Payment plans now available. Click here for more information.

Top Questions And Answers About Restraining Orders

Chris Wojcik
Chris Wojcik Student, Loyola University Chicago
Chris Wojcik is a senior at Loyola University Chicago in the Multimedia Journalism program.
Restraining order tips
A Restraining Order (also sometimes referred to as a protection order) is a court order intended to protect a person in a situation involving domestic abuse, stalking, harassment or sexual assault.

Here are the 5 most important things you need to know if you are considering petitioning for a restraining order.

How do I get a restraining order?

It depends on where you live. Options vary from going to a local courthouse, shelter, lawyer’s office, or even police stations.

In all states, you will have to petition and complete some forms that detail the who, what, when, and where of the abuse or harassment. Eventually you will have to go to a Family Court to finalize the order.

Do I need a lawyer? 

No. But lawyers help. A lot. 

Here's how lawyers can help you obtain and maintain a restraining order:
  • They can help you decide what type of order you need. Options range from temporary to emergency. It also depends on who is doing the harassing - a coworker, partner (or former partner), child, parent and more. 
  • If you want the person you're getting the restraining order against to keep paying bills or have other money issues, a lawyer can work with the opposing side to come to an agreement, or argue your case in front of a judge.
  • Usually, you are getting a restraining order because the other person is intimidating. Lawyers will be right by your side the whole way.
  • There's a lot of paperwork involved in restraining orders. Lawyers complete it and file it for you - on time.
  • If the person violates the restraining order, a lawyer will take your case to the right authorities, and help you get justice. 
  • If you are sharing a dwelling with the person you're getting an order against, a lawyer can help you get a move-out order - quickly.
  • If you believe that someone is trying to get a restraining order against you unjustly, the best person to talk to is an experienced lawyer or attorney. 
What happens if someone violates a restraining order?

The exact punishment depends on the state, but violating a restraining order or a civil protection order is a Class A Misdemeanor (the most serious type of misdemeanor) and is punishable by a serious fine (we’re talking several thousand dollars) and up to year in jail.

What if I move to a new state? Is my restraining order still valid?

In accordance with the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, a protection order issued in one state must be honored in full faith by another state. If you move to another state, you can by all means get a restraining order in that state, but it is not required for legal validity or protection.

Does a restraining order ever expire?

If you get a restraining order in a court, it does not last forever. In some states, like Massachusetts for example, your first restraining order can only last for 1 year. However, in all cases you will have a hearing scheduled for you on the day your order expires. At that point, you can have another order issued for you for an even longer period of time.

In Illinois, an initial order lasts for up to 2 years and can be extended as needed. In California, up to 5 years. In New York, it will usually be 2 years, but can be up to 5. 

Our prices start at $249, and interest free payment plans are available. That's a bargain for your safety. 


Court Buddy is here to connect you with an experienced and trusted lawyer who can help you at an affordable rate. The company assists with the management of your case and lawyer relationship. Your lawyer will assess your legal issue in a timely and confidential manner, explain why you need or do not need a lawyer, and only charge you for the legal services performed and associated out of pocket fees. This article is intended to convey general information and does not constitute legal advice.

Ready to get started? We’re here to help.

Related Blogs

  • Jeremy Koven
  • |
  • 16 September, 2020
Advice For Business Owners On Shoplifting Policies

If you are a store owner, it is important that you create a set of policies and procedures that act as the guidelines for shoplifters. With pr...

  • Adrianna Ngo
  • |
  • 16 September, 2020
How To Post Bail In California

Getting out of jail on bail always seems so easy on TV. But in reality, and especially in California, it can be an expensive and long process....

  • Stephanie Cortes
  • |
  • 11 September, 2020
How One Man Is Trying To Help People In Prison

Court Buddy recognizes the demand for access-to-justice and is partnering with dedicated social justice organizations, highlighting their efforts...

  • Monique Bolsajian
  • |
  • 12 August, 2020
How A Lawyer Who Specializes In Restraining Orders Can Help You

Every year, between two to three million restraining orders are issued annually throughout the United States.  Restraining orders are cru...

  • Stephanie Cortes
  • |
  • 31 July, 2020
What To Bring To Court When You Are Trying To Get A Record Sealed Or Expunged

According to the Brennan Center For Justice, more than 70 million Americans have a criminal record. Not all of them are felonies, of cour...

  • Stephanie Cortes
  • |
  • 30 July, 2020
What Do I Bring To Court When I’m Trying To Get A Restraining Order?

A restraining order is intended to protect an individual from further being harmed by an abuser. The court recognizes the person seeking a restra...

Hablamos Español

Hablamos Español

Still have questions?

Call us toll-free at (866) 653-3017 to speak with a Client Success Specialist today.

Hablamos Español

Hablamos Español

Reviews
Overall great experience from beginning to end! On the plus, I won my case!"

Overall great experience from beginning to end! On the plus, I won my case!"

Jonathan R, California

Court Buddy made it easy for me to handle my tough court case. I feel like I'm not alone."

Court Buddy made it easy for me to handle my tough court case. I feel like I'm not alone."

Silvia S, California