For What Reasons Can You Get a Restraining Order?

By Stephanie Kurose, J.D.

For What Reasons Can You Get a Restraining Order?

By Stephanie Kurose, J.D.

You can file for a restraining order for many reasons. One of the most common justifications is to stop a person from contacting, harassing, or stalking you. For example, you may request a restraining order in a divorce proceeding if you want to restrict your ex-spouse from contacting or coming near you and your children, especially if there's a threat of physical or psychological abuse. On the other hand, you may also request a restraining order to prevent property loss and destruction. The type and duration of a restraining order may vary from one situation to another and from state to state.

Gavel and pen on a restraining order

Physical or Psychological Abuse

One of the primary reasons a person seeks a restraining order is because they've been threatened with or have been physically or psychologically abused. If you can prove that you or your children are in danger, a restraining order prohibits your abuser from contacting, harassing, threatening, and communicating with you. It forces your abuser to move out of your home, restricts them from going to your place of employment or your children's school, and can prevent them from owning a firearm.

If your abuser violates the restraining order in any way, they can be immediately arrested and taken to jail. It's important you keep the restraining order with you because if it's violated, you can immediately show the order to the police who respond to your call.

Other Reasons to Seek a Restraining Order

Other reasons to seek a restraining order include the loss of assets or patent and trademark infringement. While less common, you can still request a restraining order if, for example, your ex-spouse is in the process of moving or hiding money or depleting your assets to prevent you from acquiring your fair share. The court may issue a restraining order to prevent further action on their part.

You may also obtain a restraining order during an infringement lawsuit. If another party is illegally using, selling, or manufacturing an item for which you have obtained a patent, you may ask the court for a restraining order to prevent their continued use of the patented item while the lawsuit is pending.

How to Get a Restraining Order

The only way you can get a restraining order is to go through the court. If there's an immediacy situation where you need to get a restraining order fast, you can petition the court for an emergency hearing. The court listens to the reasons why you're seeking a restraining order and if issued, it must then be properly served upon the accused.

In a divorce case, you may request a restraining order as part of the initial proceedings or at any point in the process. It can be incorporated into the final divorce decree or issued as a separate order. In a domestic violence case, many states require the restraining order to be registered with the local law enforcement office.

If you need assistance seeking a restraining order, consider enlisting the help of a professional.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.

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