How To: File a restraining order

File a restraining order

Is someone threatening, following, or preventing you from carrying on a normal, healthy safe life? Protect yourself from the threat of injury or physical harm by filing a restraining order. In this video, learn what steps are needed to file a restraining order.

You Will Need:
• Restraining order forms
• A court clerk
• A notary public

Step 1: Complete paperwork
Complete the necessary paperwork. Forms are typically available at your local courthouse, through domestic violence programs, or from court web sites.

Step 2: Submit completed forms
Return completed forms to the court clerk. A judge may issue an ex parte, meaning emergency, restraining order and then schedule a hearing within 14 days to follow up on the order.

Step 3: Serve papers
Have law officers notify the defendant of the ex parte order, if there is one, and of the upcoming hearing.

Step 4: Attend hearing
Attend the scheduled hearing and present your case. The judge will listen to both you and the defendant and decide whether to grant or extend the restraining order.


Trivia: In 1962 city officials in Albany, Georgia, sought and received a restraining order against Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his fellow protestors.

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