If you are in a situation where you feel threatened or are a victim of harassment, abuse or violence, it may be necessary to request a restraining order. This is also known as a domestic violence protective order.
Examples and filing process
There are several examples of when you may want to request a protective order. These include when you are the victim of physical, emotional or psychological abuse. This can be from a spouse, partner or a family member.
If you are being stalked, harassed, or threatened with violence, or your child is in danger, a protective order can be used to protect yourself and your family. Harassment can include repeated unwanted contact by phone, email, text messages or other forms of communication.
If your property has been damaged or destroyed by an abusive person, you may request a protective order to stop further harm.
You can request a protective order by completing a form detailing the abuse and filing a petition with the clerk of court. The judge will review your petition and in emergency situations, may order a temporary protective order until a full hearing can take place.
At the full hearing, the judge may issue a protective order that is effective for longer.
If your abuser violates the protective order, it’s important to document the non-compliance and notify law enforcement. The court will hold a hearing and the abuser will be required to respond to the allegations that they did not comply with the order.
The penalties for violation include fines, probation and in some cases, jail time.