Written by Canterbury Law Group

Understanding Orders of Protections and Restraining Orders

The family law attorneys at Canterbury Law Group have extensive knowledge on protective orders and restraining orders. If you’re in need of legal protection, there are some details you need to understand before moving forward.

Orders of protection and restraining orders are two options for people being threatened with imminent injury or who are being physically abused. The two orders are similar in whom they protect but are also different in how long they are good for and the penalties for violation.

Orders of Protection – A court issues orders of protection to victims of domestic violence. Orders demand that an abuser stop threatening, stalking or physically assaulting the victim. Orders often demand that an abuser also stops contacting the victim in any form, including in person, by phone or by e-mail. Orders of protection are in force for at least one year, but can be extended for longer durations as the court sees fit. Orders of protection can be renewed upon request to the court. Parties seeking to overturn or “quash” the orders have a right to a live evidentiary hearing within 10 days of filing their objections to the court.

Restraining Orders – A restraining order is issued by a court to protect someone from threats or physical abuse. Restraining orders are different from orders of protection because restraining orders can also include provisions for property, child support, spousal maintenance and child custody when these are issues arising during a divorce or separation. Restraining orders are good for a fixed period of time set by the court, determined on a case by case basis, usually at least six months, but sometimes for several years. Extensions are available, but must be requested and approved before the initial orders expire.

Cost – No filing fees are charged for orders of protection and restraining orders. Additionally, because these orders are important to victims’ safety, the government bears the cost for serving the orders on abusers.

Penalties for Violation – The main difference between restraining orders and orders of protection is the penalties for violation. If an abuser violates a restraining order, he or she will only face a civil contempt allegation and may be required to pay a fine. However, if an abuser violates a protective order, criminal charges can be filed by the local prosecuting attorney, ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending upon the circumstances of the violation and the number of violations already against the abuser.

If you’re being threatened or abused, there is a legal solution. In contrast, if you have been wrongfully charged or accused with false allegations of harmful abuse, we can also help quash the orders. Contact the team at Canterbury Law Group to begin the process today. Time is usually of the essence in these matters.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Requirements for Obtaining a Restraining Order

The Scottsdale divorce attorneys at Canterbury Law Group frequently represent clients when obtaining or defending restraining orders. If you are contemplating obtaining a restraining order, your situation must fit the criteria listed below. It is also important to note that a judge cannot give you a restraining order solely for threats, rude behavior, verbal or emotional abuse or damaged property unless you were in fear that you were about to be physically injured.

  • Age. You are at least 18 years old, or you are younger than 18 but the person who abused you is 18 or older. You are (or were) married to that person, or 2) you have been in a sexual relationship with that person. If you are over 18 and were protected by a restraining order as a child and that order is still in effect, you may ask the court to continue that order even if the person who asked for it does not want it extended.
  • Relationship. The person who abused you is: 1) your husband, wife or domestic partner; or 2) your former husband, wife or domestic partner; or 3) an adult with whom you are living (or did live) in a sexual relationship; or 4) an adult with whom you have been in a sexual relationship in the last two years; or 5) an adult related to you by blood, marriage (caution: legal marriage in this context is distinct from co-habitation) or adoption; or 6) the parent of your child.
  • What is meant by “abuse”? If in the last 180 days, the person you wish to restrain has: physically injured you; or tried to physically injure you; or made you afraid that he or she was about to physically injure you or made you have sexual relations against your wishes by using force or threats of force. (Note that any time period in which the person who abused you was in jail or lived more than 100 miles from your home does not count as part of the 180-day period. This means you may still be able to get a restraining order even if it has been more than 180 days since you were abused.)
  • Ongoing Danger. You are in danger of more abuse very soon, and the person who abused you is a threat to the physical safety of you or your children.

The legal team at Canterbury Law Group can help you navigate the legal procedures for your restraining order. Alternatively, if you have been served with a restraining order against you, we can help you invoke your right to an evidentiary hearing to have the order quashed. Contact us today to schedule your consultation. 480-744-7711.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Common Questions After Getting a Restraining Order

The Scottsdale divorce attorneys at Canterbury Law Group receive many questions about restraining orders. Here are common questions that accumulate after a restraining order is obtained.

How long does a restraining order last?

A restraining order lasts for one year from the date the judge signed it or until it is quashed by a judge. If the judge believes you are still in danger, the restraining order can be renewed for one year at a time. To renew the order, you must file the court paperwork before the initial order expires.

What can I do if the restraining order is violated?

You can call the police. The officer must arrest the respondent if there is a good reason to believe a violation has happened. The respondent can be charged with contempt of court. If the respondent is found guilty of violating a restraining order, he / she can be fined, placed on probation or put in jail.

What if I want to cancel the restraining order?

You must file legal paperwork at the courthouse to ask the judge to drop the order. The order remains in effect until the judge dismisses it, which may take a few days or weeks. Sometimes, the parties may agree to dismiss the restraining order and enter into a limited no-contact agreement to facilitate communication between the parties with respect to children and parenting time only. This should only be done if it is safe and through legal counsel.

Can the restraining order be changed once it’s in effect?

Only some parts of a restraining order can be changed, except at a hearing to contest the order that is requested by the person being restrained.
If you are dealing with a restraining order or are thinking of filing for one, contact Canterbury Law Group today. Our dedicated litigation attorneys in Scottsdale will ensure thorough preparation for your restraining order, or defense from same, and help you navigate the legal issues that inevitably arise.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Deciphering Orders of Protection

Survivors of domestic violence have several civil lawsuit options to protect themselves from future abuse. At Canterbury Law Group, we often help clients navigate through these options to maximize their personal safety and security.

Emergency Protection Order – In some states, the police can give the victim (or person believed to be the victim) an Emergency Protection Order (EPO). An EPO is a short-term protection order typically given to a victim by the police or magistrate when his or her abuser is arrested for domestic violence. The EPO is generally for limited period, such as three or seven days. This permits the victim time with an EPO in place to request a longer-term protection order.

Order of Protection – All 50 states and the District of Columbia have statutes for some form of protective order. However, states call these orders different things such as protective orders, orders of protection and injunction for protection against domestic violence or injunctions against harassment.

A protective order is different from an EPO because it is longer term, typically for one to five years, and in extreme circumstances, for up to a lifetime. A victim can renew the protection order, if he or she still feels threatened by his or her abuser.

Protective orders may include children, other family members, roommates, or current romantic partners of the victim. This means the same “no contact” and “stay away” rules apply to the other listed individuals, even if the direct harm was to the victim. Some states allow pets to be protected by the same order, as abusers may harm pets to torment their victims.

Restraining Order – A restraining order is judge imposed court order requiring parties involved in a lawsuit to do or not do certain things. It may be part of a family law case, such as a divorce, or other civil codes. Restraining orders may be requested “ex parte” meaning that one party asks the court to do something without telling the other party. If the restraining order is granted ex parte, than the other party is later permitted a hearing to present their side of the story. This is often the process for protective orders also. As restraining orders also vary by state, it’s important to consult with an attorney familiar with the law where you live. Go to for more information.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

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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