How Restraining Orders Work

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 A person who gets a Restraining Order can ask a police officer, sheriff's deputy, or other law enforcement officer to protect him or her, and his or her children under the age of 18 who live with him or her, from actual or threatened violence. 

However, to make this work the protected person needs to give copies of the Court Order to law enforcement agencies as soon as they are issued so the police know what's happening. Then, the police can act if violations of the Restraining Order are reported.

The protected person may also give copies to:

  • the landlord, if the protected person rents and the Order includes a "residence exclusion;"
  • security officers at the protected person's residence or workplace;
  • the protected child's school and/or child care provider;
  • financial institutions if there is an Order regarding use and control of an account;
  • health care providers or insurance companies, if listed on the Orders, and
  • others that are listed on, or affected by, the Court Order.

Restraining Orders can last for as little as a week, or can be extended for up to five years -- then longer, if needed. As long as the Order is still valid, a police officer or sheriff's deputy can make the restrained person do what the Order says.



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