Friday, September 21, 2012

Filing for a Restraining Order Yourself

This is one time you may not actually need an attorney. The state makes it very simple to handle a restraining order yourself. Most court houses have a self help area for victims of domestic violence so they are a great resource for you.

Basically the procedure is this.
1) Fill out the forms DV-100 and DV-100 (You can google these forms and they will come up or ask the court form them)

2) If you have children that you also want protected fill out DC-105 and DV-140 also

3) If you are asking for child support fill out an FL-150 Income and Expense Declaration.

4) Ask your court clerk or self help area if they have any special forms for your county that you should also fill out.

5) File the above with the clerk. Ask the clerk when you should come back to determine if a Temporary Restraining order has been granted (this is what will be in place until your hearing). Then come back when they tell you to and see if the judge signed the order. If they did file it appropriately.

6) After filed and you have a hearing date - have someone over the age of 18, who is not protected by the order serve your abuser with the forms you filed as well as a DV-120 Blank response form. FYI you can ask the local sheriff to do this for free for you. Make sure you get a Proof of service DV-200 to file showing that the other side was served in case they do not show at the hearing.

7) Make sure that you have a copy with you of your restraining order at all times. 
  • Keep 1 copy with you, always. You may need to show it to thepolice.
  • Keep another copy in a safe place.
  • Give a copy to anyone else protected by the order.
  • Leave copies at the places where the restrained person is ordered not to go (your school, work, etc.).
  • Give a copy to the security officers in your apartment and office buildings.

    8) Show up to the hearing! This is where the judge will have a chance to hear both sides and determine if a long term restraining order should be issued.

    9) If you get the order, fill out a DV-130 and file it with the court for the judge's signature! 

    10) Once you have the signed by the judge copy of the DV-130 - have someone other than yourself who is over 18 serve it to your abuser. Again, you can have the local sheriff do this for you for free. 

    Good luck! 

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