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What Proof Do You Need for a Restraining Order?

The process of obtaining a restraining order follows a framework similar to any other civil procedure. The person filing for the order completes the required paperwork and submits a claim to the court. The court reviews the application and then schedules a hearing for the claimant, and the judge presiding over the hearing will render a judgment after considering the claimant’s case. While this is a straightforward procedure, it’s important to know what evidence you need to prove you have legitimate grounds for such an order. Read on to learn more or consider speaking with an experienced Raleigh DVPO attorney.

Typically, a person who needs a restraining order is fearful of injury or other types of harm from the subject of the order. For example, a victim of domestic violence may need a restraining order to keep an abuser away from their home until the victim can find alternative living arrangements or finalize a divorce or separation. Generally, the person filing for a restraining order must provide proof that the subject of the restraining order presents a clear danger to the applicant. This may include a police report from a prior incident of abuse, photos of injuries the subject of the order caused and recorded instances of abusive or threatening behavior.

Building Evidence for Your Application

If someone in your life presents a danger to you or your loved ones or has already inflicted harm upon you in some way and you wish to prevent similar incidents in the future, a restraining order is the best way to keep the dangerous individual away from you. You can request a restraining order that fits your specific needs as well. For example, if an ex-spouse has been stalking you, such as following you to and from work or lingering around your place of employment, you can request that the restraining order include a proximity clause that restricts the subject of the order from coming within a certain distance of your person, your vehicle, your home, your place of employment, or a school you attend.

Unfortunately, some people who need restraining orders may lack hard evidence to substantiate their applications for them. One of the best ways to work around this is to keep a recorded log of incidents of abusive or threatening behavior. This will prove an ongoing pattern of abuse and help strengthen your application. If the abuser sent you threatening text messages, emails, or left threatening voice messages on your phone then you may use this as evidence as well.

Elements of a Restraining Order

There are different types of restraining orders and applicants can somewhat tailor them to their individual circumstances. For example, most restraining orders will prohibit the subject of the order from coming within a certain distance of the person who applied for the order. A restraining order may prohibit the subject from coming within 100 feet, 500 feet, or some other distance of the person who secured it.

A restraining order may also prohibit the subject of the order from contacting the person who applied for the order by mail, phone, email, social media, or in person. Anyone who becomes the subject of a restraining order should be very careful to abide by its terms. Once a judge approves an application for a restraining order, he or she will ensure that the subject of the order receives an official copy of the order and understands its contents. Violating a restraining order may lead to fines and jail time and may influence future legal proceedings regarding alimony, child support, and child custody.

If you or a loved one needs a restraining order, a personal injury attorney may be able to help you build a compelling application that ensures you and your family get the protection you need as soon as possible.