Featured News 2018 Define the Law: What is a Restraining Order?

Define the Law: What is a Restraining Order?

Why Would Someone File a Restraining Order?

In general, a restraining order is a court request to protect an individual from being harassed, stalked, sexually abused or threated. The person asking for the restraining order is called a protected person, and the person who the restraining order is for is called the restrained person.

The basic terms of a restraining order (also known as a protective order) bars the restrained person from being within a certain distance of the protected person.

What Is the Purpose of a Restraining Order?

The purpose of a restraining order is to keep the person who is restrained from texting, following, calling or visiting the other party's residence or workplace—even if the two parties live together. The courts do not make allowances of any kind for the recipient of a restraining order. If you've been hit with a temporary protective order, you'll have a chance to fight it in court—but for now, you have no choice but to obey the judge.

Getting a restraining order put on you may require:

  • Moving out temporarily
  • Losing custody of your children
  • Having your firearms confiscated

Consequences of not following the court order results in fines, jail or both, depending upon the sentence of a judge. For immigrants, getting a restraining order could threaten your chances of getting a green card.

Four Types of Restraining Orders

There are 4 different types of restraining orders, each equipped to deal with different situations:

  • Domestic Violence Restraining Order
  • Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order
  • Civil Harassment Restraining Order
  • Workplace Violence Restraining Order

A Domestic Violence Restraining Order is issued when a restrained party has abused the protected party and there is a domestic or family relationship with the restrained party. The order could be issued on behalf of roommates and exes as well as immediate family members.

The Elder of Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order is issued when the protected party is either 65 years old or are mentally or physically dependent on another. This may also be filed if you are an object of physical abuse involving financial misrepresentation.

The third type of restraining order named theCivil Harassment Restraining Order is filed when there is little or no relationship with the person. This can be filed against distant family members, neighbors, or someone who is accused of stalking or threatening.

Lastly, the fourth restraining order is Workplace Violence Restraining Order, which are filed by employers who accuse workers of posing a threat in their workspace. It is vital to know that if there is a restraining order placed against you or someone you know, that it does not give a criminal record against the restrained.

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