Restraining Orders

Know Your rights - 101

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NOTICE: The following is provided for general informational purposes only. The law on this topic changes periodically and may be outdated or may not apply to your case and specific facts.  The information provided on this site should not be relied upon without consultation with a licensed attorney in your state.

A restraining order may provide necessary protection and peace of mind to an individual in fear.  However, a restraining order can have serious consequences for the person against whom a restraining order is issued.  A temporary restraining order can usually be obtained without the assistance of an attorney.

However, it is seldom advisable for a person to defend against a restraining order on one’s own.  Restraining Orders have long-term serious consequences!

Mark Johnson has a high rate of success in defending against restraining orders, particularly in critical cases that affect continued employment as a peace officer.

Restraining Orders-General Overview

There are several types of restraining orders that may be sought to protect individuals from annoying, violent or harassing conduct.  Typically, a court may issue a temporary restraining to protect an individual, group or entity that prohibits specific conduct. 

A person files an application for a protection order with the court and can usually get a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the same day.  The person seeking the TRO is required to give 24-hour notice that a TRO is being sought.  However, there are exceptions to this notice requirement, particularly if there is a good faith belief the person seeking the order will be harmed by early notice. 

Temporary restraining orders are issued for a short period of time, usually 15-22 days, until an evidentiary hearing can be held to examine the merits and justification of a long-term order, sometimes called a permanent restraining order, that typically last three to five years and can be renewed. TROs can usually be applied for an obtained on the same day.

After a TRO is obtained and a hearing date for an evidentiary hearing is given, the person seeking the order (known as the petitioner) is required to give notice of the hearing to the person against whom the restraining order is issued.  A person other than the petitioner, who is over 18 and not a party to the proceedings, must give notice of the hearing. 

A hearing is held and heard by a judge or commissioner.  The hearing is a type of trial, where both sides have an opportunity to present evidence by way of testimony, sworn written statements, and other evidence.  

Although there are procedures and evidentiary rules that must be followed, the court’s role is to obtain all relevant facts to make a decision and the court often relaxes the rules to get to the truth of the case. 

After the hearing, the judge or commissioner determines whether a long-term order to prohibit specific conduct should be issued.  Peace officers in some cases may be granted an exception to carry a firearm for the purpose of work only.  Obtaining this exception can be complex and typcially requires the assistance of an attorney.