Kinds of Restraining Orders

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What Is a Restraining Order?

Restraining orders, also known as orders of protection, is a court order against an individual ordering them to stay away or desist from certain activities. The limit of time that a restraining order will last will depend upon the type of restraining order issued. Restraining orders are typically used for cases of stalking or domestic violence.

What Kinds of Restraining Orders Are There?

There are several kinds of restraining orders. These include: 

Note that the names, procedures to obtain the orders, effects and time coverage may differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Can I Have More Than One Restraining Order?

Yes, an individual may have more than one restraining order, provided that a judge signs each one. Note that both criminal and civil law systems make use of restraining orders, so it is possible to have a restraining order from each type of court.

What Is the Difference Between a Criminal and a Civil Law Restraining Order?

Civil law orders are obtained directly from a lawsuit brought by the victim against the defendant. The victim must file a complaint in court and go through hearings in order to obtain the order. It may be wise for the victim to obtain an attorney to ensure the process goes smoothly. Criminal law orders, on the other hand, are sought by district attorneys on behalf of the victims. The criminal law orders typically have more authority than civil law orders, so if a criminal law order and a civil law order conflict, the criminal law order will be the binding one.

What if I Do Not Have a Green Card?

You can still get a restraining order if you do not have a green card. People that work at the courthouse do not work for the Department of Homeland Security. You may, however, wish to consult an immigration attorney if you are concerned about deportation.

Can I Agree to Cancel the Order?

Only a judge has the power to cancel a restraining order.  You cannot decide to cancel it yourself.

Can I Use A Restraining Order From Out of State?

If you move to another state while a restraining order is still in effect, the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United State Constitution will sure that a judgment from one state will still be applicable in another state. If you wish to obtain an order from an out of state court, it is strongly advised that you remain within your state to obtain an order before moving out. Courts have a limited jurisdiction, or area of land in which they have power, and that jurisdiction is usually limited to the state in which the parties in a case reside.

California courts, for example, will generally not have the power to issue restraining orders for a domestic dispute case between two parties in New York. If a party in New York obtains a New York restraining order and then moves to California though, California will recognize and enforce the restraining order.

Protected persons who wish that valid protection order be enforced in another state should register the order with the courts in that state.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Get or Contest a Restraining Order?

Given the sensitive and serious nature of restraining orders, it may be wise to consult with a family lawyer. Speaking with an experienced family lawyer will inform you of your rights as well as preserve any possible remedies you may have.

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Last Modified: 06-03-2014 01:34 PM PDT

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