What is a family law restraining order?
A family law restraining order under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act is intended to prevent the recurrence of acts of domestic violence and to provide for a separation between the parties involved for a period of time sufficient to enable them to seek a resolution of the causes of domestic violence.

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Do I qualify for a family law restraining order?
If you are suffering abuse, you can qualify for a family Law restraining order if you have a close relationship with the other person. Meaning you are married, divorced, separated, domestic partners, dating, used to date, live together or used to live together, have child together, or you are otherwise related to each other.

If you do not qualify for a Family Law restraining order, there are other kinds of protective orders you can ask for. A civil harassment order can be used for neighbors, roommates, co-workers, and other people who are not related to you. A dependent or elder abuse restraining order is available to you if you are a senior citizen or dependent adult who has been abused.

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How soon can I get the order, and how long does it last?
After you submit your paperwork to the court the judge will decide whether to make issue a Temporary Restraining Order within 24 hours. Sometimes the judge makes the decision sooner, depending on your county court. At the time the judge makes a decision on your temporary order she will also give you a date to come back for a hearing on a restraining order that would last for 3-5 years. The initial temporary order will last until you come back to court for your hearing.

What if the restrained person doesn’t obey the order?
Call the police. The restrained person can be arrested and charged with a crime. If the restrained person does violate the order, be sure to write down what happened, when, where, and the names of any witnesses. Get copies of police reports, and if you get hurt, get copies of any medical reports.

Even if the order hasn’t been served yet, call the police. If the restrained person is there, ask the officer to serve the restraining order.