A Restraining Order is a civil (not criminal) order, signed by a judge, that makes it illegal for someone to do certain things, such as harass, threaten, or annoy you. It makes it possible for the police to arrest someone for coming back to your home, or bothering you at work, when those actions would not otherwise be a crime.
There are several types of restraining orders that can be useful in helping to keep a person from bothering you:
An Emergency Protective Order (EPO) is just what the name implies. It is a restraining order that the police can get for you, even in the middle of the night by conferring with an on-call Judge. The EPO is only good for a few days, and should be followed by obtaining a restraining order.
A Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) is is an order issued by the court, in advance of a court hearing held to determine if a regular restraining order should be issued. You or your attorney can get one by filing the appropriate papers with the court. TRO’s are only good until the date of the court hearing for issuance of a regular restraining order. After this hearing, at which the restrained person has the right to appear, the order may be made effective for years afterward, as a full Restraining Order.
A Restraining Order, or Order After a Hearing (OAH) is an order issued by the court instructing a specified person to:
- Stay a specified distance away from you.
- Stay away from your home, work, school, family's home, children's school, child care center, or baby sitter's home.
- Move out of your home, even if the batterer's name is on the lease or he/she is co-owner.
- Give you custody of your children and make visitation orders.
- Pay child support.
- Not to call or write you or do so through another person.
- Divide up some of your property.
- Reimburse you for lost earnings and/or actual expenses directly caused by violence.