It is quite simple to simply go to the civil harassment window of the Superior Court and take out a restraining order against another. The forms are available on line and hearsay statements are allowed in the form of a narrative. The burden of proof is lower than the jury standard of reasonable doubt. Essentially the burden is was it more likely than not an aggravated battery occurred against another. It can be in the form of verbal threats of violence, texts, e-mails, witness support and so forth.

A restraining order should be taken seriously and a response should always be made and a lawyer should always be retained. A restraining order can be issued anywhere from 1-5 years and it takes almost no new evidence to renew it for another three to five years. What is the immediate harm if a restraining order is issued “against me”? A great deal. If found to have committed a restraining order the findings go into a criminal data base referred to as CLETS. If you need a firearm to do your jobs (security, law enforcement) consider looking for new employment. It is very easy to violate a restraining order, because all you have to do is even through a third party contact the person or person’s listed in the order and you can be prosecuted criminally through the district attorney’s office and for the most part 99.999% of the time charges will be filed. Restraining orders can be used to obtain an unfair advantage in custody cases and criminal cases too. The courts generally sympathize with the person requesting a restraining order and for that reason a lawyer must advocate the other side that is facing a restraining order. The law office best advice is on the first day of court ask the other side if they would consider a peaceful contact essentially ending the CLETS side of a TRO. Upon receiving a TRO start lining up witnesses who will come to court and help show the court that “you” are a peaceful person and the restraining order has no merit. TRO filing’s are serious and an adverse order can be life altering as for the period of the TRO one always has to be very careful to obey it to the letter for those year or years.

The forms are available on line and are easy to follow. One last piece of advice. Usually the Order says “you” have to stay away 100-300 yards from the person. If “you” are neighbors it means moving out and finding a new place to live and in this housing market that is no easy task.

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