Get Ready For Your Hearing
This section will tell you how to get ready for your hearing. Read Get Ready for the Restraining Order Court Hearing for more information.
- Take documents that help prove the abuse. Take 2 copies of all documents and filed forms, including the Proof of Service. Some of the documents that can help your case may be:
- Damaged property
- A threatening letter, email or telephone messages.
Do not miss your hearing!If you miss it, the restraining orders will end and you will have to start from the beginning.
Get there 30 minutes early:
After An Order Is Made
The person who is subject to a restraining order must obey the terms of the order as soon as it comes to their attention. They will find out about the order because they were:
- in court to hear the judge make the order
- served with a copy of the order
Disobeying a restraining order is a criminal offence. If you think the person restrained has disobeyed the order, you should call the police.
Safety Planning For The Courthouse
If you have a family court case involving an abusive partner, its a good idea to have a plan to feel safe while youre in the courthouse.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
At the courthouse
- Visit the courthouse ahead of time.
- Find out where the following are:
- the duty counsel office
- the room you have to be in
Getting to and from court safely
- Look for safe parking spots.
- Have someone walk with you to your parking spot or the transit stop to the courthouse.
- Consider either using a taxi or getting a ride from a friend.
- Talk to court security to have your abuser held back until you have had time to leave.
During your court visit
- Let court security know about your situation and bring copies of any relevant court orders such as bail conditions, a restraining order, etc.
- Bring someone for support to stay with you all day.
- If available at the courthouse, check if a family court support worker can go with you to court proceedings.
- Find a safe place to sit in the waiting area e.g. some place that is easily visible and surrounded by other people.
- Bring your cell phone with you.
When you see your abuser
- Ask court security for help.
- Move away from where your abuser is sitting.
- Ask your abuser to move away from where you are sitting
- Go into the washroom.
- Ask your support person to intervene.
Which Court Will The On Call Judge Tell You To Go To The Next Business Day
The “on call” judge will usually send you to the District Court or Boston Municipal Court where you live.
Sometimes the “on call” judge will send you to a Probate and Family Court butonly if:
Even if you do agree, the judge should not send you to a Probate and Family Court if:
See Section 11:00 2021 Guidelines, page 232.
Will We Go To Court If I Call The Police
Maybe. If youve been abused and call the police, the police must file a report. A lawyer for the state government, called the prosecutor, may decide to file a criminal charge in court against the person who hurt you. When this happens, the state government brings charges against the person who harmed you. At this point, you can no longer drop the charges, because it is the state government, not you, that has filed the charges. In court, the state will try to prove its case against the person who hurt you.
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Domestic Violence And Restraining Orders
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE may occur in many forms between two people in an intimate relationship. Physical violence includes kicking, punching, shoving, slapping or any action that hurts your body. Sexual violence includes unwelcome touching, fondling or forced intimacy. Emotional violence includes using coercion, threats or anger to create a controlling and fearful situation.
What Is The Difference Between A Family Court And A Criminal Court
A family court is very different from a criminal court. A family court will view you and your partner as equals. It becomes your word against your partners, unless you have police reports and documents showing criminal charges against your partner. The family court must include those documents when making a judgment about your case.
If you decide to go to family court, work with an experienced attorney to prepare your case. Collect police reports, arrest records, and documents showing charges filed against your partner. If you have pictures of injuries, hospital records, or pictures of property damage, include them. Tell your attorney about any witnesses to the abuse so the witnesses can provide statements about what they saw.
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What Qualifies As Harassment
Another important thing you need to know about is whether something actually counts as harassment or not.
The legal definition of harassment can change in each state, so it is very important that you check the specific statutes within your local jurisdiction.
That being said, in most states harassment is usually defined as a misdemeanor, in which you are suffering discrimination, threats, direct danger to your wellbeing, and similar.In order to be able to claim harassment, you will need to prove two main things:
- Firstly, prove that you felt harassed due to something that was said or done to you
- Secondly, prove that what was said or done to you, was out of an intent to torment, scare, threaten, or embarrass you.
The penalty for the harassment will then depend on the type of harassment, the severity, the situation, and the state in which you are in.
How To Obtain A Temporary Restraining Order
This article was co-authored by Clinton M. Sandvick, JD, PhD. Clinton M. Sandvick worked as a civil litigator in California for over 7 years. He received his JD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998 and his PhD in American History from the University of Oregon in 2013.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 10,499 times.
You dont have to put up with abuse. If youve been harmed or harassed, then you can seek legal protection by getting a temporary restraining order. Courts typically grant restraining orders when a person is the victim of domestic violence. However, there are many kinds of restraining orders, and you can get one against a stranger if he or she is harassing, stalking, or threatening you. Restraining orders can prevent an abuser from coming near you or contacting you. Fortunately, they are not difficult to request. All you need to do is gather evidence of the abuse or threats and go to the courthouse to complete some forms. The court clerk should be more than happy to help you.
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After You Get A Restraining Order
Keep a certified copy of the restraining order with you at all times. The police need to see the restraining order before they can do anything if your partner doesn’t follow it.
