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Legal How-To: Appeal a Restraining Order

By Christopher Coble, Esq. | Last updated on

Retraining, protective, or stay away orders can arise in a multitude of situations, from business arguments to domestic disputes. And fighting a restraining order can take many forms, depending on the type of order involved and the particular circumstances of your case.

Most restraining orders are orders from a court, and therefore can be appealed. It may not be easy to get a restraining order amended or overturned, but it's not impossible. Here's what you need to know if you're appealing a restraining order.

The Right Response

Normally you should receive notice that a restraining order has been filed or requested against you, and how you respond to the restraining order can make all the difference. If you receive the notice in court, be respectful and try to avoid any outbursts -- you may not be able to win your case right then and there, but you can certainly do some damage. So let your attorney make any in-court legal arguments.

If you receive notice through the mail or in-person delivery, most states provide a form or instructions for responding to the restraining order. For instance, California provides an information sheet answering questions from how long the order will stay in place to how it could affect a green card or citizenship. Make sure you follow any instructions and don't violate any temporary orders before you have the chance to appeal.

The Right Hearing

You will either file a response to the restraining order, or, more likely, be asked to attend a hearing. Most courts will set a hearing date to discuss the order; if not, you may be able to request one. Don't miss your court date -- this may be your only chance to appeal the restraining order.

Prior to your court date, you should begin gathering evidence that supports your side of the story. Make sure you have any witnesses, recordings, or documents ready to go on your court date. Your attorney should be able to tell you what you'll need.

If your hearing has already come and gone, and you want to amend or end a restraining order, you may have to file an appeal and request another court date. Just as you did with your original hearing, make sure you have any evidence of compliance with the original order and any change in circumstances since the restraining order was first filed.

An experienced attorney will your best resource for appealing a restraining order -- contact on e near your today.

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