How to Serve a Restraining Order?

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A restraining order protects you from someone who wants to harass or hurt you. It keeps the abuser from harassing you, assaulting you, or creating a nuisance in your home, apartment, or place of work. This civil order, however, doesn’t give a criminal record to the abuser.

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Serving a restraining order

Serving a restraining order depends on how long it lasts. Here are three types of restraining orders that you should know about, along with information on how to serve them.

1. Temporary Restraining Order

As a victim, the first time you ask the police to protect you from the abuser, they give a temporary restraining order. It comes with a date on which you and the abuser need to appear in court. The abuser must stay away from you during the period of temporary restraining order.

In most cases, states have a 10-day restraining period. During this time, the Sheriff’s Office provides the abuser with a copy of the restraining order so that he knows about the date on which he needs to come to the court. Victims should always keep a copy of this order and also give copies to the police of other towns where he/she thinks the abuser may bother them.

You will get a chance to explain your situation before the judge on the date mentioned in the restraining order. This takes place without the presence of the abuser. You will need to make a second appearance in court when the abuser explains himself. The judge, after listening to you and the abuser will decide whether he should provide a final order, and if so, then for how long.

2. Civil Harassment Restraining Order

A civil harassment restraining order is an order of protection. This order comes into effect once the police determine the pattern or nature of harassment. The victim becomes eligible to file for a protection order. This type of restraining order comes straight from the court specifying the actions the abuser must stop so that the victim can live peacefully.

Serving civil harassment restraining order depends on the type of protection that you need. For example, the state may order the abuser to stop calling the victim or contacting him/her in any way or stay away from the victim’s house or workplace. These orders may last for up to five years depending on the severity of the harassment.

3. Domestic Violence Restraining Order

You can file for a domestic violence restraining order if your partner attempts or causes physical injury intentionally, sexually assaults you, stalks you, molests or strikes you, disturbs your peace, destroys your personal property, or scares to hurt you.

Although most restraining orders start with temporary protection, the police may grant Emergency Protective Order effective immediately. This keeps the abuser away from the victim and may even put him in jail if he doesn’t fulfill the conditions mentioned in the Emergency Protective Order.

All the restraining orders point to one thing: the safety of the victim until the court passes a decision. Until then, the abuser needs to follow all the rules and regulations to keep him away from further trouble.

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