If you or a loved one are the victim of domestic violence, there is help. Attorney Laura M. Boyd is experienced in helping victims of domestic violence obtain restraining orders against their abusers. There are several types of restraining orders available.
Civil Restraining Order (Family Law)
A person is eligible for a domestic violence restraining order if they have a close/intimate relationship with the abuser. These relationships include: relatives, relatives by marriage, dating, living together, and/or have children in common. A victim can obtain an order that prevents the abuser from contacting the victim by any means, including physical contact, physical violence, threats, telephone calls, text messages, and even messages through third parties. Members of the victim's household can also be included as protected persons, as well as immediate family members.
Civil restraining orders can include stay away orders, which prevent the abuser from coming within 100 yards of the victim and any other protected person. Other orders that can be requested are:
Move-out orders, allowing the victim to remain in the home and make the abuser move out;
Property use orders, allowing the victim to keep property such as a car to transport children to school or for transportation to work;
Child custody and child support orders.
Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)
Once the paperwork is filed to request a restraining order, a judge reviews the application and makes a determination whether there is enough evidence contained in the initial documents to issue a temporary restraining order. If so, the judge may issue any or all of the requested orders pending a hearing on the restraining order. These orders will remain in effect until the hearing.
The person requesting the restraining order MUST attend the hearing, or the restraining order will be dismissed.
"Permanent" Restraining Order
After the hearing on the restraining order, the judge will make "permanent" orders, usually lasting three years. In some cases, the judge can make orders for up to five years.
Emergency Protective Order (EPO)
An emergency protective order is an order issued by law enforcement when they respond to a call for domestic violence. The order is good for 5 days, which gives the victim protection while they seek a more permanent restraining order. An EPO can include stay-away, personal conduct, and move-out orders.
Criminal Protective Order (CPO)
A criminal protective order is an order issued by a judge when criminal charges are filed against the abuser. These orders are good for as long as criminal charges are pending, and for up to 10 years after a conviction for domestic violence. However, if charges are dropped, the criminal protective order is dropped as well. So it is very important to obtain a civil restraining order through the family court as soon as possible to make sure you and your loved ones remain protected.
Civil Order Prohibiting Harassment
These orders are for people who have suffered harassment and do not qualify for a domestic violence restraining order. They can include personal conduct orders, stay-away orders, and other miscellaneous orders.
Harassment is defined as:
A credible threat of violence; OR
A knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person that seriously alarms, annoys, or harasses the person and that serves no legitimate purpose.
There must be recent acts of harassment.