A restraining order is a court order or injunction to do or cease doing particular acts. In practical terms, a restraining order is normally used in cases involving domestic violence, assault, stalking and harassment.
Within the United States, every individual state has some restraining order related to domestic violence cases. Most states have their own rules for restraining orders related to sexual assault and stalking.
Most restraining orders in California have an expiration date. This basically means that in the state of California, the day that your restraining order ends you are no longer protected legally.
If you continue to be concerned about your safety or the safety of your loved ones, you may file for renewal in your restraining order. A renewal of a restraining order can sometimes render the restraining order permanent.
Purpose of a Restraining Order
Normally a restraining order is used to put distance between someone being harassed and the person supposedly doing the harassing.
Thus, by court injunction, an abuser may be ordered to remain a certain distance from the school, home or workplace of the person who successfully filed the restraining order.
It is important to bear in mind that a restraining order is a civil order that does not result in dirtying up the criminal record of the supposed abuser.
Domestic Violence Victims
Victims of domestic violence frequently file restraining orders against their abusers. Domestic violence can include a whole range of actions, including: harassment, kidnapping, burglary, threats of violence, stalking, and assault.
If you have been subjected to any of these actions, you might be eligible to file for a restraining order against your abuser. A restraining order is a court injunction in which the judge will sign an order of protection that forces the abuser to comply with the law.
Consequences of a Restraining Order
A restraining order can prevent the abuser from contacting you or your family by phone or direct contact. Further, a restraining order could also force the abuser to leave a shared residence. A judge may decide to tell an abuser to leave even when the abuser owns the deed to the home.
If you are a parent and the victim of domestic violence, through a restraining order you may be awarded custody of minor children under your care. In addition, a restraining order can affect child support payments as well as visitation rights.
Depending on the state in which the restraining order is filed, the abuser may have to pay for things like utility bills, doctor’s appointments and even a loss of earnings related to the incident that brought about the restraining order.
In cases of extreme domestic violence, a judge could order the abuser seek treatment or order a police escort to come along with an abuser as he removes his personal possessions from the place of residence.
Signs that You Need a Restraining Order
Of course, it’s only natural to get a restraining order if you are the victim of domestic violence, assault, stalking or harassment. Sometimes, however, things aren’t as clear-cut.
The primary purpose of a restraining order is to keep the abused party safe from future harm. If you are concerned about the safety of yourself or your family members, it might be time to look into getting a restraining order.
Especially if the abuser has a long history of abuse, getting a restraining order and going through the right judicial channels and possibly police protection, could be the deciding factor in keeping you and your loved ones safe.