A temporary restraining order (TRO) protects you in the event you feel unsafe due to some form of abuse. A TRO is an emergency court order that orders an individual to not take certain actions until a hearing can take place. It lasts around 14 days or until the temporary order hearing, whichever comes first.
A TRO can include orders to protect your safety, property, and children. A TRO cannot include orders for child custody or child support. It can also not exclude a spouse from his/her residence. Today, we will discuss the steps you need to take to obtain a TRO.
How Do You File for a Temporary Restraining Order?
The steps to file for a TRO are as follows:
Consult with an attorney
An attorney can help you file for a TRO and represent you in court. He/she will also be able to advocate on your behalf.
Go to the district attorney's office or the courthouse to file
Typically, you will file your application in the county where you or the individual who abused you lives. You might also need to file in the county where the abuse happened.
Fill out the appropriate forms and submit your information
Next, you will need to fill out your forms and provide the following information:
- Each petitioner’s name and the county where each one lives
- The name, address, and county of residence of everyone who has committed family violence
- The relationship between the victim(s) and the abuser
- A request for one or more protective orders
You will also need to provide a detailed account of how the abuser injured, threated, and/or harmed you. You will need to explain where and when the abuse and/or threats happened using detailed language. It would also be beneficial to include dates.
If you are in immediate danger and would also like to apply for a temporary ex parte order, you must include a detailed description of the facts and circumstances concerning the abuse and your need for an immediate protective order.
Sign the application under oath in front of a notary public or judge at the courthouse
You must sign the application under oath. The form must also be signed in front of a notary public or a judge at the courthouse.
A judge will review your petition
The judge reviewing your petition may ask additional questions for clarification. The judge may grant a temporary ex parte order if he/she decides that you are in immediate danger. Before getting a permanent order, a full hearing will be held.
A Notice of an Application for a Protective Order Will Be Issued
This notice declares that the abuser has been accused of committing family violence. The county clerk usually arranges for service of this notice. This notice also lets both parties know when the hearing date will be.
Hearing for a permanent order will be held
A judge will need to see that the abuser committed an act of family violence against you and is likely to do so again (over 50% chance) to grant you a permanent protective order.
Do you have additional questions about how to obtain a temporary restraining order? Contact our office online or call us at (512) 768-9737.