If you have been served with a temporary restraining order (TRO), you may be wondering what this means or what your responsibilities and restrictions are. A TRO may be issued for many reasons. In the domestic and criminal context, though, a TRO is typically petitioned for by a person who seeks protection from abuse or harassment. In order for a TRO to be issued without notice or prior hearing, the petitioner must allege facts that support irreparable harm will come to the petitioner if the TRO is not issued. The petitioner must also state why the TRO should be issued without notice. If the allegations of the petition or application support issuance of the TRO, the court will issue the TRO without prior notice or hearing. The TRO becomes effective upon notice or service of the TRO upon the defending party.
The order itself should outline what conduct and activities you should avoid. The order may also state a term, or how long the order is to be effective, but that is not always the case. It is important that you adhere to the TRO. If you violate it in any way, you could face severe penalties and be found in contempt of court. Common restrictions and conditions of a TRO include a prohibition on harassing or threatening the protected person, an order to stay away from the residence or place of employment of the protected person, an order to temporarily relinquish custody to the protected person, and an order to keep a certain physical distance from the protected person.
You should be provided with a notice for a hearing when served with the TRO. At this hearing, the judge will determine whether to issue a protective order. A protective order, even though not permanent, will remain in effect much longer than a TRO. If you wish to challenge the issuance of a protective order, you must appear at the hearing and be prepared to show why a protective order is not necessary.
If you have been served with a TRO/protective order or if you have been charged with contempt for violating an order, you should hire an experienced attorney to assist you with your case. Call 318-232-4000 for a free consultation.
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