Unfortunately, many people need restraining orders in order to protect themselves from harassment or potential harm from certain individuals. Restraining orders can be extremely helpful for protecting people in many cases. However, because they essentially limit a person’s freedom, certain requirements must be met in order for a restraining order to be approved by a judge. Here's how to get a restraining order against someone.

1. Identify who you want to get the restraining order against and why.

You will definitely be asked who you need a restraining order against, and why, when you try to get one. You cannot simply obtain a restraining order for a vague group of people. You need to know exactly whom you will be getting a restraining order against, and what the exact harmful behavior or threat is that this person or group of people is presenting to you.

2. File a petitioner’s affidavit with the court.

Once you know exactly who you want to file a restraining order against and why, the next step is to go to the court and file a petitioner’s affidavit for a restraining order. On this document, you will most likely to be required to include the details of the harassment or the perceived danger that you are experiencing, such as the time and date of the harassment that you have already received. You will have to pay a fee to the court administrator when you file this document.

3. Wait to hear back from the court.

After you turn in the document, the administrator will pass the affidavit along to a judge. The judge will review it and try to determine whether or not a restraining order is actually necessary. If the judge believes that a restraining order is necessary, then they may grant the restraining order straight away. However, they could also deny it straight away if they believe that there is not enough cause for a restraining order to be granted. Furthermore, the judge could order a hearing to learn more about the situation.

4. Attend a hearing if necessary.

If the judge orders a hearing about the issue, then you will have to attend it. During the hearing, you will have to field questions from the judge as they try to determine whether a restraining order is necessary. During this hearing, the judge will attempt to gain a greater understanding of the situation and try to figure out whether they believe that there is a high probability of harassment, or even potential danger from the person or persons in question. At the end of the hearing, the judge will make a decision about whether your petition for a restraining order will be approved.

5. Get approval and move forward.

If your restraining order request is approved, then it will be put into place for a certain amount of time. This could be six months, a year, two years, etc. The person who is being restrained will be notified by the court. Once the restraining order goes into effect, that person will be forbidden from contacting you, or being within a certain distance from you, such as 500 feet. If they violate this order, then they can be arrested.

But before you file ...

Filing a restraining order is a very good protective measure to take if you feel that your safety is being threatened by someone, or if someone is harassing you. Before you file for the restraining order, though, you should first write detailed descriptions of the incidents that led you to the conclusion that you need a restraining order. This can be very helpful for the judge when they are considering granting your restraining order. You can also bring in witnesses to your hearing. Witnesses can further attest to the danger presented by the person.

However, if you are going to file for a restraining order, then you should make sure that you are not doing it on a whim. Restraining orders are official court orders and they will restrict the freedom of the restrained person. If you have further questions about how to file a restraining order, call your local court and ask them for more information.