Divorce is already a process that is difficult enough and a spouse that threatens your safety will only make it more difficult. Our Appleton restraining orders attorneys can help you through the process that can help ensure your safety.
How Do Restraining Orders Work?
Restraining orders prevent a person from engaging in conduct that is considered harassment or domestic abuse. Violating the terms outlined in a restraining order can result in a person being charged with a criminal offense. Restraining orders are issued by the circuit court, and the vast majority of the hearings in this court are public knowledge. However, the only information that is available about restraining orders is the type of restraining order the alleged victim requested and whether the restraining order request was granted or dismissed.
In order to obtain a restraining order, a person must have grounds. The grounds needed to pursue a retraining order vary depending on the type of order one is seeking. If someone is accused of lying about the grounds for a restraining order, or anything else pertaining to a request for an order, the court will hold a hearing and hear both sides. Often, there is very little evidence in these cases so the court must rely on testimony alone and determine which party is more credible. In these situations, it is particularly important to work with a Appleton restraining order attorney who can give you the best chance of a successful outcome.
Restraining Orders vs. Protective Orders vs. No-Contact Orders
Restraining orders and no-contact orders are often confused with each other because they both essentially prevent one person from contacting someone else. However, there are differences between the two. Restraining orders are issued in civil court. They are sometimes called orders of protection or injunctions. Alleged victims must petition the court to obtain a restraining order.
A protective order, or no-contact order, is issued by the criminal court. These are requested by the prosecution, not victims. Protective orders, on the other hand, are orders that prevent certain evidence from being used at trial. They do not have anything to do with no-contact orders or restraining orders.
Temporary Restraining Orders
Temporary restraining orders, also called TROs, can also be issued by a judge. The judge must believe there are reasonable grounds that someone has engaged in misconduct, such as domestic abuse or harassment, and that the victim needs immediate protection. Petitioners do not have to attend a hearing to request a temporary restraining order. These proceedings are done ex parte, which means people requesting a temporary restraining order must also outline their accusations in the petition asking for a TRO.
Restraining Orders Based on Civil Harassment
Before issuing a civil harassment restraining order, the court must be convinced that a person has engaged in harassing behavior and that they had the intention of harassing or intimidating the person asking for the restraining order. Under the law, harassment is defined as:
- Subjecting another person to shoving, striking, or kicking; child abuse; stalking or sexual assault; threatening or attempting to take any of these actions
- Repeatedly engaging in behavior that harasses or intimidates someone else with no real purpose
Restraining Order for Domestic Abuse
When determining whether to issue a restraining order based on domestic abuse, the court will decide whether there are reasonable grounds to believe the accused has domestically abused the person asking for the restraining order, or any other person. Domestic abuse can occur between adult family members, adult members of the same household, adult caregivers and the ones in their care, former spouses who are adults, adults involved in a romantic relationship, or adults that have children together. Domestic abuse can also involve any of the following acts:
- Sexual assault
- Damage to the victim’s personal property
- A threat to engage in any of the above actions
Forms for Requesting a Restraining Order
There are many forms available online for those who want to request a restraining order from the court. However, the type of form you file with the court will depend on the type of restraining order you are requesting. It is always best to work with a Appleton restraining orders attorney who will know which form to file and ensure it is properly filed with the correct court.
When Can You Get a Restraining Order?
You can obtain a temporary restraining order almost right away if a judge believes there is appropriate grounds for granting one after they review your petition. If you wish to make a temporary restraining order more permanent and valid for anywhere between two to four years, you must attend a hearing within 14 days after you have filed the petition. Sometimes, a judge may extend this timeframe by another 14 days.
The Cost of a Restraining Order
Many court proceedings have filing fees for anyone filing a petition. This is not the case with restraining orders. Due to the serious nature of restraining orders, and the fact that a person’s safety and well-being is in jeopardy, there is no fee to file a petition for a restraining order with the court.