A restraining order aka “order of protection” or “peace bond” is a form of court order that requires a party to do, or to refrain from doing, certain acts. These orders flow from the court’s injunction power to grant equitable remedies. A party that refuses to comply with an order faces criminal or civil penalties & may have to pay damages or accept sanctions. Restraining orders are most commonly used in reference to domestic violence, harassment, stalking or sexual assault. In the United States, every state has some form of domestic violence restraining order law, & many states also have specific restraining order laws for stalking & sexual assault.
After a Restraining Order has been filed by the victim & been officially ordered by The Court– if the abuser does something that the court has ordered him or her not to do, or refuses to do something the court has ordered him or her to do, that is a violation of the order. The victim can ask the police or the court- or both- depending on the violation, to enforce the order.
All protective order statutes permit the court to instruct the abuser to stay a certain distance away from someone, their home, their workplace or their school (“stay away” provisions) and to not contact them (no one really knows what the law’s stance if the abuser stays in one place and the victim moves into the area). Victims generally may also ask the court to order that all contact, whether it be by telephone, notes, mail, fax, email or delivery of flowers or gifts, be prohibited (“no contact” provisions). Courts can also instruct the abuser to not hurt or threaten someone (“cease abuse” provisions).
Restraining orders may also be enforced across state lines, in accordance with the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution via the National Crime Information Center(NCIC) database. Some states (for example, Mississippi) may also call a restraining order a peace bond. Minnesota law provides for an Order for Protection (OFP) & a Harassment Restraining Order (HRO).
Many jurisdictions also allow the court to make decisions about the care and safety of any children. Courts can order the abuser to stay away from & have no contact with the children’s doctors, daycare, school or after-school job. Most courts can make temporary child custody decisions. Some can issue visitation or child support orders. A victim can also ask the court to order supervised visitation, or to specify a safe arrangement for transferring the children back and forth (“custody, visitation and child support” provisions).
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Wikipedia on “Restraining Orders”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restraining_order
LegalPleadingTemplate.com’s blank “Restraining Order” template: http://www.legalpleadingtemplate.com/preview/Restraining_Order