Get the right restraining order - The Men's Legal Center


There are restraining order options in the world of domestic violence.

Emergency Protective Order (EPO), obtained via Criminal Court: On the criminal side, we have EPO issued by a criminal law department judge on duty, even on weekends, through law enforcement. They normally last seven days. It is more restrictive than other restraining or protective orders and has precedence in enforcement over all other orders. Normally if the defendant is charged with a misdemeanor or felony domestic violence criminal action, the criminal court judge may issue a Criminal Court domestic violence protective (restraining) order. These orders in a criminal case take precedence in enforcement over any conflicting domestic violence (civil) family law restraining orders or other civil court orders.

Domestic Violence Restraining Order: DVRO or DVTRO, obtained via Family Court: A party can file for Domestic Violence Restraining Orders (DVRO) which are temporary until a hearing on whether they will be extended i.e., made permanent for a period of time. It is possible that if the state has filed criminal charges, a criminal case and a civil family law case can run concurrently. If criminal domestic violence protective (restraining) orders were issued to a criminal court, they take precedent over the civil domestic restraining order issued by the civil Family law court.

Safety Plans or Removal from home Orders for foster care placement, obtained via Juvenile Court from Child Welfare/Protective Services agencies: Sometimes a case starts out in Juvenile court to protect the child(ren). Child Protective Services (CPS) has a difficult job determining the facts behind child abuse or child endangerment or child neglect cases. Sometimes CPS will recommend one party file for DVRO in family court as a precondition to retain the custody of the child(rent). If the party refuses the recommendation, CPS may move the child(ren) to a childcare facility pending outplacement into the foster care system.

Civil Harassment Restraining Order (CHRO), obtained via Civil Court: Often a domestic violence restraining order overlaps with a civil harassment restraining order. The new boyfriend or new girlfriend gets involved in a domestic violence case. For example, the new boyfriend of the ex-wife verbally and physically assaults the ex-husband during the pick-up or drop-off of children. This does not fall under the existing domestic violence laws. The ex-husband would seek a civil harassment restraining Order.

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