Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”)
on Restraining Orders
Q: What is the difference between a temporary restraining order and a restraining order after hearing?
A: Restraining orders and protective orders are examples of orders issued by a court restraining the conduct of a person. It also protects a victim from the activities of an abusive person.
One party issues a “Temporary Restraining Order” after an appearance in court without the other being present. The Temporary Restraining Order is an order of the court. It states that a person is to refrain from particular acts and to stay away from particular places.
A Temporary Restraining Order becomes effective only when it has served on the restrained person. Scheduling for an “Order to Show Cause” hearing will happen when receiving a Temporary Restraining Order. During this hearing, both parties will have the opportunity to explain to the court the reasons why a more “permanent” restraining order should or should not happen.
Requests for Temporary Restraining Orders usually can happen the same day and remain in effect until the scheduled hearing. When scheduling for the Order to Show Cause hearing, the hearing will occur within 15 or 20 days.
A hearing will be held to determine whether there is enough cause for a court to issue a more “permanent” restraining order. Based upon the evidence presented at this hearing, a court can order the restrained person from engaging in certain acts and from being in certain places. After a hearing, a Restraining Order can remain in effect for a period of time, even several years. This Restraining Order After Hearing can become renewed for more periods of time.
Q: What is the penalty for violation of a restraining order?
A: Violation of a restraining order is in contempt of a court order. The restrained person found in violation of a valid restraining order may be immediately taken into custody and taken to jail. The offender can become charged with a misdemeanor or a felony crime, and could become sentenced to serve time in jail and to pay a fine for the offense.