Technically, only a judge can make the final decision to lift a restraining order. Thus, regardless of which party wants the order to be lifted, they must file a request with the court and present their request to the judge.
For instance, the victim may sometimes want a restraining order lifted. Restraining orders can be very restrictive and can make other practical matters more difficult, such as paying rent, dealing with finances and other issues that might affect them. Or, the person being restrained by the order may sometimes wish to have it lifted. They may wish to have it lifted for various reasons, such as child visitation matters or for other personal reasons.
Regardless of which party is seeking to lift a restraining order, this must be done using the channels provided by the court system, so that a judge can oversee and approve of any changes.
What Is Needed to Have a Restraining Order Lifted?
Generally speaking, any request to have a restraining order modified or lifted needs to be supported by evidence. This may involve such proof as:
- Documentation, such as work stubs, completion of rehabilitation, etc.
- Statements from other persons
- Records from parole officers and other enforcement authorities testifying to the person’s criminal background
- Evidence related to child custody and visitation if this is a related issue
Generally speaking, the person against whom the restraining order has been issued needs to show proof of good behavior as well and must be in good standing with the courts. Even then, the court may analyze other factors to determine eligibility for a change in restraining order. Steps for lifting a restraining order may be very different depending on whether it is a permanent restraining order or a temporary one.
What Are the Consequences for Violating a Restraining Order?
Violating a restraining order can lead to some serious legal consequences including:
- Contempt orders with the court
- Criminal charges
- Loss of other privileges such as child visitation
Restraining orders should not be violated even if the parties have changed their minds and mutually agree to start seeing one another again. Restraining orders are enforceable by law; if the victim aids in allowing a restraining order to be violated, they may face legal consequences as well. If changes need to be made, the parties must always address the changes and request adjustments directly with a judge.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
If you have an issue with a restraining order, you should consult and experienced criminal defense attorney for assistance.