Restraining orders are protective orders that make citizens feel secure. They safeguard the plaintiff by restricting the defendant to cease every contact with the plaintiff. Restraining orders are generally filed for domestic violence cases. They are to be taken seriously and have to be paid heed to immediately. The defendant however has certain rights too. They can hire an attorney to defend themselves. Defending against a restraining order can be daunting and difficult but attorneys can help through the case.
The process that restraining orders go through differ from state to state but the general procedure remains the same.
The following three steps are quite standard for restraining orders throughout the world.
1. Approach the court
Plaintiff has to file a petition for a protective order. The clerk provides you with forms to fill out. You will be the petitioner and the abuser will be the defendant on the form. Describe the incidents of violence and be as precise as possible. Try mentioning dates and specific details. You can seek assistance from the clerk to fill out the form.
2. Judge reviews application
The clerk will carry forward your application to the judge and the judge will evaluate your case. He might question your claims. The judge then gives you a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) or Permanent Restraining Order (PRO). TRO is granted if the judge feels you’re in immediate need of protection.
If TRO is passed; the abuser (defendant is informed of it) can prepare his defense.
3. Court hearing
The court hearing begins with the selection of the jury. Both sides present their opening statements. Then they proceed with justifying their claims. Both the plaintiff and defendant get equal representation. They can produce before the court, evidence, and witnesses that prove their side. A closing statement ends the trial. After this, the jury and judge collectively evaluate the case and come to a verdict. If the claim of the Plaintiff is justified then the defendant is charged guilty. If the defendant feels he has been given unfair treatment, he can approach the higher courts.
A restraining order prevents further damage to the victim and provides protection from the abuser. The abuser is denied any kind of contact with the victim. They are sometimes even prohibited from the vicinity of the victim. Emergency relief is provided to victims in severe cases. Restraining orders are highly effective and they serve useful for threat management.