You might also want to give a copy to other people. For example, if there is a condition that your partner cannot contact your child, you should give a copy of the restraining order to your child’s teacher or principal so that they can show it to the police if your partner tries to pick up your child from school.
My Restraining Order Is About To Expire I Feel That I Still Need To Be Protected How Can I Extend The Order
A protected person can ask the court to renew a restraining order, either for another three years or permanently, whether or not there has been any more violence or threats of violence. If there is a need to renew the order, you must apply during the three month period before your order expires. You will need to complete the Request to Renew Restraining Order form , and Order to Renew Domestic Violence Restraining Order and file these forms with the court.
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How Do I Get The Other Party Served With Domestic Violence Restraining Order Paperwork
You can ask the Sheriff in the county where the restrained person lives and works to serve the papers for you, at no cost. You also may have a person over the age of 18 who is not a party to the action serve a copy of the paperwork. The person must complete the Proof of Service form and it must be filed with the court.
How Does A Restraining Order Help
A restraining, or protection, order can legally force someone who abuses you or harasses you to:
- Stay away from you physically and have no contact with you by phone, by email, through social media, or otherwise, even through another person
- Pay temporary child support, continue making mortgage payments on a home you own together or rental payments if the persons name is on the lease, and allow you to stay in the home while the other person lives somewhere else
- Turn over any guns to the police
- Have regular drug testing and attend counseling for domestic violence or drug and alcohol use
- Stay away from your children and your childrens school, or visit the children only with supervision
- Do other things designed to protect you. Judges have flexibility and will work with you to ensure that the order, if granted, meets your needs.
If you have a restraining order and the person who hurt you does not follow it , call the police right away. The police can arrest the person for not following the order.
Attending The Plenary Hearing
For the plenary hearing, both parties have the chance to come to court and give their side of the story. If the applicant fails to show up, the temporary and interim orders are cancelled. If the abuser does not show up, the court can still issue a plenary order, but it can also order a new hearing date.
Deliver The Order To The Police
To register your Ex Parte Restraining Order with the police take the following to your local police or R.C.M.P.:
- a copy of the Order
- a filed copy of the Affidavit of Service
- the Statement of Description
The Statement of Description is available in the Applying for a Family Restraining Order booklet.
Keep a copy of the Affidavit of Service and a certified copy of your Protection Order in your possession at all times while the Order is in effect. The police may want to see it if the Order is breached.
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What Can I Do During The Hours That The Court Is Closed
If you are in immediate danger, call 911. During the hours that the court is closed, a law enforcement officer can obtain an Emergency Protective Order which lasts from 5 to 7 days. A police officer or sheriff responding to a domestic violence incident can call a judge and ask for an emergency protective order that goes into effect immediately.
Go To Court To Explain Your Case
It is important to be in court on your hearing date. When your application or motion is heard, the judge will consider what you and the other person have written in your court documents and what you tell the court in person. Depending on the circumstances of your case, it could take more than one hearing before the judge decides the matter.
If your motion was made without notice, the judge will decide whether to grant a temporary restraining order without hearing or receiving documents from the other person.
If you do not have a lawyer, it is a good idea to speak with duty counsel when you arrive at court. Duty counsel are lawyers who are paid by Legal Aid Ontario to help people who do not have a lawyer on the day of their hearing and who have a low income. You can find more information about LAOs services on their website.
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Evidence To Support An Application
The court may have regard to any evidence it may have heard during a criminal trial in determining whether a restraining order is required. However, further evidence may be required especially where the defendant has been acquitted . See further guidance in the section Offering no evidence and making an application.
In assisting the court, both the prosecution and defence may lead, as further evidence, any evidence that would be admissible in proceedings for a civil injunction under section 3 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 PHA 1997). This will allow prosecutors to lead evidence over and above the facts before the court together with evidence that may not have been admissible in the criminal proceedings. Examples of such evidence include:
- live evidence not given at trial
- previous convictions
- previous injunctions or non molestation orders
- hearsay evidence and
- material contained in crime reports, domestic violence incident reports or other intelligence reports.
Prosecutors should follow the rules of civil evidence in order to adduce further evidence to enable the court to determine whether to make a restraining order.
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What Is The Difference Between A Police Report And Filing Charges
When the police investigate a crime, or ask you and other witnesses questions about what happened, they must file a report. A police report is not the same thing as filing charges. This police report is important. It documents the violence, even if the abuser denies the violence, and creates an official record that can be used as evidence in court.
The police may decide to file criminal charges against the abuser after their investigation is completed. Once the police file criminal charges, a lawyer for the state will begin a court case against the abuser.
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If The Restrained Person Was Not Served
The restrained person must be served before the hearing. If the restrained person was not served, you can ask the judge to extend the temporary restraining order until a new court date to give you more time to serve your papers. Read How to Ask for a New Hearing Date for detailed instructions.
You will need a Request to Continue Hearing to ask the judge for a new court date. Do this before or at your hearing. If the judge signs this order, the restraining order will last until the new hearing date.
To ask for an extension on the restraining order and new court hearing date:
Requesting A Temporary Restraining Order
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