Typical Timeline

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When papers are filed in a court requesting a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, the court hearing will usually be held about 21 days later.

The following timeline is offered simply to convey the information that this process has a beginning, a middle and an end. If exact details are required -- about how the days are counted, for example - it might be good to consult a lawyer.

One possible way a case might proceed...

Below is a description of the stages of a DV Restraining Order case.

A. The person seeking protection starts the paperwork:

  • Ask for an Emergency Protective Order, if needed.
  • Get forms needed for a Permanent Restraining Order from the courthouse or, click here.
  • Fill out the forms - have them checked by a court clerk.
  • File the paperwork at the court (the original plus a copy.) Receive case number and hearing date from the court clerk.

B. The person seeking protection has to make sure everyone involved receives copies of the Restraining Orders petition papers and notice of the date and place of the hearing.

  • Notice of the hearing's date and place to be served as stated on the Restraining Order.
  • Also remember that it is necessary to prove that all of the paperwork was received.
    ("Proof of Service") Opens new window
  • If you are not sure what to do, you may want to consult a lawyer.

C. Both the person seeking protection and the person to be restrained need to gather together the "evidence" that will be needed in court - photographs of injuries, or police records, for example.

D. The person to be restrained may file an "answer" at the court at least 5 (five) days before the hearing.

E. It is possible that people - family, friends or neighbors - may be asked to come to the court hearing to answer questions the judge might have.

F. The person seeking protection MUST attend the court hearing. If he or she does not show up, the case will usually be dismissed.

G. Immediately after the hearing, the person who received protection has to file the Restraining Orders After Hearing (CLETS) (form DV-130) with the clerk's office.

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