A protective order, also known as a restraining order, can protect you from harm in a domestic violence situation. There are several reasons why you may request it.
Seeking a protective order
A protective order is often requested in situations where you are being physically, emotionally, or psychologically abused by a partner or family member. It can protect you from stalking, harassment, threats and intimidation. This can apply to behavior in person and online.
The order can prevent your abuser from contacting you, which includes visiting you at your home and workplace. This can protect you from threats to your personal safety.
Although domestic violence does happen in romantic relationships, you can also request a protective order if a vulnerable person in your household is being mistreated, such as a child or an older person.
To request a protective order, you will first need to fill out a petition with information about the domestic violence incident and information about the person you want protection from, like their name and address. Then you can submit the petition to the court clerk.
The person you want protection from must receive a copy of the notice, however you do not have to deliver it personally. A process server may be able to help with this.
The court will review the petition and may grant a temporary protective order until you can appear at a full hearing. At the final hearing, both parties will have an opportunity to provide evidence and if the judge finds that there is sufficient evidence, will issue a protective order which may last up to one year.