Although many people have heard of a restraining order being used against a stalker or a “crazy ex”, you may not know how a restraining order protects you. A “restraining order” or “protective order” is an order from the court issued to protect a person or group of people (the “protected person(s)”) from being harmed or abused (physically or sexually), threatened, stalked, or harassed by the person the restraining order is against (the “restrained person.”) As indicated, a restraining order can protect a group of people such as a family or those living in the same household of the protected person.
Restraining orders can include different types of protective orders depending on the type of protection needed. The types of orders include (1) Personal conduct orders, (2) Stay-away orders, and (Residence exclusion (“kick-out” or “move-out”) orders.
Personal conduct orders are orders to stop an individual from committing specific acts against the “protected person(s)” such as: Contacting, calling, or sending any messages (including e-mail); attacking, striking, or battering; stalking; threatening; sexually assaulting; harassing; destroying personal property; or disturbing the peace of the protected people.
Stay-away orders are orders to keep the restrained person a certain distance away from the protected person(s) and their home, workplace, school or children’s school, car, or other important places such as their parent’s home or daycare of their children.
A Residence exclusion (“kick-out” or “move-out”) order is an order from the court stating the restrained person must move out of the location where the protected person(s) lives. The order includes parameters for the move-out; the restrained person must take only clothing and personal belongings until the court hearing, to avoid the restrained person from taking unauthorized items or causing a dispute over personal property ownership while the hearing is pending. These orders only apply in domestic violence or elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order cases.
In order to qualify as a protected person, the set of events must meet the type of situation to qualify for one of the types of restraining orders available. There are four (4) kinds of orders you can ask for: (1) Domestic Violence Restraining Order, (2) Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order, (3) Civil Harassment Restraining Order, and (4) Workplace Violence.
A Domestic Violence Restraining Order is applicable if you have been abused by a person and “you have a close relationship with that person (married or registered domestic partners, divorced, separated, dating or used to date, have a child together, or live together or used to live together — but more than roommates), or you are closely related (parent, child, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, in-law).”
An Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order is applicable if: you are 65 or older, OR you are between 18 and 64 and have certain mental or physical disabilities that keep you from being able to do normal activities or protect yourself; AND You are a victim of:
A Civil Harassment Restraining Order is used if you are being harassed, stalked, abused, or threatened by someone other than the people that qualify under a domestic violence case, such as a neighbor, distant family members, roommate, classmate or coworker.
Workplace Violence Restraining Order can be filed if you are an employer, and you ask for a restraining order to “protect an employee who has suffered stalking, serious harassment, violence, or a credible (real) threat of violence at the workplace.” It is important to note that an employee cannot file for a workplace violence restraining order with the court but can file for a Civil Harassment Restraining Order.
If you need protection, it is important to know how a restraining order protects you. A court order is not a shield-all against harm, and law enforcement should be involved in cases of clear threat to life. Call our offices to get advice and assistance in filing your restraining order.