HOW TO FILE A RESTRAINING ORDER IN VIRGINIA FOR HARASSMENT?

Harassment or more specifically civil harassment is abuse, threats, stalking, sexual attack or grave harassment by a person you have never dated or he/she is not your family member. This harassment can be a neighbor, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, friend, or colleague.

Code of Civil Procedure section 527.6 provides the harassment law.

The harassment law states that harassment is an Illegal violence, alike attack or beating or stalking, or a credible threat of violence and the threats or violence make the victim fearful for his/her safety and his/her family safety. The violence or threats have no valid reason.

Credible threat violence is the acts that make the victim fearful for safety or annoy him/her. Stalking someone, or calling someone their phones with stressful statements, or sending troublesome SMS or emails for a time though small.

The law is designed to provide protection from the civil harassment for the public in general.

The types of civil harassment restraining orders are

Emergency Protective Order (EPO)

Emergency protective order that can be asked by calling the judge solely by the law enforcement office. A police officer is usually the first person to be contacted in case of harassment. He can make a call to judge 24×7 for grant of emergency protection orders. The emergency protective order is initiated straightaway and can last up to 7 days. If the abuser lives with you, he is forced to move out of the house. During this 7 day period, you can file a petition in the court for a temporary restraining order.

Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)

If you want to be granted temporary restraining order you have to file a petition for that in the court. You will get the form online or from the court clerk. Fill it and sign it and finally submit to the court clerk. The clerk will forward your TRO application to the judge. You will fill the form with the true picture of harassment and if the judge accepts your request, he can order a temporary restraining order. You must be clear in your statement what the incident was and why you need a restraining order.

The temporary restraining order lasts for 20 to 25 days till the court conduct a hearing session.

“Permanent” Restraining Order

The permanent restraining order is granted after THE HEARING. The hearing is scheduled. The permanent restraining order does never mean for a lifetime. The permanent restraining order can last up to 5 years.

Criminal Protective Order

When the harassment is of a severe kind, the judge can issue criminal protective order till the criminal case is going on. If the defendant is proven guilty of the crime, the criminal protective order lasts for 3 years after the case was closed.

PROCESS

As mentioned above, under the subheading ‘temporary restraining order (TRO)”, the petitioner files an application in the court through the court clerk. He/she will fill the form with all the true story of their side why and how they need restraining orders. The judge will decide for the temporary restraining orders be granted or not. If granted, the clerk set a date of hearing. The person who has filed the case has to provide the defendant the copy of the restraining order papers before the court hearing date. The restraining order papers restrict the defendant from contacting petitioner by using any mean.

Both parties must go to the court. If the defendant doesn’t go to the court, then the case can go in favor of the protected person. It is better to consult a lawyer before the court hearing. If deemed fit, have a lawyer for your case.

If you wish to consult an SRIS Law Group, P.C. attorney, call us at 888-437-7747.