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What Is a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)?

By Neetal Parekh | Last updated on

A temporary restraining order (TRO) is a compelling legal option for anyone facing domestic violence. It is a court order that protects a person or persons from physical, mental, verbal, or other abuse. It can require the abuser to keep at least 100 yards away from the victim, enforceable by arrest. It can be filed against a spouse, ex-spouse, parent of a child, boyfriend, girlfriend, grandparent, or anyone else initiating harm. And under some circumstances it can prohibit the abuser from purchasing a firearm.

If you are facing domestic violence, there is help and there are legal steps you can take to pull you and your family out of harm's way. If you are ready to take action and pursue a temporary restraining order, here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • TROs are generally filed after an "ex parte" order from a judge. This requires the victim to complete a filing with the court and gives the abuser official notice so he/she can seek an opportunity to be heard.
  • TROs can be filed by completing paperwork at a courthouse. Engaging an attorney is advised but not necessary to file for a TRO.
  • TROs can be granted on the same day as filed.
  • The TRO will stay in effect for 15-20 days, or until the court-ordered hearing "Order to Show Cause" to evaluate the TRO with both parties present takes place.
  • The TRO must be served on the abuser, and can be done so by a marshal.
  • The victim should keep copies of the TRO with them at all times.
  • If the abuser violates the terms of the TRO, the victim should alert authorities immediately.
  • During the "Order to Show Cause" the TRO may be extended to a permanent Restraining Order, may be cancelled, modified, or extended.

Imagine your life without the fear and anxiety of abuse and take steps to make that dream a reality, for you and your family.

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